Healey-Driscoll Administration awards over $900K in manufacturing innovation grants

WESTBOROUGH, MASS. – Today, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced two new grants from the state’s Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) to AeroShield of Hyde Park and Gencores of Somerville.

These grants will invest in new R&D infrastructure to boost the manufacturing of advanced materials in the state. The state has invested over $86 million in business expansion and R&D centers in Massachusetts through M2I2, helping to promote innovation and job growth statewide.

AeroShield will receive a $610,000 grant to support the manufacturing of cutting-edge insulating transparent inserts for windows. Gencores will receive a $319,002 grant tosupport the construction of a custom facility that will develop novel foam metamaterials for cost-and weight-sensitive industries, such as automotive and wind energy.

“We are thrilled to support businesses that drive innovation and job creation,” saidEconomic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao. “The Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) bridges the gap between innovation and commercialization across all sectors. These grants will further support manufacturers in creating cutting-edge eco-conscious materials, propelling our state’s economy forward.”

“These M2I2 grants highlight the state’s global leadership in advanced materials, with innovative companies located across the state,” said Christine Nolan, Director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing at MassTech (CAM), which manages the M2I2 program. “Both AeroShield and Gencores bring a strong network of organizations that have backed their proposals, developing a collaborative ecosystem to help support their growth over the coming years. Investing in this R&D infrastructure will not only help drive job growth in Greater Boston, but also support companies focused on the clean tech space.”

The M2I2 program supports projects that align with one of 14 Manufacturing USA Institutes, a national network of facilities that help U.S advanced manufacturers scale their operations. AeroShield’s project is relevant to the work of The ARM Institute andRAPID Manufacturing Institute, while Gencores’s project is relevant to the work of The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and RAPID Manufacturing Institute.

With the grant, AeroShield Materials will move forward manufacturing sheets of thermally insulating transparent inserts that will be large enough to use in entry doors and residential windows. According to the company, adding four millimeters of insulating material inside a double-pane window will create a product that is 65 percent more energy efficient, saving homeowners money and reducing fuel use.

Gencores’ new facility equipment will promote testing and qualification of their novel low-cost, ultra-light, and thermally resistant material for the composite industry. Gencores’ material is of particular interest to the automotive and wind turbine blade manufacturing industries seeking to reduce the weight of their structures and improve the efficiency of their vehicles and systems.

“This grant plays a major role in supporting AeroShield’s manufacturing expansion to make the next generation of energy-efficient windows,” said AeroShield’s CEO, Dr. Elise Strobach. “Massachusetts is a hub for climate technology and innovation, and we are incredibly excited about the opportunity to expand our presence in the Commonwealth, add new deep-tech and manufacturing jobs, and partner with local universities. We are grateful for the strong support of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s M2I2 program, and our investors, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and MassVentures, as we expand grow the company.”

“The ARM Institute congratulates AeroShield, an ARM member, on their new M2I2 grant.”said Ira Moskowitz, CEO of the ARM Institute. “As part of the ARM Institute’s national consortium, AereoShield and our 400+ other member organizations work diligently to strengthen U.S. manufacturing through robotics and workforce innovation.”

“Achieving net-zero across hard-to-decarbonize industries hinges on material performance, affordability, availability, and recyclability,” said Dr. Jules Theiry, Founder and CEO of Gencores. “The state’s longstanding vision of advancing high-impact materials and manufacturing technologies aligns seamlessly with our goals; we could not be happier to partner with Christine Nolan, Farhad Vazegoo and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s team under this Healey-Driscoll Administration award to expedite the qualification and deployment of Gencores’ technology. We extend our gratitude to Instron Mechanical Testing Systems for their invaluable support in producing and delivering our custom equipment.”

“To qualify its remarkable material for use in the automotive and wind turbine blade manufacturing sectors, as well as to facilitate the realization of the performance and sustainability advantages offered by composite technology, Gencores needs specialized testing capacity and facility,” said Chad Duty, CEO at IACMI. “IACMI, propelled by its organizational members, actively supports research and development initiatives focused on reducing technical uncertainties and building a robust supply chain for the rapidly growing advanced composites industry. We eagerly anticipate contributing to Gencores’ mission.”

M2I2-funded projects have impacted over 170 companies and leveraged over $320 million from outside sources, helping boost the flow of investment in the state and creating over 1000 jobs in Massachusetts.
“The Green Jobs wave is happening right here in Somerville,” said State Representative Mike Connolly. “Thank you to the Center for Manufacturing at the MassTech Collaborative for catalyzing the growth of this important sector of the manufacturing industry, putting real dollars into growing industries which will help us reach our emissions reduction goals. I’m pleased to have also worked this year to secure additional funds for green jobs training in the FY24 budget so that Somerville residents of all backgrounds can take advantage of exciting opportunities just like this one from today’s announcement.”