The Gateway Cities Journal
News and information for leaders who care about Gateway Cities


Innovating for Growth: A Gateway Cities Symposium

Recently, nearly one hundred leaders from across the Commonwealth gathered in Worcester at Gateway Park to discuss their work catalyzing the growth of the innovation economy in our Gateway Cities. The event featured a special conversation with Governor Deval Patrick and noted entrepreneur Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande. The Governor highlighted the progress Massachusetts has made strengthening the state's innovation economy and making strategic investments in our Gateway Cities. The Governor and Dr. Deshpande discussed the important role that entrepreneurship plays for people of all backgrounds and for both technology and mainstream businesses in the Commonwealth.

"Massachusetts is known around the world as a center for innovation and entrepreneurship and Governor Patrick and his administration have made the innovation economy a centerpiece of their strategy," said Desh Deshpande, co-founder of the Deshpande Foundation. "More importantly they have realized that entrepreneurship happens everywhere not just in the big cities. With their support, we have been working in gateway cities like Lawrence and Lowell through the Merrimack Valley Sandbox to encourage entrepreneurs, seed innovative ideas and help launch new enterprises."

The event featured four of the state's Gateway Cities that have made noteworthy progress implementing their innovation and entrepreneurship strategies: Holyoke, Lowell, New Bedford, and Worcester. These cities offer a range of approaches to innovation-based economic development and are good examples of the progress made across the state's 26 Gateway Cities.

UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan discussed the university's investments in technology transfer and support for entrepreneurship education in Lowell. New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell discussed the success his city has had leveraging its world famous seaport into a location for off-shore wind assembly and deployment. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse spoke of new private sector investment in downtown Holyoke catalyzed by the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. And, Becker College President Robert Johnson presented the story of MassDIGI, the state's digital games institute that serves as a bridge between academia and industry and has already received over $1.4 million in competitive grants since its launch in 2011.

Governor Patrick and Desh Deshpande set an ambitious and positive tone for the day, highlighting the importance of "entrepreneurship for all," as Desh Deshpande put it. The Patrick Administration, working with a partnership of academia, industry, and local leaders from our Gateway Cities and the Legislature, is committed to building on the lessons we've learned at this event and others and working toward this critical goal.

-- Eric Nakajima, Assistant Secretary for Innovation Policy Massachusetts
Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development


Governor Deval Patrick announced that an additional $11 million will be sent to Brockton through the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program for the redevelopment of the former Brockton Enterprise downtown offices.


Patrick also announced that $14 million will be provided by the state to help clean up the site of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority's new maintenance facility.

The Fall River Office of Economic Development sent out 100 letters to local manufacturers to measure interest in creating a Foreign Trade Zone that would exempt manufacturers from paying tariffs on imported components. 

New Bedford mayor Jon Mitchell is planning to present the City Council with a prioritized list of the city's long-term needs. This is an effort to "save costs in the long run by avoiding expensive repairs," says Mitchell.


Governor Patrick announced that the state will spend $3 million to create a three-quarter-mile urban park in Chelsea, hoping it will spur economic growth.



Governor Deval Patrick spoke to business leaders in Worcester on Monday morning, announcing the construction of a new $15.9 million academic building at Quinsigamond Community College.


Fitchburg High School hosted an open house with realtors this week to showcase the school's diversity, academic offerings, and dual-enrollment opportunities.

Governing puts a national spotlight on Massachusetts' new community college performance-based funding effort to close the job skills gap.



City planners in Lynn hope to use newly-adopted "smart zoning" to spur downtown residential development projects.




Haverhill has won a $468,000 state grant to boost patrols and increase police presence in the community after complaints about public safety were brought to the state's attention.


Worcester's police chief opines on the need for ShotSpotter technology to help reduce gun violence and improve neighborhood quality of life.




Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti and challenger Bill Carpenter engaged in a high-speed "lightning round" of questions in Monday night's mayoral debate.


At a Fall River forum sponsored by the Herald News, city council candidates touted education and economic development as means toward resolving public safety issues. In Fitchburg, city council candidates debated a wide array of issues - from taxes to charter schools to a controversial billboard - in their sole debate before the November election. At a forum Monday night in Worcester, nearly all city council candidates said they would adopt specific criteria for TIFs and would support the city's responsible-employer ordinance.


Haverhill's School Committee election race heats upAll seven Lowell School Committee candidates agree that Lowell High School needs work. Meanwhile, the Lowell Sun endorses the sole challenger and hopes the election will eliminate a potential conflict of interest on the committee.


In Pittsfield, city council candidates differ on support for a proposed retail project in the William Stanley Business Park, for which industrial use has been planned. 




At the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's annual Moving Together conference last week, MassBike outlined its projects to promote bicycling in Springfield, Holyoke, and Barnstable.




Lynn residents speak out in opposition to a plan by the North Shore Medical Center to move 100 psychiatric beds from Salem to Lynn.




The Republican highlights three local Springfield residents and organizations to be honored by MassINC and the Gateway Cities Institute at the Gateway Cities Innovation Awards Luncheon on November 12.


An amateur baseball complex is proposed in Leominster, the Telegram & Gazette reports. 




For a full list of Massachusetts Gateway Cities, click here. The Gateway Cities Journal is a weekly news publication of MassINC. If you would like to unsubscribe to The Journal but would still like to hear from MassINC, please let us know. If you are not yet on our list and would like to sign up click here. To contribute news or comments, please email Marj Malpiede.



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MassINC's Gateway Cities Innovation Institute
Tel: (617) 742-6800
Fax: (617) 589-0929


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