US Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks about investments in science and technology in Massachusetts during a tour of the university’s Saab Emerging Technology and Innovation Center on April 14, 2023. Warren, US Rep. Lori Trahan, UML Chancellor Julie Chen and biotech leaders, toured the facility and spoke with researchers and students on their work. (Cameron Morsberger/Lowell Sun)

Lowell — US Sen. Elizabeth Warren visited UMass Lowell’s Mark and Alicia Saab Center for Emerging Technologies and Innovation on Friday to meet with local technology leaders to improve scientific investment in the state.

U.S. Rep. Along with Lori Trahan and UML Chancellor Julie Chen, Warren met with graduate students, toured the nanofabrication lab and sat for a roundtable discussion with representatives of the Northeast Microelectronics Alliance, which recently submitted a funding proposal to the US Department of Defense in microelectronics. General program.

That program, which plans to allocate about $1.6 billion to a handful of regional hubs, is funded by the CHIPS and SCIENCE Act of 2022, whose passage Warren previously advocated. The act would boost the nation’s production of semiconductors and other micro-technologies with about $50 million more money — doubling current funding.

The legislation is a source of pride for Warren, as is Massachusetts’ leadership “in cutting-edge research and innovation,” she said during the roundtable.

“The advances we’re seeing in microelectronics research are going to strengthen our national security, just like building the coastline, and it’s going to create a lot of good jobs here in Massachusetts, which is always important to remind everyone why we care about this,” Warren said. said “I am proud to lead the entire Massachusetts delegation in making our views clear to the Department of Defense on this.”

Before the discussion, Warren, Trahan and Chen visited the Nanofabrication Lab, where local agencies conduct research on the nano and micro scale. There, Warren said she spoke with scientists who are developing ways to grow organs and improve the capabilities of infrared technology.

Most impressively, perhaps, these companies were just startups, Warren said, but are capable of operating in multimillion-dollar labs. It’s that real-world impact and a glimpse into Massachusetts’ future that Warren said “gave me goosebumps.”

“There are young people deciding where to go to college, people here in Massachusetts and people from out of state, who will decide to come to UMass Lowell,” Warren said, “and start participating in some aspect. One of these programs and ultimately will change the world.”

Trahan already knows the “incredible talent and incredible work” that comes out of UML systems, she said, so it’s “awesome” to step on campus to talk to students about the complex products they’re designing.

But that innovation is the result of a collaboration between several Massachusetts biotechnology leaders — Raytheon, MITER and other organizations that work together without competing, Trahan added.

“We have always had world-class research institutions. We’ve got a public research institution right here in our backyard,” Trahan said. “And the fact that they’re able to work so closely with different aspects of the industry, one, to create a pipeline, but two, it’s really going to make the ecosystem a lot stronger.”

Massachusetts is home to a strong contingent of startups, many of which were “born at the university,” said Vladimir Bulovic, MIT.nano director and professor of emerging technologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bulovic mentioned the state voucher program, in which startups receive funding to use lab-type facilities at a discounted cost, thereby increasing access to those spaces. He said that with such investment, the state can cultivate strong startups as soon as possible.

“It takes a decade to nurture a good hard-tech startup,” Bulovic said, “and actually figuring out ways to support those hard-tech startups through ecosystems makes it a little cheaper, a little simpler, a little easier… You tell us this 10 has enabled the journey of a year to be accelerated into a journey of five years.”

It was the first time graduate student Basil Vanderbee had created a poster to showcase his work, but now seemed like the perfect opportunity. Along with Sam Fedorka, the two collaborators explained their research into nanoantenna detectors and how their own detector is able to operate at room temperature instead of the usual minus 400 degree freezing temperature. This has far-reaching implications for the medical field and long-distance communication, Vanderby told Warren.

Both Vanderbee and Fedorka later expressed their excitement at meeting the senator.

“It was amazing,” Fedorka said. “Sen. Warren is an inspiration … I was over the moon.

Chen acknowledged Warren’s promotion of CHIPS and the Science Act, adding that “Massachusetts has really led the way” when it comes to science innovation.

Pioneering work at UMass Lowell is part of that charge, Warren said in an interview.

“I think one of the most extraordinary pieces of the undertaking at UMass Lowell is that small businesses and researchers in training will be able to contribute to and benefit from advancing federal investment in science,” Warren said.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *