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Press Release

BioConnects New England and the University of Southern Maine Announce Partnership

By April 26, 2022No Comments

BioConnects New England (BCNE) and the University of Southern Maine (USM) are excited to announce a partnership to create a robust biomanufacturing industry cluster in the New England region.

With this partnership, BioConnects New England and the University of Southern Maine aim to promote the growth and sustainability of the life sciences industry in New England through academic excellence and strategic programming.  Additionally, BioConnects New England and USM agree to foster research and development collaboration on a range of projects.  USM is also committed to developing K-12 outreach and camps, partnering on prototyping and innovations solutions to problems facing New England, and exploring collaborative research opportunities.

“The University of Southern Maine is a great partner for BioConnects New England,” said Jared Auclair, Ph.D., an associate dean at Northeastern University and director of their Biopharmaceutical Analysis Training Lab and co-lead of BioConnects New England.  “We’re excited to collaborate with them on outreach to younger students as well as additional research.”

“We’re excited to work with the University of Southern Maine,” added Michael Pollastri, Ph.D., academic lead for the Roux Institute at Northeastern University in Portland, Maine.  “We have a strong network of support here in Maine, and we’re grateful to have so many wonderful organizations, including strong academic institutions like USM, all working together to achieve our goals.”

“This coalition is a great advocate for our region and beyond,” said Jeremy Qualls, Ph.D., dean of the College of Science, Technology, and Health, and professor of physics.  “We are well-positioned to make meaningful contributions toward the coalition’s goals of expanding opportunities in biomanufacturing, and we look forward to the possibilities ahead.”

Through its grant challenge sponsored by the Economic Development Administration, BioConnects New England is leveraging its resources in the region to create a robust biomanufacturing industry. Massachusetts-based Northeastern University leads the coalition, which includes The Biopharmaceutical Analysis Training Laboratory at Northeastern University, The Roux Institute at Northeastern University in Portland, Maine, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, -the I-195 Design & Innovation District in Providence, Rhode Island, the University of Rhode Island, and FocusMaine. The coalition will lead K-12 education and engagement activities, jumpstart prototyping and incubation facilities throughout the region, and invest in accessible start-up entrepreneurship programming.


BioConnects New England is a multi-state coalition and finalist of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge—a $1 billion program sponsored by the Economic Development Administration. Through this initiative, BioConnects New England will create a biomanufacturing cluster in the region of Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island that have been historically excluded from the biotechnology industry, one of the fastest-growing sectors in New England with national importance. This coalition will connect hubs throughout New England to support existing—and establish new—biomanufacturing infrastructure as a pathway to increase employment and educational opportunities for underserved regions and populations.


The University of Southern Maine is a public university with campuses in Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston.  It is part of the University of Maine system.  The University of Southern Maine was founded as two separate state universities – Gorham Normal School and University of Maine at Portland.  The two universities were combined in 1970 to help streamline the public university system in Maine and eventually expanded by adding the Lewiston campus in 1988.  USM offers 53 majors and 74 minors, with many exciting opportunities to learn through research, internships, and community engagement.