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Boston, Massachusetts BioConnects New England (BCNE), a multi-state coalition that aims to 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, recently announced that Mike Tavilla has joined the team as Regional Economic Competitiveness Officer (RECO).

Tavilla has more than 15 years of professional experience in regional economic development and strategy, with prior roles in academia, management consulting, and the private and public sectors.

“Mike’s specific expertise will greatly augment our efforts toward introducing careers in biomanufacturing to people who may not have initially thought of or known about these opportunities,” said Jared Auclair, Ph.D., Northeastern University vice provost of research and economic development, director of bioinnovation, and co-lead of BioConnects New England.  “We are glad to welcome him to our team.”

Most recently, Tavilla served as the regional economic development and data specialist at the Center on Rural Innovation, where he provided advisory and strategy consulting services to rural communities across the U.S. with data-driven, fact-based research and analysis, and overall program management.

Prior experience includes serving as the lead research associate for Professor Michael Porter at the Institute for Strategy & Competitiveness at Harvard Business School. In this role, Tavilla supported the Institute’s work in national and global economic development projects and curriculum and course development.  Tavilla also worked with McKinsey & Company’s Public & Social Sector Practice as a senior consulting analyst, providing local, state, and federal clients with guidance on regional assets and opportunities to drive long-term growth strategy and actionable implementation processes.  Tavilla has additional experience in corporate site location and global planning in the E.U. and the Asia-Pacific region in the enterprise high-tech industry with Oracle Corporation.

Tavilla earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from George Washington University and completed graduate-level study and research in U.S. public policy and government at American University in Washington, D.C.  Tavilla is originally from Massachusetts and is currently a Boston resident.

“I am excited by the mission of BioConnects New England and look forward to contributing toward making the life sciences career pathways broader and more accessible to more people across the region,” said Tavilla.

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 regions 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.

For more information about BioConnects New England, please email or visit or @bioconnectsNE on Twitter or Instagram.