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UMass Life Sciences Task Force (LSTF) 2014

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, over the course of the last several decades, has built an internationally renowned and respected life sciences cluster.  The key stakeholders in the Commonwealth’s life sciences community, including the University of Massachusetts, contribute to and benefit from this rich and fertile innovation ecosystem.  As an increasing number of metropolitan areas in the United States and nations across the globe aggressively seek to replicate the model developed here in Massachusetts, the Commonwealth’s life sciences community must find new and effective ways to partner in order to preserve and advance what has been built in our state.    

The report that follows provides a compelling vision for the University of Massachusetts, the state’s premier public research university, focused on advancing Massachusetts in its leading role in the life sciences sector. With our statewide reach, sizable resources and diverse expertise, the University of Massachusetts is uniquely poised to animate and drive the advancement of life sciences.

The stakes are high—over 113,000 Massachusetts residents work in the life sciences and UMass plays a key role in educating the Commonwealth’s future workforce. Recognizing the economic importance of this sector to the state and future UMass graduates, the UMass Life Sciences Task Force offers a vision where the University can build on the successes of its previous life sciences strategic plan and position itself in new ways to develop a rich talent ecosystem, bolster research activities and deepen our relationships with external partners.

To continue fueling Massachusetts’ innovation and knowledge-based economy, the Life Sciences Task Force calls for the UMass System to renew its commitment to collaboration across the five campuses and strategically adjust to the dynamic life sciences ecosystem. Whether at the campus or system levels, we must think differently, act deliberately, and partner effectively to bring our collective strengths to bear in a sector that promises greater rewards and greater outside competition than ever before.

This report is more than a list of objectives and recommendations; it charts a path forward. It embodies the University of Massachusetts’ mission to advance the lives of people of the Commonwealth and the world. It ensures that our most important, visible and lasting contribution—our graduates—will be prepared to enter, thrive and lead the Commonwealth’s dynamic innovation economy in the years ahead. 

Michael F. Collins, MD - LSTF Chair