A prominent research lab opens a new site in Pittsfield. YNN's Madeleine Rivera talks to local officials to find out how they hope it will boost the area's economy.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- "You have the Harvards, the Boston Universities, things of that nature..."
All of which have a strong life sciences program, according to Patrick Muraca. Now, the owner of Nuclea Biotechnologies, a medical research facility, is looking to create the same thing in Berkshire County, by partnering with local colleges and setting up a new center in Pittsfield.
"Education is very, very important. A company like this, we didn't have to do this, we didn't have to split the cluster up into four different institutions actually," said Muraca.
Nuclea Biotechnologies set up clusters, sets of high performance computers, in the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Berkshire Community College, Clark University and the newly-opened Bioinformatics and Imaging Center in Pittsfield. Nuclea is also working with MCLA to develop a bioinformatics research program.
"To be able to give the students real world development on things they'll be able to work on after their degree is the best experience in the world," said Muraca.
Muraca says there is an advantage to having these clusters separated from each other. Because information is shared among each cluster, if one cluster crashes, you have the other three for back-up.
Residents hope that these developments in the life-sciences industry will boost the local economy. It took the city years to transition after General Electric closed its doors years ago.
"Nobody ever thought they'd be staying around Berkshire County for the life-sciences. So to have the opportunity to stay within Berkshire County, which is where I grew up, and actually work in the life-sciences field is a great opportunity," said Sean Donovan, a Nuclea employee and MCLA graduate.
Nuclea is leasing the site of its new center from the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority. They're hoping that this commitment will begin talks over a multimillion dollar bond for a new life science center at the same site.