In August 2016, Governor Baker joined executives from MassTech, the University of Massachusetts system, MassMutual, and other Western Mass institutions in Springfield for the announcement of a $5 million grant to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to establish the UMass Amherst Data Science/Cybersecurity Research and Education Collaborative, a public-private partnership designed to accelerate data science innovation in the Pioneer Valley region of Western Massachusetts. The Commonwealth’s investment will help drive the commercialization of new products and ideas, train a leading data science workforce and support collaborative regional economic development activities. The grant builds on the MassMutual Foundation’s 10-year, $15 million contribution to UMass Amherst to further the university’s world-class data science and cybersecurity research and education programs in Western Massachusetts.
Coverage of the announcement appeared in the State House News Service, which quoted Roger Crandall, the CEO of Sprinfield-based MassMutual, who cited the importance of cybersecurity training and research for a company like his:
"Literally just the time we've been standing here there have probably been hundreds of thousands of attempted breaches of the MassMutual network," Crandall said about 40 minutes into the speaking program. "And if you don't keep the network safe and safeguard data, everything that we're doing then falls apart. That's table stakes. You have to do it."
In addition to the State House News Service piece, the announcement was covered by several Western Mass outlets including the Springfield Republican, WWLP, Daily Hampshire Gazette, and WAMC, as well as the Boston Business Journal , and Infosecurity Magazine.