LOWELL – Today, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced a new $496,503 grant to Lowell-based production design firm RaGE Systems, an award from the Commonwealth’s Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2). The new grant will support the expansion of RaGE’s production of wireless solutions for the telecommunications, infrastructure, commercial, aerospace, and defense industries. UMass Lowell is the company’s academic partner on the project, creating a strong research and development collaboration in the region, which will help RaGE scale its manufacturing base and expand in both Lowell, and to a separate manufacturing facility in Newburyport, Mass.
Executive Office of Economic Development Undersecretary of Economic Strategies Sarah Stanton announced the award on behalf of the Commonwealth, joining executives from the Center for Advanced Manufacturing at the MassTech Collaborative, the organization that manages the M2I2 grant program, for a tour of RaGE’s manufacturing facility, located in the Wannalancit Mills complex in Lowell, viewing several cutting-edge products and demonstrations on the company’s production methods.
“Massachusetts continues to lead the innovation economy by supporting companies that move fast and think outside the box,” said Undersecretary Stanton. “RaGE Systems has leveraged decades of professional knowledge to accelerate the development of products in wireless engineering, aerospace, and defense. We are confident that their partnership with UMass Lowell will bring more novel products to market and grow jobs across this region, while creating a strong talent pipeline from UMass Lowell. ”
“RaGE systems has demonstrated a commitment to getting it right,” stated Carolyn Kirk, Executive Director of the MassTech Collaborative. “Their expertise, combined with a rigorous and focused product development process, makes them a strong supplier to multiple industries. We believe they will be a strong partner to UMass Lowell, and with this influx of capital, they can bring more ‘Made in Massachusetts’ products to their customers across the U.S.”
The M2I2-funded project will create a state-of-the-art manufacturing and test line for RaGE Systems’ Advanced Radio Frequency (RF) products, including 5G basestations and millimeter-wave sensors. This will in turn increase the percentage of RaGE Systems’ products built in the U.S. and will significantly improve product quality, time to market, and costs, according to the company. The grant will allow RaGE to meet rising demand from customers and implement unique intellectual property in the areas of RF circuits, modules, and antennas through the use of both additive manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing.
“This is an incredible opportunity for RaGE Systems to expand and grow our manufacturing capabilities here in Massachusetts,” said CEO of RaGE Systems, Russ Cyr. "This grant will allow our company to acquire the technology and equipment needed to increase our workforce, enhance their skills & capabilities, and produce more products for our customer base. We are truly excited and energized by what this grant can and will do for our company.”
“We’re grateful to the MassTech Collaborative for this funding and to RaGE Systems for the opportunity to partner with them. Together, we will develop and advance a production line to manufacture cutting-edge 5G cellular base stations and critical millimeter wave sensors that will help locate people and objects.” said UMass Lowell’s Anne Maglia, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation. “Through this collaboration, UMass Lowell faculty will bring their expertise to this pioneering work – conducted right here in Massachusetts – and our students will have a chance to gain invaluable real-world industry experience.”
The Commonwealth has invested over $80 million in business expansion and R&D centers in Massachusetts through the M2I2 effort, enabling the Commonwealth to co-invest in projects supported by Manufacturing USA initiative, which helps to promote innovation and job growth statewide. That includes investments in over 60 collaborative projects that connect manufacturers with universities, other Mass. companies, R&D Centers, Federally Funded R&D Centers (FFRDCs), and the Manufacturing USA communities, including regional education and prototyping centers in advanced photonics, fabrics, robotics, and flexible electronics.
"Congratulations to RaGE Systems for receiving the M2I2 award and partnering with UMass Lowell, a leader in innovative technologies. I know the City of Lowell and the Commonwealth will reap in the benefits of this strategic collaboration." said Representative Rady Mom, who represents Lowell in the 18th Middlesex district. "I want to thank the Healey-Driscoll Administration and MassTech for continuing to invest in the people of Massachusetts ensuring that we lead in the global technology economy."
According to MassTalent, Massachusetts employs more than 121,000 workers in advanced manufacturing, who contribute more than $40 billion to the state’s economic output.
About the Mass. Center for Advanced Manufacturing at MassTech
The mission of the Massachusetts Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) is to foster the most complete, collaborative, and agile manufacturing ecosystem, to enable business growth from innovation through production. CAM is a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech), a public economic development agency tasked with supporting business formation and growth in the Commonwealth’s tech and innovation sectors. CAM provides a path for manufacturing growth through a connected, accessible ecosystem that supports innovation, workforce development and a business friendly environment. CAM managed programs include the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2), the MassBridge manufacturing training program, and the massmakes.org portal. Learn more at https://cam.masstech.org/.