Worcester, Massachusetts-based Becker College and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) have been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help build the MassDiGI New Ventures Center (NVC). Becker College also announced that it will match the EDA grant, making a total of $2.8 million available to build the state-of-the-art facility.
The NVC will serve as an on-campus business assistance center located within the College’s historic property at 80 William Street in Worcester. The NVC will serve interactive media, game development, and technology-centric business undergraduate and graduate student entrepreneurs from Massachusetts "Gateway Cities," which the college describes as "urban centers with unrealized potential that anchor regional economies around the state. The NVC is expected to support the creation of 430 jobs over a ten-year period, the college says.
Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., president of Becker College and chair of the MassDiGI Advisory Board, says that this grant will help the college to create a facility that helps grow the interactive entertainment industry in the state, and will create high paying jobs for highly skilled individuals. Ultimately this will help create a talent pool in the state made up of "graduates from Becker and other institutions of higher learning across the state."
The grant is strongly supported by Massachusetts' representatives in Congress including U.S. Representative Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
"This highly competitive grant allows the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute and Becker College to take a major step forward in pursuing their vision for an innovation hub built on collaboration between academia, private industry, and government," said U.S. Representative Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). "MassDiGI and Becker College are leading the way in preparing our students of today for the jobs of tomorrow, and the landmark New Ventures Center will be at the crux of sustainable, long-term, innovation-economy job growth in a rapidly expanding industry."
"I’m pleased the EDA has awarded this grant to support the New Ventures Center and MassDiGI at Becker College," said Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “These kinds of investments in higher education help grow Massachusetts’ innovation economy and create more opportunities for students across the Commonwealth."
"This funding for the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute will help expand cooperation between our universities and the digital and video game industry, key players in our thriving innovation economy," said Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.). "I congratulate Becker College, whose program will help entrepreneurs develop new video games, train students to become skilled workers, and create jobs across Massachusetts in a growing and competitive industry."
You can learn more about Becker College at www.becker.edu.