The Innovation Institute

Our mission is to create conditions for growth in the Massachusetts innovation economy. 

This segment of the state’s economy and the ecosystem it supports transforms research, knowledge and know-how, via collaboration, into products, processes, services and systems. 

The Innovation Institute implements a unique model for the state to spur economic growth, working hand-in-hand with industry leaders, academic researchers and policymakers.   As an agent of the Commonwealth, the Innovation Institute uses this model to fuel economic growth, create wealth and generate improvements in the regions’ standard of living.

Our unique, “fact-based” approach to economic development is a central tenet of how we approach our mission to support growth in the Commonwealth’s innovation economy.

The Innovation Institute combines its investments with specialized direct services that involve the key stakeholders necessary for continuing success and follow-on public and private investment. 

Our Purpose and Work

In 2003, aware of the national and global competition for the talent and innovation-intensive industry sectors vital for our state’s prosperity, the Legislature established the John Adams Innovation Institute, known today as the Innovation Institute at MassTech. The Legislature defined its work in the following way:

The purpose of the institute shall be to serve as an agent of the Commonwealth to create and maintain a more favorable and responsive environment in the Commonwealth for the development, growth, attraction and retention of technology-intensive and innovation-driven clusters of organizations, with a particular attention paid to promoting economic growth in discrete and underserved regions of the Commonwealth by harnessing local support and involvement in such economic development activities and by improving the  economic infrastructure for such clusters. [Chapter 40J, Section 6A (a)]

Using an innovative, stakeholder-led process, we have been implementing this visionary “cluster development” approach to economic development.  The Innovation Institute supports industry-led growth initiatives in the digital economy, including big data, digital gaming, mobile communications, e-commerce, robotics, marine sciences, advanced manufacturing, and more.  Projects, initiatives, and strategic investments in key industry clusters throughout all regions of the Commonwealth are creating conditions for continued economic growth.

These efforts have involved over 1347 organizations, 78 higher education institutions, more than 350 Massachusetts companies and the participation of over 4,300 institutional, civic and entrepreneurial leaders across the Commonwealth.  We have made roughly 850 strategic investments totaling approximately $35 million, which have resulted in over $233 million of additional investment from federal, private and civic sources for a 6:1 ratio.

Our work with entrepreneurs, researchers and government and civic leaders throughout Massachusetts has helped the Innovation Institute develop a unique perspective on the strengths and challenges of different industrial sectors and regions across the state. Through active engagement in the field, we have developed an understanding of the strategic, effective role the Innovation Institute can play to enhance the innovation economy.

The Innovation Institute partners and invests with academic, research, business, government, and civic organizations which share the vision of enhancing the Commonwealth's innovation economy.

Our main target areas for partnership and investment include:

  • Organizing for Innovation
  • Innovation Capacity
  • Statewide Innovation Initiatives
  • Understanding the Massachusetts Innovation Economy