Union Leader: Coalition that includes Dean Kamen’s ARMI, city of Manchester, wins $44M grant

A multimillion-dollar grant from the federal government has been awarded to the city of Manchester to create jobs in the biomedical manufacturing field.

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Southern New Hampshire’s BioFabrication cluster, which would manufacture cells, tissues and organs in Manchester’s Millyard, has won a competitive $44 million grant, the federal government was scheduled to announce Friday morning.

The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) designed by Dean Kamen, is the lead builder and the city of Manchester is the lead sponsor among six partners for this grant, chosen from hundreds of applications under the Build Back Better Rapid Challenge Grant program with the U.S. Commerce Dept.

U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., noted that Manchester was a national hub of textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution in the first half of the 19th century.

“This is another revolution that is underway in manufacturing, and Manchester is poised to lead the way,” Pappas said Thursday afternoon during a virtual press conference held on Zoom in advance of the announcement.

The other partners are the city of Manchester, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, the University of New Hampshire and the Manchester Transit Authority.

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig said a key part of the grant is the $9 million Work & Learn Program that SNHU is leading to broadly expand education about biofabrication in both college and other community settings that include technology labs and support for local non-profits.

“We will be revolutionizing health care right here in Manchester’s Millyard,” Craig said.

The New Hampshire grant is one of 22 awards across the country.

“We absolutely believe this will position Southern New Hampshire to be the global epicenter for the manufacture of regenerative tissues and organs,” said Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee working group that deals with the EDA’s budget.

Graves said the money must be committed by the end of the current federal fiscal year on Sept. 30.

The partners can start spending right away what grant money they receive, and it will all be disbursed to these 22 projects by Sept. 30, 2027, Graves said.

According to the project’s application, this cluster also has growth potential in the emerging advanced aerial mobility industry that aims to build and run new air vehicles capable of safe, zero-emissions flight.

The original request by the project totaled $70 million.

“New Hampshire is a beacon for innovation, and this transformational grant really solidifies that fact,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.

Hassan and Shaheen were among a group of bipartisan negotiators that produced the compromise American Rescue Plan Act that financed this program.

Gene Sperling, White House senior adviser, said all these grants, ranging from $25 million to $65 million, will revitalize local industries, promote inclusive and equitable recovery, and create thousands of good-paying jobs in industries of the future.

“This is an important part of the president’s vision,” Sperling said. “We were so impressed by the winner here.”
By Kevin Landrigan, The New Hampshire Union Leader

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The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) is a member-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the bioeconomy of the United States. The institute’s work will positively impact not only manufacturing but also healthcare and education and workforce development in the country.