HCN News & Notes

Baker-Polito Administration, MassDevelopment Announce Funds for Collaborative Workspaces

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration and MassDevelopment announced $2,165,000 in funding for the fourth round of Collaborative Workspace Program grants, a MassDevelopment program that accelerates business formation, job creation, and entrepreneurial activity in communities by supporting infrastructure that fuels locally based innovation. Eligible organizations may apply for either seed grants to plan and study the feasibility of new collaborative workspaces, or fit-out grants to develop and expand existing workspaces.

Through its first three rounds of grants, the Collaborative Workspace Program provided more than $5 million in funding to more than 75 organizations for the planning, development, and build-out of different types of collaborative workspaces. This new round includes $1.5 million from the Commonwealth’s capital budget and $665,000 from the Barr Foundation, the third installment of a three-year, $1,965,000 grant to the program to expand support for arts-related collaborative workspaces in the Commonwealth.

“Beginning with the establishment of the Collaborative Workspace Program through our 2016 economic-development legislation and three successful grant rounds, the Baker-Polito administration has enabled investments in community-based innovation infrastructure to support entrepreneurs across Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We are committed to empowering communities to create welcoming and productive spaces, and we look forward to extending the reach of this program in the latest grant round, as we strengthen and grow our innovation ecosystem.”

Added MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss, “the Collaborative Workspace Program helps reimagine underutilized spaces, increase vibrancy in downtown neighborhoods, and create room for entrepreneurs and community members to collaborate and grow. We’re thankful for support from the Baker-Polito administration and the Barr Foundation as we launch the fourth round of this unique economic and community-development program.”

MassDevelopment’s continued partnership with the Barr Foundation broadens the reach of the Collaborative Workspace Program to include the creative sector, a critical source of innovation and positive community change. 

“In the supportive environment of these collaborative workspaces, Massachusetts artists and creative entrepreneurs will encounter diverse ideas, launch new enterprises, and grow small businesses that will infuse vibrancy and economic activity into their communities,” said San San Wong, Arts & Creativity Program director at the Barr Foundation. “It is our privilege to partner with the Commonwealth and MassDevelopment to further our investment in this exciting initiative.”

Proposals are due in electronic format via e-mail at cowork@massdevelopment.com by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 12. Funding decisions are expected to be announced by the fall.