August 22, 2013

Herald News: Sen. Warren visits UMD's Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center to talk about university research

By: Michael Gagne
August 22, 2013

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will return to Washington with a new keepsake. It's a cylindrical piece of recycled asphalt, containing some stone pieces and rubber.

It could be used various ways - as a dumbbell, a paper weight or, as Warren suggested, as a visual reminder to her colleagues on Capitol Hill of the value that can be realized by continuing to fund universities' capacity for research.

The asphalt is being made by a company looking to make paved roadways that last longer and cost less to maintain. It's a product that municipalities and states alike may find valuable.

On Thursday afternoon, Warren stopped at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River, where she met with the owners of a few businesses "incubating" at the site, as well as student interns, university leaders and local legislators.

In another laboratory, Warren learned about sonar imaging through a conversation with UMass Dartmouth student and Tiverton resident Brady Paradis.

Xilectric CEO Steve Weiss briefed Warren on his company's effort to build cheaper rechargeable batteries. "We're very small," Weiss said, "so it's nice to have an incubator space like this."

In a roundtable discussion that followed Warren's tour, Aquabotix CEO Durval Tavares said the ATMC provided a support structure for his business, in a location that "provided networking as well as accessibility to talent."
"ATMC fit the bill really well," Tavares said.

"We've been hitting a home run with every student we have intern, even the ones who we don't hire. They go on to find other jobs in the industry," said Bob Anderson, the CEO of OceanServer Technology, which develops and manufactures sensor devices and systems for use in the marine industry

Read the full story here.