UMMS Affiliation

UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science; Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology; Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type

Article Postprint


Biomedical Devices and Instrumentation | Biotechnology | Translational Medical Research


The commercialization of medical devices and biotechnology products is characterized by high failure rates and long development lead times particularly among start-up enterprises. To increase the success rate of these high-risk ventures, the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) and University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) partnered to create key academic support centers with programs to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation in this industry. In 2008, UML and UMMS founded the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), which is a business and technology incubator that provides business planning, product prototyping, laboratory services, access to clinical testing, and ecosystem networking to medical device and biotech startup firms. M2D2 has three physical locations that encompass approximately 40,000 square feet. Recently, M2D2 leveraged these resources to expand into new areas such as health security, point of care technologies for heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, and rapid diagnostics to detect SARS-CoV-2. Since its inception, M2D2 has vetted approximately 260 medical device and biotech start-up companies for inclusion in its programs and provided active support to more than 80 firms. This manuscript describes how two UMass campuses leveraged institutional, state, and Federal resources to create a thriving entrepreneurial environment for medical device and biotech companies.


Medical Devices, Biotechnology, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Education, rapid diagnostics, SARS-CoV-2

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Copyright © The Association for Clinical and Translational Science 2021. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

DOI of Published Version



Hafer N, Buchholz B, Dunlap D, et al. A Multi-Institutional Partnership Catalyzing the Commercialization of Medical Devices and Biotechnology Products. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science. 2021:1-21. doi:10.1017/cts.2021.779. View article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Clinical and Translational Science

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.