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UMass Lowell officially opens $80m innovation center

The University of Massachusetts Lowell is set to mark the official opening of its $80 million Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center late Thursday morning.

Plans call for Governor Deval Patrick to join UMass Lowell chancellor Marty Meehan and hundreds of students, faculty, and industry leaders for the event.

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According to the UMass Lowell media advisory, the 84,000-square-foot facility will be home to cutting-edge research in nanotechnology, molecular biology, plastics engineering, and optics that will advance fields such as life sciences, energy, national security, environmental protection, and more.

The center is the first new academic building constructed on campus in more than three decades, UMass Lowell added, and the project was funded through $35 million from the Massachusetts Economic Investment Act of 2006, $5 million from the federal government, bonding through the UMass Building Authority, a $10 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and industry and individual donors, including UMass Lowell alumni.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.

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