BIC YEAR IN REVIEW: 2020
Open for Business
Berkshire Innovation Center World-class R&D facilities and equipment. Interactive training and conferencing facilities. Shared access to advanced technology for local manufacturers. We can do more together.
Thank You At our Grand Opening celebration in February 2020, the BIC was bursting with friends and colleagues and the energy and enthusiasm in the room was palpable. That energy and unity of purpose carried over to our collective response when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In the nine months since, the chaos of the pandemic has forced the BIC to be resilient, creative, and agile, and accelerated our learning curve in many ways. We have learned a tremendous amount and firmly believe that we will play an extremely important role as our region adapts and recovers from the pandemic. Nothing we have done or will do is possible without the support of our sponsoring organizations. Thank you for believing in our mission and our potential. We look forward to continuing to work with you as we grow and evolve. Project Sponsors
Annual Platinum Sponsors
Annual Silver Sponsors
Karen & Grant Bogle
The Directorâ€™s Desk: The Promise of the Network
The Grand Opening & The BICâ€™s COVID Response
2020 Educational Programming
A catalyst for economic development and leadership in the Innovation Economy.
Connect With Us
45 Woodlawn Ave., Pittsfield, MA 01201
Core Services & Resources
Leadership & Industry Members
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Berkshire Innovation Center Staff Ben Sosne, Executive Director Steve Longpre, Operations Manager Denise Johns, Business Administrator Allison Mikaniewicz, Marketing & Administrative Assistant Kate Light, Program Coordinator
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The Director’s Desk The Promise of the Network In September, Mike Kennealy, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, was at the Berkshire Innovation Center for a panel discussion as part of the premiere of the first episode of “Project Frontline,” a multi-part docuseries produced by BIC members Boyd Technologies and Digital Eyes Film that chronicles the State’s response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Kennealy and his fellow panelists discussed the critical shortages of PPE, the collapse of supply chains, and the remarkably coordinated effort to a encourage a statewide manufacturing response to the PPE crisis. With incredible speed, the Commonwealth’s Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (MERT) was able to activate and connect the State’s world class health systems, research and academic institutions, and private manufacturing expertise so that all were working systematically toward a common goal. The result has been tremendous, with over five million pieces of PPE produced to date. The experience in Massachusetts could and should serve as a model for other states. That said, Kennealy was quick to point out that the impressive collaboration between industry, academia, healthcare professionals, and government did not just appear overnight. The seeds had been sown over a decade earlier, with the creation of the Massachusetts Life Science Center (MLSC), the quasi-public agency which encourages innovation and economic development and serves as the hub of the Massachusetts life science ecosystem. MLSC and its partner organizations had built a broad network over the years, a network that the State was able to instantly activate and mobilize. The Berkshire Innovation Center is proud to be part of this broad network and proud of the role we played in helping to coordinate the response efforts with manufacturing partners in our region. The BIC was built to be the hub for innovation and advanced manufacturing in the Berkshires and a gateway linking our regional network into the larger web that sprinkles the State. It was good to have Secretary Kennealy back at the BIC. He was last there on February 28, when we welcomed Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, and close to 400 other government officials, educators, business and community leaders, and area students to the Grand Opening of our brand-new facility. It was a great a day at the Innovation Center and an exciting opportunity for our members and partners to introduce themselves and their work to people from across the County and across the Commonwealth. As we celebrated the opening of our new home, we did not envision our first few months of operation playing out as they did. Indeed, the irony of the situation is difficult to miss – we spent years planning and designing a world-class facility that would be a physical gathering place for innovation, shared resources, and collective learning, and less than a month after we opened our doors a global pandemic put any live “gatherings” off indefinitely. On the other hand -- as we stressed long before the Grand Opening -- the strength and promise of the Innovation Center is about far more than a shiny new building. Rather, like our partners in the MLSC ecosystem, our belief has always been that we can do more together and that collaborating and sharing our collective wisdom will benefit us all. COVID-19 put this core tenant to the test just days after we opened our doors. Instead of dissolving, our network grew and the connections between members and the organization strengthened. BIC members used the network to share best practices for navigating the storm and came together eager to find ways to support the recovery of our community and promote business opportunities that could stimulate the local economy. The energy, enthusiasm, and optimism that the members shared was infectious and inspiring. (continued next page)
Director’s Desk (continued) A group led by Justin McKennon of Electro Magnetic Applications came forward passionate about developing an experiential learning program for high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers in technology and advanced manufacturing. Other BIC members recognized the impact such a program could have on young people in our community and were quick to volunteer their time and energy. Thanks to their efforts, and the support of organizations like Berkshire Bank and Berkshire Money Management, the BIC launched the Berkshire E-Talent Accelerator (BETA) program this summer and welcomed our inaugural cohort to the BIC later in September. A similarly energetic group from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at BCC, who had been planning a major conference on transformative technologies, came forward eager to pivot this vision into a virtual format. Thanks to their persistence, the BIC, OLLI, and 1Berkshire, as well as our academic partners, successfully completed an eight-week course called “The Impact of Transformative Technologies on Work and Society,” which featured thought leaders from our region and from around the globe. This course, which could be watched live or on demand, sparked a community conversation on how new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, machine-learning, and robotics are impacting the nature of work and education and how we can best harness these technologies for the development of our region. Picking up on these same themes, we’ve been inspired by the newest member of the BIC, and ed-tech startup called Edgi Learning. Edgi’s goal is to prepare high school students for a rapidly changing world with engaging and relevant courses offered on a dynamic virtual platform. This Fall, the BIC partnered with Edgi to offer “Technology and the Future of Work,” which is based on a successful NYU seminar, to high school students across Berkshire County. Thanks to the support of our Community Banking Partners – Lee Bank, Adams Community Bank, MountainOne, and Pittsfield Cooperative Bank – 96 students took the course for little or no charge. While many of our educational programs have shifted to a virtual format, there is plenty of activity inside our facility. Electro Magnetic Applications, our resident rocket scientists, have completed the installation of their aerospace testing chamber and are planning to be fully operational in early 2021. In response to member needs and industry trends, the capabilities of our training center and rapid prototyping room are continuing to expand and more is on the horizon. Thanks to a partnership with Digital Eyes Film, we have converted, at least temporarily, our downstairs event room to “Studio BIC,” a state-of-the-art digital recording and broadcasting studio that can host and produce compelling virtual and hybrid events. Indeed, in October we hosted Berkshire County STEM week “Live from the BIC.” COVID-19 has presented enormous challenges for our region – for our families, our educators, our students, and many sectors of our economy. Our work at the Innovation Center supports the technology and advanced manufacturing sector, a sector that is well positioned to grow, and one that is so critical to our County’s economic recovery. To help them realize this potential, we are expanding our R&D capabilities, offering access to industry experts, strengthening our ties to our academic partners, and laying the groundwork for a robust talent pipeline. We are also engaging our community partners in meaningful conversations about the future of our region. With an activated network that supports each other and seeks ways to collaborate, the possibilities are endless. Get involved, join our network, let’s see what we can do together.
Ben Sosne Executive Director, Berkshire Innovation Center
The Grand Opening & The BICâ€™s COVID-19 Response
Grand Opening On February 28, 2020, after years of hard work by so many in our community, we were thrilled to officially open the doors to the brand-new Berkshire Innovation Center. It was an honor to welcome Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karen Polito, and over 350 other state and local government, business, and community leaders. It was also a pleasure to welcome so many high school and college students from around the county to join us for the event. Although we were not expecting the COVID-19 pandemic to so quickly bring gatherings like this to a halt, we are so grateful that we were able to host this event and thank all those who were so instrumental in making this project a reality. As we look to rebuild Berkshire County in a post-pandemic world, we know that the Berkshire Innovation Center will play a critical role.
â€œFacilities like the Berkshire Innovation Center are what sets Massachusetts apartâ€? - Governor Charlie Baker
February 28, 2020
February 28, 2020
COVID-19 RESPONSE The chaos of the last year has forced the BIC to be resilient, creative, and agile, and accelerated our learning curve in many ways. When the pandemic first hit, the organization focused on being a resource for members and partners and a nexus point for collaboration and collective wisdom. We partnered with the State’s Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (M-ERT) and assisted regional manufacturers that had an interest or ability to pivot their operations to produce materials needed in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We also launched a COVID-19 Response Page on our website, which detailed projects we were working on and provided an updated list of resources for others. We collaborated on projects with the Pittsfield Fire Department, Berkshire Health Systems, Baystate Hospital, the New Dalton Group, SABIC, and Mohawk Fine Paper, among others. Mohawk is a particularly interesting story. The company was considering utilizing an existing carboard product as a solution to the need for temporary hospital rooms. A demo unit was set up at the BIC and we worked closely with their team to iterate on design, improve the product, and get it on the radar of the M-ERT team, MEMA and local and regional hospitals. The unit was later upgraded for negative pressure room applications and contacts in the BIC network were able to get the product in front of industry experts around the country, setting the product up for eventual distribution to regions most in need.
“At Mohawk we looked to pivot quickly at the beginning of the pandemic and come up with ways we could help. When we had an idea for a rapidly deployable temporary structure the BIC was one of the first places we turned to. We worked with Ben and Steve to get a prototype setup and from there it has continued to evolve. The BIC has been instrumental in connecting us to incredible individuals and we are now working on deploying these structures into cities and hot spots around the country.” - Tom O’Connor, Vice President, Mohawk Fine Paper
TOP: At the request of the Pittsfield Fire Department, BIC reverse engineered a commercial SCBA full face mask adapter to utilize off the shelf filter cartridges to protect firefighters from COVID-19 exposure BELOW: Working with a BIC Member as they seek to advance a new, highly sustainable product they hope will be a long-term solution to PPE needs. BOTTOM RIGHT: The BIC sent an ultracold freezer – an item hard to come by these days – to BMC for vaccine storage.
Dr. Stephen Sheppard, Williams College
"The diverse economy is essential to weathering economic storms just like a diverse forest with several species of trees enables the forest to prosper and grow in a drought period or [during] a series of rainy years... and that's one of the reasons why I'm so excited about being involved with the Berkshire Innovation Center…I see the BIC as playing a really important and contributing role in building this recovery... I think that supporting , developing, and growing [an] innovative advanced manufacturing capability here in Western Massachusetts is going to be critical for us to get through this. Building local supply chains is going to be essential if we're going to accelerate this recovery."
2020 Educational Programming
Berkshire E-Talent Accelerator
20 Students from Across Berkshire County
This Fall, the BIC launched our Berkshire E-Talent Accelerator program, (BETA) an intensive experiential learning program for High School Juniors and Seniors and recent High School graduates with an interest in pursuing a career in technology or advanced manufacturing. BETA leverages subject matter experts and academic talent from within the BIC membership network and beyond. The curriculum exposes students to STEM career opportunities in the Berkshires, immerses them in fundamentals critical to these career paths, and introduces them to some of the advanced equipment available at the Innovation Center. Students completing the program leave with a practical understanding of STEM career opportunities and a roadmap for achieving these professional goals. They also become part of a growing network of mentors and peers who can support them on their professional journey and keep them aware of opportunities in the Berkshires. This goal is to ensure that our community has the technical talent required to drive business growth, now and in the future.
Students of Color
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE SPONSORS WHO MADE BETA POSSIBLE
Berkshire E-Talent Accelerator
Shirley Edgerton Youth Alive, Inc
Maria Siros Psy.D.
Len Light Lenco Armored Vehicles
Patrick Mead General Dynamics
Justin McKennon EMA
James Comalli Comalli Electric
Allen Harris Berkshire Money Management
Ben Bonnell Neenah Technical Papers
Linda Dulye Dulye Leadership Exerperience
Christopher Kapiloff LTI Smartglass
Krystle Blake General Dynamics
Ty Allen Big Head Books, LLC
Jill McKennon Eversource
Mike Derossiers General Dynamics
James Kupernik VidMob
Tom Hocker SABIC
Stephen Boyd Boyd Technologies
Peter Stasiowski Interprint
Marnie Allen Monument Mountain
Evan Hickok General Dynamics
John Sinopoli Synagex
Vince Lanning Hi-Tech Mold & Tool
Eric Wilmott Starbase Technologies
Beth Mitchell General Dynamics
Scott Longley SolaBlock
Pat Quinlan SolaBlock
Steve Longpre BIC
Thomas Adjai Neenah Technical Papers
Kate Light BIC, BETA Coordinator
Marcus Coleman Raymond James
Berkshire E-Talent Accelerator
Darby Bayne Lenox Memorial
Alec Bachman Monument Mountain
Benjamin Brooks Recent Grad (WPI)
Winter Hardcastle BCC
Morgan Depson Pittsfield High
Liam Brady Recent Graduate
Luisa Huertas Recent Graduate
Jonathan Tran Lenox Memorial
Ashley Moreno Recent Graduate
Brian Howe Taconic
Connor Sultaire Taconic
Grace Towler McCann Tech
Natalie Vizcardo Lenox Memorial
Aiden Kennedy-Mutz Pittsfield High
Connor Mooney Pittsfield High
Julian Escobar Monument Mountain
Marko Iwasiwka BART
Ethan Rudin McCann Tech
John Kozak BART
Alexander Wilson Mt. Greylock
Technology & The Future of Work
96 Students from Across Berkshire County
In the fall, the BIC partnered with new BIC Member EDGI Learning to offer an interdisciplinary course for high school students called Technology & the Future of Work. In this course, students explored the implications of accelerating change, learned to recognize artificial intelligence in our daily lives, and discussed possible solutions to workforce changes brought about by automation. The online curriculum used a range of resources and short pre-recorded lecture videos that allow students to move at their own pace. Students then meet with discussion leaders, often peers, where they engage with real social, economic, and political issues. The course was entirely remote and was open to all Berkshire County public high school students for a minimal charge, thanks to the support of our Community Banking Partners. It was intended to appeal to all â€“ not just those interested in a career in technology or advanced manufacturing, and was designed by Josh Shapiro, a graduate of Monument Mountain who now teaches a similar course at NYU.
People of Color
MADE POSSIBLE THANKS TO OUR COMMUNITY BANKING PARTNERS
Technology & The Future of Work Fall 2020: 96 Students from 11 Districts Charlotte Weiskotten Megan Schrade
Rebbecca Cohen Cordelia Moran
Erin DeCelle Diego Salinetti
Deâ€™Lisia Adomo Jaleixmarie Rosa
Justin Demers Sand Racela
Soumya Boutin Nicole Shanahan
Jackson Smith Olivia Ruggiero
Benjamin Conry Kiera Devine
Owen Brady Emma Boynton Tapan Kansagara
Julian Beadell Lily de Movellan Ruby Citrin
Calvin Hartzell Andrew LaRochelle Oscar Maldonado
Jamie Duquette Randi Duquette Vraj Shah
Korey Chen Lindzie Johndro
Andrew Albert Aaliyah Vargas
Quinn Redpath Sahn Yook
Jessica C Rock Eukeria Asamoah
Nicholas Hill Taryn Bannon Aiden Kline
Dahlia Logan Leo Maldonado Anika Thiemann
Keegan Leach Grace Swartout Marti Cunningham
Rachel Strout Ayanna Moody Bhumi Patel
Amy Desiata Joseph Nichols
Stella Wright Aria Grossman
Emily Roller Valentina Maldonado
Anthony Jimenez Job Vengalil
Matthew Kinney Jack Clarke Aiden Hawley
Evie Grossman Gavin Murrau Timothy Eustis
Calista Nelson Brady Webber Justin Wald
Benjamin Vengalil Makayla Torrey Sidney Moriarty
Elliot Winston Carina Brown
Henry VanSchaick John Covell
Kota Rinaldi Luke Dinan
Maya Kaufman Vienne Peltier
Connor Consolati Ava Garlington Trevor Gilman
Kieran Santos Gavin Santos Connor McLeod
Nadia Makuc Maisie DuFour Christy Rech
Elena Lovieno Levi Kelly-Smith Aiden Aldrich
Brandon Demers Isabella LaCasse
John Arias Abbey Boyd
Felicia LaRoche Abigail Rudin
Evan Poplaski Lucie Mazursky
Transformative Technologies and Their Effects on Work and Society
220+ Course Participants from across the Berkshires and Beyond
In collaboration with OLLL@BCC and 1Berkshire, we offered an 8-session series on Transformative Technologies and their effects on work and society. This course featured 30+ speakers and panelists, who are thought leaders on topics such as artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and robotics. These technologies are having a major impact on the nature of work, labor markets, education, training, economic development and many other sectors across society, and harnessing them for the development of the Berkshires and other rural communities across America is critical to our regionâ€™s future. The series was aimed at OLLI, 1Berkshire, and BIC Members, as well as students and faculty at our academic partners. It aired on Thursdays starting in September and was also available on demand. As intended, the series launched a broader conversation which we are planning to continue with a monthly speaker series and more.
Minutes of Original Content
Speakers / Panelists
COURSE OFFERED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR FRIENDS FROM:
Transformative Technologies and Their Effects on Work and Society Session One - Where Are We Now and How Did We Get Here? Elizabeth Reynolds | Director of the Center on the Work of the Future at MIT Stephen Boyd | President of Boyd Technologies and Board Chair of the Berkshire Innovation Center
Session Two - How Different Countries Respond to New Technologies Professor Henric Johnson | Counselor for Science and Innovation, Swedish Embassy (DC) MA State Senator Eric Lesser | co-author of The Future of Work Policy Proposals for the Modern Economy Dr. Hyeon Yeo | Professor at George Mason University and consultant to the World Economic Forum
Session Three - Enabling Infrastructure in the US to Deliver Technology Solutions Matthew Dunne | Founder and Executive Director of the Center of Rural Innovation MA State Senator Adam Hinds Rep. Smitty Pignatelli | State Representative for Southern Berkshire County Jonathan Butler | CEO, 1Berkshire Jim Lovejoy | Selectman, Mt. Washington, MA
Session Four - The Future of Smart Manufacturing Farhad Vazehgoo | Acting Director, Advanced Manufacturing Programs, MassTech Douglas Crane | Founder and Managing Principal, New Dalton Group Jeffrey Morse | Roll-to-Roll Fabrication Director, UMASS Amherst Institute for Applied Life Sciences Justin McKennon | Principal Scientist, Electro Magnetic Applications Brianna Schaeffer | Vice President of Program Development, Boyd Technologies
Session Five - The Future of Education Carla Meskill | Professor of Educational Technology, SUNY Albany Ellen Kennedy | President of Berkshire Community College Tyler DeWitt | Online Educator Maud Mandel | President of Williams College Jake Eberwein | Berkshire County Educational Task Force
Session Six - The Future of Healthcare Michael Miller, MD | Healthcare and Life Sciences Policy Consultant Gordon Josephson, MD Christopher D. Sprowl, MD | Interim Medical Director, Community Health PR William Young | Chief Information Officer at Berkshire Health Systems Joe Diver | Director of Digital Transformation at Baystate Health
Session Seven - The Societal Impact of These Technologies Alexis Wichowski | Deputy Chief Technology Officer, NYC and author of The Information Trade Gerol Petruzella | MCLA Professor and Associate Director of Academic Technology Anthony Haynes | SUNY Albany Law School Professor Ethan Zuckerman | Director of the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure at UMass Amherst Nicholas Carr | author
Session Eight - Where Do We Go From Here? Jim Fallows and Deborah Fallows | co-author of Our Towns Ben Lamb | 1Berkshire Laura Brennan | Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Ben Sosne | Berkshire Innovation Center Carrie Holland | Mill Town Capital
STEM Week 2020 STEM Week is an annual statewide effort to boost the interest, awareness, and ability for all learners to envision themselves in STEM education and employment opportunities, and compliment the formal instruction happening in the Commonwealth beyond STEM week. This year, the theme for the annual statewide STEM Week was “See Yourself in STEM,” with a particular focus on the power of mentoring. In an effort to introduce the Innovation Center and some of our members to students across the region, we went “Live from the BIC” and kicked off each morning of STEM week with award-winning guest host Jeremy Brisiel. Jeremy held interviews with various BIC stakeholders, including Dr. Mark Sprague from Berkshire Health Systems, Steve Longpre from the BIC, Lenny Light from Lenco Armored Vehicles, Brianna Schaeffer from Boyd Technologies, and Justin McKennon from Electro Magnetic Applications.
Days of Original Programming
2,400+ Views Online
Hours of New Content
OFFERED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR FRIENDS FROM:
Core Services & Resources
The New Facility
The new 23,000 sq. ft. facility is designed to maximize interaction, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas and expertise. We provide shared access to advanced technology and state-of-the-art training, conferencing, and lab facilities, and encourage mentoring and education.
A Growing Network In networks, we find self-reinforcing virtuous circles. Each additional member increases the network's value, which in turn attracts more members, initiating a spiral of benefits.
A core component of our services is to be an extension of the R&D capabilities of our industry and academic partners. We highlight new technologies and provide examples of how organizations can adopt such technologies to improve their quality, productivity, and resiliency. Our R&D center is also a learning lab for our students and educational partners. In 2020, several pieces of equipment previously purchased by Berkshire Community College was moved, installed, calibrated, and upgraded and will eventually fuel member usage and programming. We were also awarded two separate Massachusetts Skills Capital Grants, which have allowed us to purchase a large format 3D printer and a metal 3D printer. In early 2021, we will be applying for a significant grant to the U.S. Economic Development Administration for additional equipment. Currently capabilities include: Boss Laser- Laser Cutter, Big Rep Pro Large format 3D printer, Formlabs Form 3 Low-force stereolithography technology 3D printer, Markforged Mark 2 Desktop 3D printer, MakerBot Method X Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printer, and a Stratasys 1200 Fused Deposition Modeling Technology 3D printer. 24
STEM Media Lab
When the pandemic hit, we quickly accelerated the launch of our STEM Media Lab. This project will evolve and grow, but the goal is to occupy a space at the intersections of digital media, technology, and advanced manufacturing. As a start, we have evolved the BIC into a flexible high-end production studio, with capabilities ranging from live broadcast to a complete suite of virtual event types. As needs in communication become increasingly virtual, it is paramount for companies to deliver content and engage with their customers, partners, teams, and audiences with production value and expertise. We have invested in high-end video and audio equipment and have access to a full-run of professional media services through existing members and strategic partners. From product demos to costumer testimonials to virtual meetings and multi-day events, our intention is to provide turn-key capabilities and talent and take advantage of our available space and high-speed internet to meet the needs of our members. We believe there is also a tremendous opportunity to incorporate our media lab capabilities into our education programming. The line between digital media, digital analytics, and coding and programming continues to blur and we continue to hear from students whose interests in these areas overlap. There is incredible expertise in this space in our region and we see a path towards building a program that trains for hi-tech jobs, allows students to work with our member companies, and also creates content that showcases the technology and manufacturing sector in our region. Critically, the content generated will tell our story and will help to change perceptions in the community with regard to career paths and opportunities in technology and advanced manufacturing.
Thanks to a grant from the Mass Development Collaborative Workspace Program, we will be developing a member accessible virtual and augmented reality Simulation Lab in a dedicated room at our facility. The lab, which is scheduled to open in Spring 2021, will provide our industry and academic members access to a wide range of equipment and software that will enable them to develop cutting edge custom applications of specific value to our diverse manufacturing, education and healthcare communities. We plan to explore and develop applications for skills assessment, employee training, and applied research in virtual and mixed reality technologies in industries including plastics molding, rapid prototyping, CNC machining, medical device manufacturing, safety training, additive manufacturing, robotics, construction, aerospace and defense engineering. BIC staff has conducted dozens of interviews and use assessments with its members, collegiate research partners, public educators and regional municipal agencies, including the Pittsfield Fire Department, identifying applications including First Responder Operations (HAZMAT), Basic Fire Extinguisher Training, Forklift Operator Training, Hazard Recognition, Fall Protection and Pipeline & Natural Gas Leak Emergency Response. Several members are developing or are interested in developing applications including Neenah Performance Materials, General Dynamics, Boyd Technologies, EMA, Dive Technologies, and Berkshire Community College. BIC Members with digital media expertise, including VidMob and Digital Eyes Film have also expressed interest in collaborating. The technology and use case was advancing quickly prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pace has now accelerated rapidly as more and more companies around the globe turn to this technology to adapt and thrive. This facility will give Berkshire County access to this important tool.
The Brand & Platform The BIC seeks to be a platform for our sector, our region, our members, and our partners. As we work to change perceptions about our industry, highlight achievements and milestones, and promote events, job opportunities, and areas of growth, we are constantly looking to expand our audience and our reach. There is a lot to share and a lot to be proud of, and we want to make sure our message is heard. To that end, we have been issuing a weekly newsletter and are very active on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. We also launched a YouTube Channel and are working very hard at growing our followers and driving more “clicks” to our website and the websites of our partners. There is a lot of “noise” out there these days, but our work is paying off and more and more people are following us, sharing our updates, and helping us spread our message.
Newsletter Thanks to the Support of:
BIC Member Portal We recently launched our BIC Member portal, which is fueled by Nexudus, a leading white-label management software for co-working and flexible spaces. Our goal is for the BIC to run as smoothly and as efficiently as possible, so that our organization and our member organizations can thrive. The portal allows members to manage their bookings, visitors, and invoicing, view upcoming events and floorplans, reserve meeting rooms, access a member directory, check into the facility, and communicate with others in the network. From the BIC administration side, we can streamline invoicing and accounting, automate tasks and reminders, communicate easily with our users, and easily pull-up comprehensive reports on member and visitor usage. All of the member and administrative features can also be accessed via a mobile app available for Android or IPhone.
Leadership & Industry Members
2020 Board of Directors
February 28, 2020
The 2020 Board of Directors, joined by State and Local Officials at the BIC Grand Opening February 28, 2020. Front row, left to right: Lauren Liss – Mass Development, Ellen Kennedy – Berkshire Community College, Stephen Boyd – Boyd Technologies, Ben Sosne – Berkshire Innovation Center, Asish Ghosh – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, David Allen – Sinicon Plastics. Middle row, left to right: Jesse Cook-Dubin (counsel) – Cohen, Kinne, Valicenti, & Cook, Doug Crane – New Dalton Group, Adrienne Wooters – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Peter Reinhart – UMass Institute for Applied Life Science, Lt. Governor Karen Polito, Mayor Linda Tyer, Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Stephen Sheppard – Williams College, James Galipeau – Intertek PTL, Bryon Sherman – Smith Watson & Co. Back row, left to right: Secretary James Peyser, David Valicenti - Cohen, Kinne, Valicenti, & Cook, Secretary Michael Kennealy, Brian Johnson - Mass Medic, Peter Stasiowski – Interprint, Governor Charlie Baker, Senator Adam Hinds, Alan LeBihan – Unistress Corp., Scott Lundy – Sonoco Plastics, Phil Dore – General Dynamics Mission Systems, James Brosnan – McCann Technical School. 30
2021 Board Appointees Thomas Adjei is the Director of R&D and New Business at Neenah Technical Papers. He has spent most of his professional career doing research and development for companies in Berkshire County, currently with Neenah Technical Papers and previously with Crane & Co. He earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah’ University of Science and Technology, Kumasi and his MS in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech. He also has a Masters of Business Administration from MCLA and completed the Design Thinking Executive Program at MIT. Thomas also serves as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Christian Assembly Church in Pittsfield.
Adrian Dion is the Chief Operating Officer of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. In this position, Adrian ensures the Foundation and its many programs have the talented staff and effective systems in place to grow the organization and operate efficiently. She has steered dynamic change at the Foundation, managing a global team and an annual budget of more than $50 million. Adrian has guided the explosive growth of the Foundation’s flagship program, PJ Library, which distributed the gift of children’s books to 20,000 children in the United States when she began and now serves nearly 700,000 children a month in 30 countries. Adrian blends efficacy, good humor, and kindness to empower teams across the Foundation. She now lives in Northampton, MA, but was raised in the Berkshires and visits often. Adrian has an MBA and a BA in psychology.
James Kupernik is the chief technology officer for VidMob, leading the engineering team in building the best-in-class, scalable, intelligent creative platform. Before joining VidMob, James was VP of operations and technology at UpSnap, where he directed the teams responsible for delivering mobile ad campaigns across the largest real-time bidding exchanges. Prior to that, James was director of technology for Raceway Media, helping extend its motorsports classifieds platform as a white-label solution to companies including ESPN Outdoors, NADA, and Cycle Trader. Earlier in his career, James was a senior web engineer at Country Curtains and served as webmaster for Studio Two, developing their online offerings. Outside of the office, James has been the choir director at First Baptist Church in Pittsfield for over 10 years, enjoys traveling with his wife, cycling, and enjoying all the Berkshires has to offer. Justin McKennon is a Principal Scientist with Electro Magnetic Applications, Inc. and is an industry recognized leader in understanding and simulating electromagnetic and space effects. He obtained his Bachelors degree and Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He holds an FAA Designated Engineering Representative license in all lightning disciplines. His areas of expertise are in lightning effects on aircraft and structures, etc., finite element analysis, electromagnetic interactions with materials, and space radiation effects. He has published many papers across these disciplines. He has previously worked for large defense contractors, and recently served as the Chief Engineer of NTS Lightning Technologies. Justin was instrumental in bringing to fruition the BETA program at the Berkshire Innovation Center. 31
2020 Industry Members Standard Members – Large Companies https://gdmissionsystems.com With offices around the country, including one in Pittsfield, General Dynamics Mission Systems is an industry leader in the design and production of cutting-edge electronic defense systems. GDMS utilizes the BIC for meeting and training spaces and recruitment efforts, is represented on the BIC board, and was to host a very large supplier day event at the BIC in August 2020. Multiple GD employees participated in the BETA program and GDMS will be critical as we grow our simulation lab and expand our company specific trainings and recruitment programs. GDMS also sponsored our Grand Opening and our weekly newsletter.
http://www.neenahperformance.com Neenah Performance Materials is an international company that manufactures advanced paper and related products as well as providing an array of custom solutions such as printing and color matching to meet their clients' needs. Neenah participated in our BETA program and will be part of our continuous improvement consortium. They are involved in the simulation lab and had planned to use both the meeting and event spaces and the wet lab. We also helped them explore utilizing their materials for gowns on other PPE products. Director of R&D, Thomas Adjei, is one of the newest members of the BIC Board of Directors.
http://www.boydtech.com Based in Lee, MA, Boyd Technologies is a materials science and advanced manufacturing company specializing in single-use medical devices made from their innovative materials. Boyd Tech utilized the BIC as a resource as it pivoted its operations to play a key role in the State’s PPE response. They will utilize the rapid prototyping equipment, the wet lab, and the meeting and event spaces. They participated in the BETA program, STEM Week 2020, and the joint course with OLLI on transformative technologies. They hosted a premiere of their docu-series from the BIC and have helped to launch the STEM Media Lab. CEO Stephen Boyd is the BIC’s Board Chair.
2020 Industry Members Standard Members â€“ Large Companies https://www.interprint.com Interprint is an international corporation specializing in the design and production of specialty dĂŠcors that are used on wood-based panels to provide cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing surfaces and furniture. Their vertically integrated structure allows them to control the entire production process of their dĂŠcors, allowing for high-quality products to be made at an efficient pace. They participated in our BETA program and will be part of our continuous improvement consortium. They will utilize our meeting and event spaces, equipment room, and the STEM Media Lab. Peter Stasiowski is the Vice Chairman of the BIC Board.
http://www.neenahperformance.com Lenco is a manufacturing company in Pittsfield, MA specializing in the development and production of specialized armored vehicles for fire departments, emergency medical services, and police and armed forces. Their signature vehicle, the Bearcat, was at the BIC for our Grand Opening. Lenco was featured in STEM Week 2020, are part of the continuous improvement consortium, and were a sponsor and major contributor to the BETA Program. They are also a key partner in a grant proposal recently submitted to the US EDA, meaning we hope to engage with them on a very significant R&D project in 2021.
https://www.sonoco.com Sonoco Plastics is an international manufacturing company that specializes in the production of a massive array of various packages and protective elements for food companies, material industries, and specialty manufacturers. They are also very committed to sustainability and green manufacturing by maximizing process efficiency and minimizing waste. They participated in our Grand Opening events and we hope to include them in our continuous improvement consortium and an R&D project we are piloting with another injection molder. We are also exploring a training program with them specific to their sector. Scott Lundy represents Sonoco Plastics on the BIC Board.
2020 Industry Members Standard Members Members â€“ Large Companies Standard https://milltowncapital.com Mill Town Capital is an investment firm with a mission of improving life for citizens of the Berkshires through strategic local investments. With a permanent office in the Berkshire Innovation Center, Mill Town Capital has made a commitment to funding innovative startup ventures that will help revitalize Berkshire industries. In 2020, among other things, they purchased the historic Bousquet Ski Mountain and have made tremendous efforts to advance the snow making technology and the technology key to the visitor experience. They utilize the BIC meeting spaces and we hope to do a project in our STEM Media Lab. http://www.vidmob.com VidMob is an international company whose Agile Creative Studio digital marketing platform allows users to not only design creative, story-based ad campaigns, but also to access an impressive and unique suite of data designed to further improve those campaigns. VidMobâ€™s chief technology officer, James Kupernik, is a Berkshire County native and has built the companyâ€™s engineering department in Pittsfield. VidMob was key in developing the BETA program and is working with the BIC and MCLA to bring additional coding courses to the Berkshires. We also see the VidMob team playing a big role as we move forward with our STEM Media Lab and our Simulation Lab. James is 2021 appointee to the BIC Board.
https://www.mohawkconnects.com Mohawk is North America's largest privately-owned manufacturer of fine papers and envelopes which are preferred for commercial and digital printing, social stationary, and high-end direct mail. They have a history of innovation dating back to 1931 and have recently engaged the BIC as they advance a new solution to hospital overflow and disaster relief scenarios. They used the BIC facility for R&D and to showcase their new product and used the BIC network to move quickly in an industry that they are not intimately familiar with. We see additional R&D projects in the future with Mohawk, particularly around their desire to mold fibers for unique applications. They will also utilize our STEM Media Lab and will hopefully join our continuous improvement consortium.
2020 Industry Members Standard Members – Large Companies
https://siniconplastics.com Sinicon Plastics is a manufacturing company in Dalton, MA that specializes in the production of high quality, custom plastic parts that are specified to their clients’ needs. With a wide variety of resin and filler materials and an even greater variety of molding, tooling, and machining equipment, Sinicon Plastics can produce incredibly advanced and precise plastic parts. David Allen is a longtime member of the BIC’s Board of Directors and advises on equipment purchases. Sinicon will be critical as we bring on our metal additive capabilities and their team is working with the BIC’s operation manager on a very focused R&D project for 2021.
Standard Members – Small Companies http://www.ema3d.com Electro Magnetic Applications, Inc. is an international company that specializes in understanding the effects of various electromagnetic phenomena such as lightning or nuclear EMPs on military and civilian vehicles and equipment. Their Pittsfield division is headquartered at the BIC, where have an office and have built their unique aerospace testing chamber. They utilize all resources at the BIC – from conferencing rooms to the wet lab to our rapid prototyping tools. Principal Scientist Justin McKennon was the driver behind the launch of the BIC BETA program and was recently elected to serve on our Board of Directors.
http://newdalton.com Based in Dalton, MA, the New Dalton Group is a development consulting firm whose mission is to support regional economic growth through business development and the commercialization of innovative technologies. The New Dalton Group’s consulting practices also specialize in strategic planning, as well as supply chain, product, process, and organizational design. Principal Doug Crane, a longtime member of the BIC’s Board of Directors, utilized the BIC’s rapid prototyping lab extensively for R&D on a PPE project in the spring and played an important role in the Fall course offered in conjunction with OLLI and 1Berkshire.
2020 Industry Members Standard Members Members – Small Companies Standard https://divetechnologies.com Dive Technologies is an American veteran-owned small business that produces autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) designed to withstand long operations at oceanic depths. Dive Technologies’ AUV systems are utilized by both commercial and military partners for advanced subaquatic surveillance and reconnaissance. Dive is planning to establish a manufacturing facility in Pittsfield in late 2021 and is currently developing and testing their product in their facility in Quincy. They are utilizing the BIC’s large format 3D printer, the Big Rep Pro, to print test parts and test materials and will partner as we launch our Simulation Lab in 2021.
http://www.rousselet-robatel.com Rousselet Robatel is a French centrifuge manufacturing company whose North American base of operations is in Pittsfield, MA. Rousselet Robatel centrifuges are used for a wide variety of purposes such as chemical extraction, purification, and drying in industries ranging from metallurgy to cannabis. Their centrifuges have been utilized in testing related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group has been one of the primary users of the BIC’s wet lab, both to conduct experiments and broadcast product demonstrations.
https://www.solablock.com SolaBlock is a small startup company whose product is an innovative concrete building block integrated with solar cells allowing for the construction of sustainable energy-producing structures. In an age where corporations such as department and grocery stores rely on cost-effective pillboxes for their buildings, SolaBlock allows these companies to dramatically cut back energy costs with sustainable, green solutions. SolaBlock has built an impressive Berkshire-based supply chain, with partners that include LTI Smartglass, Hi-Tech Mold & Tool, and Cordmaster. They are in talks to expand production and move supplier management operations to Pittsfield.
2020 Industry Members Standard Members â€“ Micro Companies https://edgilearning.com Edgi Learning is offering innovative courses on technology and the future of work to engage high school students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Edgi believes it is crucial for students to grapple with issues that are relevant to the world today and will stay relevant long into the future. Started by a graduate of Monument Mountain, who now teaches a similar course at NYU, Edgi partnered with the BIC to offer their course to nearly 100 area high school students in the Fall of 2020 and are looking to expand in 2021. They will be critical in shaping the BICâ€™s educational platform, as well as the STEM Media Lab and the Sim Lab.
https://digitaleyesfilm.com Digital Eyes Film is a Northampton-based independent media/production company specializing in documentary film, social impact media, independent distribution, and media consulting. They were brought into the BIC early on and have been a critical partner in shaping the expansion of the STEM Media Lab. They have produced hours of original content for the BIC, and since joining the BIC, have engaged with numerous new clients from the Berkshires, including Boyd Technologies, EMA, the Berkshire Museum, and Berkshire Health Systems. They will continue to run point on the STEM Media Lab in 2021.
https://barnstormstudio.wixsite.com/bss3d BSS Additive helps companies convert scrap metals into powder for Additive Manufacturing. A state-of-the-art process converts pre-alloyed CNC chips directly into uniform, high flow rate powders, usable in a wide range of processes including DED, DMLS, SLM and powder bed printing. Founder Steve Longpre is the Operations Manager at the BIC and brings a tremendous amount of industry experience to BIC members and partners. In addition to his R&D pursuits, he is passionate about mentoring young entrepreneurs and students of all ages. BSS will be working on BIC / member project coordinated by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology in 2021
2020 Industry Members Standard Members â€“ Micro Companies https://www.jzjn.us JZJN is an architecture studio focused at the intersection of design, art, and fabrication. JZJN offers services in architectural design, project management, exhibition design, graphics, and custom fabrication. JZJN's unique design perspective merges concept and construction in a meaningful way. They will be utilizing our additive manufacturing equipment for design projects and will be a tremendous asset for our more traditional member companies. They are currently working on a design and install of a BIC member wall.
https://thimble.io Thimble is an online academy that teaches hardware, coding, and technology. With Thimble, kids learn technical skills and build real-world electronics through courses that prepare them for careers in engineering, robotics, and computer systems. One goal is to work with Thimble to build company specific STEM Kits, highlighting Berkshire County companies, that would be available through the Berkshire Stem Pipeline Network managed by MCLA. We see this as a great feeder into our robotics program and STEM initiatives for high school students in Berkshire County.
http://swelloquent.com Swelloquent Arts brings a diverse and talented team that has developed original content series, messaging for campaigns, awards shows, studio shows, and podcasts. Jeremy Brisiel, their Chief Creative, became the face and voice of BIC original programming in 2020, as he hosted STEM Week Live @ The BIC and hosted the final competitions for the BETA Program. A podcast series is in the works and JB will continue to play an important role in growing the STEM Media Lab. He is another tremendous asset that the BIC Network can call upon.
2020 Year in Review from the Berkshire Innovation Center