New Grant Delivers AI Expertise to Mass. Companies

Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Massachusetts Technology Collaborative


Innovation Institute at MassTech Awards $200,000 to Northeastern University to support 18 Mass. companies, with an emphasis on startups

Benefit from work with University experts, cutting-edge computing centers

WESTBOROUGH, MASS. – The Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) has partnered with Northeastern on a program that will bring artificial intelligence (AI) to boost Massachusetts businesses.  The award of $200,000 to Northeastern University will support AI Jumpstart, a pilot program launched in April 2021 that will assist 18 Massachusetts companies with projects that will deploy AI to enhance their businesses.
The new grant will allow each startup to work with expert faculty from Northeastern University, Tufts, and Boston University, and projects will benefit from new AI infrastructure supported by a $2 million state grant that boosted high-performance computing capacity at Northeastern.
“As AI evolves, we continue finding new opportunities for small businesses to embrace technology that can enhance efficiencies, improve quality, and drive process innovations,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, chair of MassTech’s Board.  “Through this program’s advisors and computing infrastructure and by joining with our partners in academia, we can strengthen the state’s support for small businesses during an era of rapid technological development and position them for continued success.”
The Massachusetts businesses supported by the program represent a wide range of industries that can benefit from AI, including manufacturing, robotics, healthcare/biotech, transportation, and retail. The projects aim to create competitive advantages for Massachusetts companies.
The 18 companies participating in the program include:

14bis Supply Tracking - Boston

Frictionless Systems – Cambridge, Mass.

Analogic Corporation – Peabody, Mass.

Garment Valet – Boston

AuCoDe Inc. – Granby, Mass.

Keva Health – Lexington, Mass.

Aura Intelligent Systems, Inc. - Boston

Keysight Technologies – Natick, Mass.

AWAYR – Boston

Parrots, Inc. -Boston

BSS Additive – South Hadley, Mass.

PredictAP - Chestnut Hill/Newton, Mass.

Cleo Robotics – Boston

Transmural Systems – Andover, Mass.

E-Green LLC – Cambridge, Mass.

WatchRx - Acton, Mass.

Fluid Screen – Beverly, Mass.

Worthington Assembly - South Deerfield, Mass.

“We’re pleased to see the geographic impact that this program will have, impacting businesses from Boston to the Berkshires,” said Pat Larkin, Director of the Innovation Institute at MassTech. “This program will show the impact AI can have on our ‘Made in Massachusetts’ companies, showing that AI isn’t only for large, global corporations, but for small businesses looking to innovate and grow.”

Michael B. Silevitch, the principal investigator of AI Jumpstart said, “The AI Jumpstart program is a powerful model of collaboration between industry, academia and the Mass Tech/John Adams Innovation Institute. It will begin with an AI focus but can ultimately expand to encompass other transformative areas of technology.”
“Northeastern is a leader in artificial intelligence with accomplished faculty conducting innovative work across its many disciplines. The AI Jumpstart program is an example of Northeastern’s research strength in this area and its commitment to support industry and contribute to the advancement of society,” said David Luzzi, Senior Vice Provost for Research and Vice President of the Innovation Campus.
“The College of Engineering is proud to be leading this engagement between world-class researchers in AI and critical industries in Massachusetts. It is a reflection of years of commitment to use-inspired research, experiential learning, and a promise for continued innovations to impact our economy and society,” said Gregory D. Abowd, Dean of the College of Engineering at Northeastern.
“AI Jumpstart was a phenomenal program to establish connections and help incorporate AI to advance patient care for respiratory monitoring, with the potential to impact lives of millions of patients,” said Jyotsna Mehta CEO and Founder of Kevahealth.
Jungah Lee, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Aura Intelligent Systems, Inc. said, “Aura is tackling the interference problem in radars and communication systems that share an increasingly congested wireless spectrum. Through the AI Jumpstart program, Aura is investigating spectrum cognition to further advance our digital imaging radar technology, in collaboration with faculty and students at Northeastern University led by Carey Rappaport and Tommaso Melodia. Our vision is to allow multiple radio functions to share the spectrum harmoniously for safe autonomous driving and urban air mobility.”

The companies supported through the program benefit from the computing infrastructure supported by the $2 million R&D grant announced by MassTech in April 2021, which was matched by $2 million from Northeastern. These investments supported the design and purchase of multi-architecture computational clusters that provide the required scale and variety of computing resources for the projects. These clusters add to existing systems in place at Northeastern’s $25 million Colosseum facility, the world’s largest wireless emulator, and the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke, Mass., a joint venture between Northeastern, Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Massachusetts.
About the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative
The MassTech Collaborative is a quasi-public economic development agency that strengthens the competitiveness of the tech and innovation economy by driving strategic investments, partnerships, and insights that harness the talent of Massachusetts.  The Innovation Institute is the division of MassTech that advances its core mission of innovation and cluster growth across the Commonwealth.  Created in 2003, the Innovation Institute intervenes in the economy in the following four ways:
  • Conducts research and analysis that improves the state’s understandings of unmet needs and opportunities in the innovation economy;
  • Serves as convener and key strategic broker on the landscape;
  • Manages high-value projects on behalf of the Commonwealth; and
  • Makes strategic investments in support of innovation-based economic development.
About Northeastern University
Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university and the recognized leader in experience-driven lifelong learning. Our world-renowned experiential approach empowers our students, faculty, alumni, and partners to create impact far beyond the confines of discipline, degree, and campus.
Our locations—in Boston; the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant; Charlotte, North Carolina; London; Portland, Maine; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Toronto; and Vancouver—are nodes in our growing global university system. Through this network, we expand opportunities for flexible, student-centered learning and collaborative, solutions-focused research
Northeastern’s comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate programs—on-campus, online, and in hybrid formats—lead to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools. Among these, we offer more than 140 multi-discipline majors and degrees designed to prepare students for purposeful lives and careers.
Media Contact:
Brian Noyes, MassTech Collaborative, C: 206-755-1509