This story originally appeared in Boston Business Journal, a sister site of BostInno.
MassRobotics, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering young robotics companies in Massachusetts, plans to expand its footprint in South Boston by up to 35,000 square feet, more than tripling its current space.
The organization was founded in 2016 and opened its headquarters at 12 Channel St. last February. With 15,000-square-feet of space, it already hosts about 30 robotics startups and other organizations. After the expansion, it expects to host up to 80.
The funding for the expansion comes thanks to a $2.5 million grant from the state’s MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which supports projects that will lead to housing production, economic development, and job creation. The money will be used to build out more space that will look much like the nonprofit’s existing facility, which combines an open workshop with conference rooms and a high-tech machine shop.
“Year one has been a tremendous success. MassRobotics is busting at the seams, with every office and lab bench taken,” Tom Ryden, the executive director of MassRobotics, said in a statement. “We provide a center of gravity to Boston’s robotics community, and are truly becoming the epicenter of robotics innovation.”
MassRobotics says the expanded facilities will also include a public events space and a STEM lab meant to introduce local students to the latest technology.
The Baker administration estimates that companies fostered by MassRobotics will create 3,000 jobs and attract $1 billion in investment dollars over the next 10 years.
According to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the state’s economic development agency focused on the innovation economy, the Massachusetts robotics industry consisted of 122 companies with 4,700 employees in 2015. Those companies generated more than $1.6 billion in revenue in 2015.
MassRobotics sponsors include such local companies as Amazon Robotics, iRobot, Draper and Vecna, as well as the Mass Technology Leadership Council, a consortium of tech companies.