How Dreams Turn Into Industry 4.0

How Dreams Turn Into Industry 4.0

  • On April 21, 2020

How Dreams Turn Into Industry 4.0

By Lisa Derby Oden, MassMEP Project Development Coordinator

Industry 4.0 is upon us. What does that mean? It refers to the fourth industrial revolution that applies to manufacturing. The first revolution related to mechanization as a result of water and steam power. The second involved mass production and assembly lines using electricity. The third occurred due to computerization and automation. And now the fourth revolution involves transformative technologies of cyber-physical systems that utilize the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, big data and the cloud.

Entrepreneurs spur our industrial evolution forward with their creative, futuristic and purposeful ideas and inventions. Without support, our entrepreneurs would not be able to grow from idea to start-up to growth stages of enterprise. Cue: incubators, innovation centers and accelerators whose purpose is to accelerate the growth and success of startup and early stage businesses. According to the National Business Incubation Association, there are more than 1400 member incubators in the US; and IdeaGist lists 33 incubators and accelerators in Massachusetts.

MassMEP has worked with a number of incubators as follows:

Greentown Labs, Somerville –

Greentown Labs is largest cleantech incubator in North America. Its members are passionate entrepreneurs solving big energy and environmental problems. The startups represent the engineers, business experts, physicists, chemists, botanists, roboticists and other industry pioneers who are working day and night to build the next product to address society’s environmental challenges.

FORGE (, formerly Greentown Learn, was organized to create value for both manufacturing startups and suppliers by forging the connections between them. Executive Director, Laura Teicher, shares, “Forge is the jumping off point for startups and manufacturers. With a pipeline that begins with Greentown Labs, MassRobotics, Mass Challenge, BOLT, MIT and others, we have forged connections resulting in an 80% survival rate. MassMEP has been a great partner in providing referrals to the supply chain for these startups.” In terms of Industry 4.0, innovation drives innovation. Adam Rodrigues, Director of Regional Initiatives noted that many of the SME’s are seeing that these startups could be the future, and so the SME’s are making capital investments in additive manufacturing and other such technologies.

Berkshire Innovation Center, Pittsfield –

The goal of the Berkshire Innovation Center is to enable and accelerate the growth of the manufacturing sector with the ultimate objective of spurring economic growth, job creation, and retention, and investment in the region. The center achieves this by providing advanced capabilities to manufacturers in the Berkshires region – primarily small and medium sized companies (and startups) in life sciences, the life sciences supply chain, advanced manufacturing, and technology.

M2D2, UMASS Lowell, Lowell

The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) is a lifeline for the state’s smaller medical device companies, offering inventors and executives easy, affordable, and coordinated access to world-class researchers and resources at the UMass Lowell and the UMass Medical School campuses of the University of Massachusetts.

Mansfield Bio-Incubator, Mansfield

The mission of the Mansfield Bio-Incubator is to facilitate and assist the creation, growth, and success of the next generation of biotech, pharma, life science, and medical device companies. They provide affordable lab and office space and making cutting-edge technology, services, training, mentoring, and a network of professional advisors available to small biotechnology companies and healthcare-related start-ups.

UMASS Lowell Innovation Hub (iHub), Lowell –

The UMass Lowell Innovation Hub addresses the needs of “open innovation” startups by offering them work and laboratory space and access to office resources in the short term, rather than long-term, expensive business leases. The iHub offers support by providing access to UMass Lowell’s faculty and research resources, as well as collaboration with mentors and sponsors.

To learn more about Growth and Innovation strategies for your startup, company or incubator, contact Tom Andrellos, MassMEP Director of Growth Services,, 508-831-7020.