Nashua awarded $44 million Tech Hub grant for biofab’s ReGen Valley


NASHUA, NH – The city was awarded a $44 million grant, announced Tuesday, which will boost its role in the biofabrication cluster being developed in Manchester.

The Tech Hub grant for southern New Hampshire’s ReGen Valley was part of $504 million the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration announced for 12 regions across the country Tuesday. 

Southern New Hampshire was designated one of 31 national regional Tech Hubs in October, and the development of ReGen Valley, the Nashua-Manchester ecosystem for regenerative technology.  The Tech Hubs Program is a flagship initiative of the Biden administration to invest in and grow the economies in communities across the country, advancing America’s global leadership in critical technologies, and strengthening our national and economic security.

The region’s biofab cluster – businesses focused on developing and manufacturing regenerative tissue and organs – is expected to create up to 9,000 jobs and more than 40,000 indirect jobs across southern New Hampshire in the coming years. The initiatives are led by Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) | BioFabUSA and coalition partners of the NextGen Manchester Resiliency Council.

The goal, supported by the Tech Hub grant, is to close the gap between the scientific research and development of regenerative technology to the final destination – getting it to patients. 

“Now we have the full continuum to take great ideas and get them all the way to patients,” Julie Lenzer, ARMI chief innovation officer, told Ink Link in May.

That bridge also includes a $44 million Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant awarded to Manchester in 2022.

ReGen Valley Tech Hub has a consortium of more than 40 organizations, not only in the medical field but also in the community at large. Building the ecosystem is also a community-focused effort, Lenzer said.

“The community said, ‘Let’s make sure we do this right,’ and wanted to become part of the solution,” Lenzer said.

The consortium is a diverse group that includes organizations like the New Hampshire Center for Justice and Equity, Granite YMCA, Southern New Hampshire University, UNH, the state community college system, the New Hampshire Hospital Association, St. Anselm College, Franklin Pierce University, and more.

“Every American deserves the opportunity to thrive, no matter where they live,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in the Tuesday news release announcing the grant. She said the grants, “will ensure that the benefits of the industries of the future – from artificial intelligence and clean energy, to biotechnology and more – are shared with communities that have been overlooked for far too long, including rural, Tribal, industrial, and disadvantaged communities.

“These Tech Hubs will give regions across our nation the resources and opportunities necessary to lead in the economy of tomorrow while creating good-paying jobs for American workers,” she said. For more information and the full list of awardees, visit techhubs.gov.

The Tech Hubs program helps maintain America’s competitive edge by advancing leadership in commercializing critical emerging tech sectors, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in the release. “They’re leveraging the diverse talent and resources that currently exist across the country to achieve this goal,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to President Biden’s commitment to his investing in America agenda, these 12 Tech Hubs will play a critical role in accelerating America’s leadership in the industries of the future, all while creating high quality, family-sustaining 21st century jobs in people’s backyards.”

U.S. Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves was expected to be in Manchester Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., to officially announce the grant.

Phase 1 of the program identified 31 Tech Hubs in geographically diverse, high-potential regions across the country with demonstrated expertise in emergent technology sectors. Collectively, they have attracted more than $4 billion in investment commitments “and catalyzed meaningful public and institutional policy changes that support their strategies,” the release said. 

“In Phase 2, the Tech Hubs developed and proposed projects to propel their growth into globally recognized regions that produce and deliver the technologies of the future,” the release said.

Overall, consortia membership grew by 50 percent since the Hubs were designated in October 2023, and over a third of consortia members are industry partners, demonstrating strong community support. If subsequent funding becomes available, EDA plans to invest in additional Tech Hubs, keeping this innovative program’s momentum going for decades to come.

The Tech Hubs Program was authorized by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, a key part of Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which he signed into law in August 2022. The statute authorized $10 billion for the program over five years. To date, EDA has been appropriated $541 million for the program.