Franklin Earns Gold BioReady™ Rating
Town improves ranking, 64 Massachusetts Municipalities Are BioReady™
October 27, 2010 (Cambridge, MA)—The Town of Franklin was achieved a BioReady™ rating of gold by MassBio today, reiterating the town’s commitment to the industry. The Gold BioReadyTM certificate was presented to Town Council Chairman Scott Mason by MassBio’s Director of Economic Development, Peter Abair, at Franklin’s 2010 Economic Development Summit this morning.
Since initially receiving a Bronze rating in 2008, Franklin officials worked to align town bylaws and zoning to industry needs. Now, biotechnology uses are allowed on specific parcels within the town's Biotechnology Use Overlay District, established by the Franklin Town Council. These parcels are mostly within state certified Economic Opportunity Areas and Priority Development Sites in industrial park settings. With the inclusion of such by-right zoning and by adopting National Institutes of Health guidance for research as part of its Board of Health regulations Franklin raised its BioReady™ rating from Bronze to Gold.
“In a very brief span, Franklin has shown their willingness to work with the biotechnology industry to add jobs and attract investment,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio. “Already home to biopharma industry companies like Thermo Fisher Scientific, we know that Franklin is well-positioned for additional growth in this sector.”
“Franklin includes 1 million square feet of vacant or underutilized buildings in commercially- and industrially-zoned areas, most of which are within the Town’s six economic opportunity areas,” stated Bryan W. Taberner, Franklin’s Director of Planning and Community Development. “With a Gold BioReady™ rating, we hope to attract more of the innovative technology companies that already call Franklin home.”
MassBio, working with MassEcon and a host of regional economic development organizations around the state, inaugurated the statewide BioReady™ Communities Campaign in 2008 for the purpose of providing municipal officials background on the biotech industry and guidance on how to position municipalities as destinations for biotech laboratory and manufacturing facilities.
The system—which ranks communities that meet levels of criteria as bronze, silver, gold or platinum—will help Massachusetts cities and towns market themselves to biotechnology companies looking to expand or relocate.
As part of the Campaign, the MassBio Economic Development Advisory Group (EDAG) developed criteria to both guide communities in their pursuit of biotech facility opportunities and rate them for BioReadiness™ in order to provide each with a tangible marketing tool.
To date, 64 municipalities have achieved ratings. To view full ratings criteria, go to MassBio’s BioReady™ Communities Web page at http://www.massbio.org/economic_development/bioready_communities.
“This initiative is about helping maintain the Commonwealth’s competitiveness as the global leader in biotechnology by increasing the inventory of real and potential biotechnology properties in its cities and towns,” Coughlin said. “We’re thrilled to see so many cities and towns say they are ready for the opportunities that will unfold as the biotechnology industry grows in Massachusetts.”