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April 13, 2017

WPI gets $5M state grant for new lab

Photo | File PracticePoint at Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Gateway Park in Worcester

Worcester Polytechnic Institute has been given a $5 million state grant for a new healthcare research and product development initiative announced Thursday.

The new center, PracticePoint at WPI, will be established at the college's Gateway Park, which already has several new research and academic buildings. Its total cost includes $9.5 million provided by WPI and $2.5 million from GE Healthcare Life Sciences, headquartered in Marlborough.

The state's $5-million share is split evenly between the governor's office at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, or MassTech.

The center will focus on the development of what it calls cyber-physical health care systems and products, which could interact with people. Devices like robotic diagnostic tools or image-guided surgical robots could improve surgical procedures or rehabilitative care, according to WPI.

PracticePoint at WPI will offer educational and training opportunities for digital health companies to give workforce development training.

The center will bolster the college's already sizable research enterprise. WPI says it spent nearly $25 million on research in the 2015-'16 academic year.

The grant was scheduled to be announced Thursday morning by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, a Republican from Shrewsbury, at a campus event with WPI President Laurie Leshin and Ann Klee, GE's vice president for Boston development and operations.

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