MANCHESTER — The University of New Hampshire at Manchester plans to select up to 10 Millyard scholars for this fall to help grow the state’s bioengineering workforce and help Millyard efforts in the area of regenerative medicine.
“This is part of what we’re doing to create more enrollment at the school and more graduates that can be involved in the biosciences sector in the state,” Dean Mike Decelle said in an interview Wednesday.
The development of ARMI — the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute — has more than 100 partners and more than $300 million in government and private investment committed. Based in the Millyard, ARMI hopes to commercially produce tissue — and perhaps, one day, organs — to implant into sick and injured people.
Decelle said those in the new Millyard Scholars program would receive merit scholarships of between $5,000 and $15,000 and undertake more internships earlier in their college careers with the expectation of majoring in biotechnology. The Millyard scholars will have access to distinctive seminar classes, research projects and research opportunities with ARMI and BioFabUSA’s ever-growing network of member companies.
“The potential for the Advanced Manufacturing Regenerative Manufacturing Institute is huge,” Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the state Department of Business and Economic Affairs, said in an email. “This is new technology that’s being researched and refined here in New Hampshire. As it advances, this industry is going to draw scientists and support staff from around the country, and the world, that will put Manchester at the epicenter for regenerative tissue manufacturing.”
UNH Manchester is a partner in ARMI’s economic development initiatives. The biofabrication industry combines biology-related research, computer science, materials science and engineering to create an industry for engineered tissue manufacturing, which will restore form, function and appearance to wounded soldiers and reduce the waiting time for organ transplant patients, according to the university.
“ARMI and BioFabUSA have created a need for skilled workers in the biomanufacturing sector,” Decelle said. “Through initiatives like the Millyard Scholars program, we are preparing graduates to meet the demand, which will ultimately have an economic impact on our community and state.”
UNH Manchester has dedicated its sixth floor to new teaching and research facilities in the areas of bioengineering and cellular biology. It will also include incubator space for startup biotechnology firms, which will provide on-site research and internship opportunities for Millyard Scholars.
Last year, Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law a bill that forgives student loan debt for college graduates who work at a regenerative manufacturing organization in New Hampshire for a minimum of five years. The bill also put into effect a 10-year tax exemption for New Hampshire organizations that have at least 75 percent of their business activities in regenerative manufacturing.