PARIS, FRANCE – Friday, September 19, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today celebrated a partnership between the Somerville cleantech incubator Greentown Labs and the French-based global building materials corporation Saint-Gobain and its North American construction products subsidiary, CertainTeed. The announcement was part of Governor Patrick’s Massachusetts-France Innovation Partnership Mission, aimed at strengthening the Commonwealth’s relationships with France in order to create growth and opportunity throughout Massachusetts.
“This partnership between Greentown Labs and Saint-Gobain is further evidence that Massachusetts cleantech companies are competing in the global marketplace,” said Governor Patrick.
Saint-Gobain is Greentown Labs’ first ever corporate sponsor to operate and share a Research & Development test facility at Greentown Labs. Saint-Gobain will be testing new, innovative technologies and make the lab space and its engineers available to member companies.
“At Greentown Labs, our mission is to help cleantech and energy tech startups solve the world’s biggest energy and environmental challenges,” said Emily Reichert, Ph.D., executive director of Greentown Labs. “We believe that the kind of shared-space collaboration and expertise-sharing between a global company like Saint-Gobain and our resident startups paves a new kind of pathway to commercialization with extraordinary potential.”
Saint-Gobain is an established global leader focused on bringing innovation to the field of building materials. The two-year sponsorship agreement will build upon Saint-Gobain’s presence in the Commonwealth and help create connections between Saint-Gobain and the innovative member companies of Greentown Labs that are developing game-changing technologies.
“As a company with 350 year-old roots in Paris and significant business concentrations in Central Massachusetts, we can speak first-hand to the limitless opportunities for collaboration that exists between the flourishing entrepreneurial communities across Massachusetts and France,” said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations. “Through our partnership with Greentown Labs, we seek to work alongside more cleantech start-ups so that we may foster greater innovation that ultimately yields material solutions that can improve the way we construct, sustain and experience the built environment.”
“It will be exciting to see how the partnership between Greentown Labs and Saint-Gobain evolves to help boost job creation and the Commonwealth’s standing on the global clean energy stage,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett.
“As an early supporter of Greentown Labs, MassCEC is excited to see leading global corporations like Saint-Gobain recognizing the value of partnering with Greentown Labs and the more than 50 promising companies and organizations based there,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton. “This type of public and private support for startup companies and centers of innovation will accelerate the development of technologies that will help tackle global energy challenges, while creating jobs in the Commonwealth.”
Governor Patrick highlighted the partnership during a reception at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Paris. The reception was the final stop on Governor Patrick’s Innovation Partnership Mission to Denmark, the United Kingdom and France, which started on September 14. The Innovation Partnership Mission made stops in Copenhagen in Denmark, London in the United Kingdom and in Lyon and Paris, France where the Governor and members of the delegation visited companies and business organizations to expand opportunities between the Commonwealth and the European Union for economic development and job creation in the innovation economy sectors.