UMass Dartmouth announces $75,000 pledge from BankFive for further development of Blue Economy initiative

The university-based SouthCoast Development Partnership will use funds to a create regional marine science and technology alliance

BankFive President and CEO William Eccles, Jr. and UMassD Chancellor Robert E. Johnson
BankFive President and CEO William Eccles, Jr. and UMassD Chancellor Robert E. Johnson

UMass Dartmouth and the SouthCoast Development Partnership are happy to announce that BankFive has pledged $75,000 over a three-year period to support regional economic development through identifying Blue Economy-related industry and workforce training opportunities.

The funding from the Fall River-based bank comes at the beginning of the second year of the university’s Southeastern Massachusetts blue economy corridor initiative. Year one of the project produced a report that analyzed the region’s various marine science and technology industries and companies. The second-year will see the creation of a blue corridor alliance that is representative of companies, non-profit organizations, and higher education and research institutions engaged in marine science and technology sectors.

“BankFive and UMass Dartmouth have a shared mission of strengthening the Southcoast community through economic development initiatives. This is an exciting time for the Southcoast and we are thrilled to partner with UMass Dartmouth to better understand the impact of the burgeoning global blue economy on local fisheries, maritime transport, tourism, energy production, agriculture, and others sectors,” said BankFive President and CEO William Eccles, Jr.

“UMass Dartmouth is grateful for BankFive’s vision and commitment to growing our local economy through innovative partnerships in the blue economy,” said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson. “By convening key marine science and technology stakeholders in industry, academia, and government on the SouthCoast and beyond, we will enable our region to become more globally competitive”.

By leveraging the region’s historical strengths in maritime-related industries, UMass Dartmouth and BankFive are committed to empowering the workforce that will fuel new fields like biotechnology, advanced materials manufacturing, renewable energy, oceanography, and underwater robotics and autonomous vehicles.

“BankFive’s support is crucial as we develop plans to transform the region’s economic drivers around the Blue Economy,” said Dave Slutz, Managing Director of Potentia Holdings, LLC and co-chair of the SouthCoast Development Partnership.

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