Seaport Becomes a Desirable Location for Innovative Education Facilities and Research
Youthful enthusiasm and years of field-tested experience will now have the opportunity to join forces in the Seaport District thanks to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s decision to lease 6,400 square feet of space at 303 Congress Street. The 71,898 square foot property, which was completed in 2003, is sited directly on the waterfront, adjacent to the Boston Children’s Museum on the Fort Point Channel. The green-glass office building’s proximity to the rapidly developing waterfront, which is slated to become home to some of the world’s largest technology companies and corporations, is one of the key factors behind the Institute’s decision to enter into a seven year lease.
Students who are interested in doing research in robotics, big data, cyber security, and healthcare technology will benefit from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s “Boston Project Center,” as the newly leased space has been termed. The 303 Congress Street location will serve as a hub not only for classes, but meetings with prominent figures from industry. University administrators hope that this approach will foster meaningful and beneficial bonds between promising students and innovative entrepreneurs, creating a direct link between academic studies and real world applications.
This move comes as a part of the so-called “Mass Miracle 2.0,” in which the Seaport’s Innovation District plays a key role. The drive to transform empty waterfront docks and parking lots into a breeding ground for start-ups and venture capital has created an ideal place for students and young entrepreneurs to fuel each other’s goals. The growth in ed-tech, which is broadly defined as a form of learning or teaching that makes use of technology, has been helped by MassChallenge, an organization that leases space in the Innovation and Design Building in Seaport, and is relatively close to the Boston Project Center. Numerous ed-tech companies have rented or leased space in the rapidly developing neighborhood.
While the Worcester Polytechnic Institute is one of the few traditionally academic entities to currently lease space in Seaport, there are plenty of indicators that other learning organizations may either lease space or consider opening branches of their universities in Seaport to take advantage of the booming culture and exchange between industry and academia. The greater Boston area boasts some of the most highly respected universities and colleges in the world, including Boston University, Harvard University, New England College of Business, and Emerson College, among many others. Students with an interest in business, marketing, and technological product development will likely find the Seaport District to be an attractive and beneficial locale for the development of their future careers.
For its part, Worcester Polytechnic believes that the relationships that students foster in Seaport will benefit not only the immediate neighborhood, but the city as a whole. The Institute, which was founded in 1865, is a private research university based in Worcester, Massachusetts.