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Senator Spilka and Tech Hub Legislative Caucus Discuss Big Data

June 5, 2014

State House Event Highlights Role of Advanced Analytics In Addressing Challenges Across the Commonwealth

The Massachusetts Tech Hub Legislative Caucus this week hosted legislators, staff and a diverse set of technology executives and entrepreneurs for an event focusing on the impact that Big Data is having on industries across Massachusetts, Caucus co-chair Senator Karen Spilka announced. The meeting was part of the on-going efforts of the Tech Hub Caucus to engage with the tech community and encourage conversation and collaboration between legislators and tech industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

A packed room for the Tech Hub Caucus's Big Data event.

A packed room for the Tech Hub Caucus’s Big Data event.

During the event, held on Wednesday, June 4th at the State House, legislators and business leaders learned about the economic and workforce impacts of the Massachusetts Big Data sector, which encompasses a range of advanced high-speed computing industries and industry-specific data analysis firms. The discussion also focused on the role of public policy in helping to drive the future success of the Big Data economy and further Massachusetts’ leadership in the sector, both nationally and globally.

“Today’s discussion highlighted some of the many ways that the tech sector and Big Data are driving innovation and economic growth in Massachusetts,” said Senator Spilka. “Technology is being used to solve real problems in government, infrastructure, energy and health care, and continued collaboration is key for understanding, identifying and leveraging future opportunities.”

Senator Spilka kicks off the Tech Hub Caucus event.

Senator Spilka kicks off the Tech Hub Caucus event.

The event brought together a diverse cross-section of companies and leaders that are using Big Data to drive innovation in their respective fields. Chris Goode, Vice President Global Corporate Affairs & Chief Public Affairs Officer at EMC, kicked off the event with background on the Massachusetts Open Cloud Project, a university/industry collaboration designed to create a new public cloud computing infrastructure to spur big data innovation. Jon Louis, Global Big Data Evangelist at EMC, presented a keynote address on “Big Data 101” to explain the use, value and opportunity for Big Data in Massachusetts.

The event also featured an interactive panel discussion showcasing how Big Data is used to solve problems in different industries in Massachusetts. Members of the panel, moderated by Donna Cupelo, Region President of Verizon New England, included:

  • Secretary Richard Davey, Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • Dr. Peter Tippett, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Verizon
  • Micah Remley, Vice President of Product Strategy and Technology, EnerNOC
  • Cathy Wissink, Director of Technology and Civic Engagement, Microsoft
  • Tom Hopcroft, President and CEO Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council

Massachusetts has emerged on the leading edge of the Big Data revolution over the past decade, due to collaboration among leading universities, companies and professionals in the Commonwealth’s innovation sectors. This Big Data “Super Cluster” generates technologies and innovations that can fundamentally change how we use information to analyze and solve problems in health care, energy, transportation, public safety and state and local government.

A recent report on the Commonwealth’s Big Data ecosystem published by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the Mass Competitive Partnership highlighted nearly 500 Big Data companies, 10 research centers, over 6,000 computer science students yearly, $20 million dollars in federal grants, over 5,000 Big Data patents and more than $2.5 billion dollars invested in Massachusetts-based Big Data companies since 2000. The report also noted that the sector expects to deliver nearly 3,000 new Big Data jobs in the Commonwealth over the course of the next year.

The Tech Hub Caucus event was organized by Caucus co-chairs Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester) and the Massachusetts Tech Hub Collaborative, in partnership with many of the state’s most prominent technology industry associations: Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC), Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX) and TechNet.

Charged by Governor Deval Patrick to serve as stewards of the state’s overall technology sector, the Collaborative brings together a cross-sector of leaders to address mission critical issues for tech’s future growth in the state. The Tech Hub Collaborative is supported by the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (, an innovative public agency working with industry, academia and government to improve the innovation landscape through cluster development, research collaborations and other key initiatives.



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