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Friday, October 4, 2013

Draper 80th Anniversary Celebration with the Community

CAMBRIDGE, MA-- Draper Laboratory celebrated 80 years of service to the nation on September 17th with a luncheon attended by policy makers and leaders from the City of Cambridge and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Center, Draper President & CEO Jim Shields , with Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis and City Councilor David Maher.Speakers at the event included Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis, Massachusetts State Representative Marjorie Decker, Draper President & CEO Jim Shields, Biomedical Systems Group Leader Dr. Jim Comolli, Biomedical Engineer Dr. Joe Charest, and Community Relations Manager Kathleen Granchelli.
Mayor Henrietta Davis kicked off the event with the presentation of a congratulatory resolution from the Cambridge City Council, recognizing the Lab as “a valued neighbor and friend to the City of Cambridge, a partner in our schools, an engaged civic presence in business and community, and an ally in sustainability.”
Next, Massachusetts State Representative Marjorie Decker congratulated Draper with a citation signed by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo “in recognition for 80 years of service to our nation.” She presented it to Jim Shields with State Representatives Jay Livingstone and David Rogers.
Draper’s President & CEO Jim Shields provided an overview on Draper’s founding by Dr. Charles Stark Draper at MIT and the Lab’s 40th anniversary as an independent, not-for-profit organization chartered to do R&D in the national interest and to support advanced technical education. He reflected on the Laboratory’s unique role in bridging technology development between early-stage academic research and for-profit industry.
Since then, Draper has contributed innovative solutions to challenges in areas including defense, space exploration, energy systems, and biomedical applications. Draper is able to rapidly advance the boundaries of science and technology, taking promising emerging technologies from leading research universities and working with sponsors to determine the feasibility of ideas, and ultimately developing first-of-their-kind prototypes. In this way, Draper carries innovative ideas forward and delivers feasible solutions to real world problems to the for-profit industry. Shields attributes Draper’s success to remaining true to Doc Draper’s original intentions – remaining committed to “making things that work.”
Massachusetts State Representatives. Jay Livington (left), Marjorie Decker (second from right) and David Rogers with Draper President Jim Shields. Two examples of current research in biomedical engineering that hold great promise for improving healthcare outcomes for seriously ill patients were presented by Dr. Jim Comolli, who discussed a method to trap respiratory viruses before they are able to infect a person, and Dr. Joe Charest, who presented his research on organ-assist technology for patients with impaired organ function.
Kathleen Granchelli concluded the event, noting Draper’s roots in Cambridge: “We never forget the significance of being rooted in Cambridge…this city provides a unique community, a stimulating Mecca of outstanding leaders and management, robust city services which contribute to the viability of doing business, and the opportunity to work in collaboration with other businesses, civic partners, educational institutions, and the Cambridge schools. As we look ahead, we know the vitality of Cambridge will continue to enrich our business, help to attract new staff, and continue to serve as both a rich foundation for and launching pad to a successful future.”

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