The leader of Butte’s new economic study is calling the Mike Mansfield Advanced Technology Center the county’s “secret weapon” for developing industrial entrepreneurship.
Butte-Silver Bow and MSE, the company which runs the facility just south of town, are already working on making the most of it.
Angelos Angelou, who heads the company that delivered Butte-Silver Bow’s $67,000 economic report, advocates pursuing new industrial development by fostering home-grown talent.
MSE already has an incubator program, where entrepreneurs can use MSE space, tools, and technical expertise to produce their products.
Next, it is hoping to open a “maker’s space” – something of an inventors workshop – that can turn ideas into prototypes.
“They have a space that’s basically ideal for manufacturing,” said Kristen Rosa, an administrator in the county’s Community Development office.
Helen Joyce, MSE’s President and CEO, envisions her facility providing a ladder to anyone trying to get an industrial business off the ground; build a prototype, hone its production, then rent space – MSE currently has six tenants – for full-scale production.
“We know there’s a need,”she said. “There’s people kind of starting to come out of the woodwork.”
The incubator program already has two groups lined up.