A joint committee of the University of Massachusetts and the town of Amherst got its first look at recommendations Tuesday from a consultant about how the two bodies can work better together.
One suggestion the Town/Gown Committee heard was to create mixed-use developments with student housing and retail space. These could be located on the campus, near the edges of university property, but run as a public-private partnership. Another recommendation is to attract more start-up businesses and to get entrepreneurial graduates to set up shop in town. George Smith is one of the consultants hired by the committee.
“Who from the town is thinking about these small businesses and economic development?,” Smith says. “Who from the university is thinking about how do you make sure that not only we have this kind of research that has some commercialization potential, but how does it get captured here in Amherst?”
The Town/Gown Committee will review the plan and provide its own feedback to the consultants in the next month. The final report is scheduled to be released by the advisors in September.