Boston News Roundup: UMass, Infinio, CallMiner, Avid, & More

2/13/13Follow @curtwoodward

Lots going on in the Boston-area innovation scene in the past week.

UMass Lowell has unveiled a new testing center for robots, saying it will aid a growing group of robotics companies in the Northeast. The facility is called the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center. The center is led by Holly Yanco, a computer science professor who also founded the school’s Robotics Lab.

Infinio, a Cambridge, MA-based startup developing data-storage software, has raised a $10 million Series A round of venture financing. The company says its software will help IT managers improve the performance of their virtual storage systems. Investors in the new round were Highland Capital Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners, along with previous investors. The product is expected to be available sometime this year.

—Waltham, MA-based CallMiner, a private company that analyzes speech and writing to help businesses analyze their customer service efforts, has raised about $9.6 million in equity financing, according to regulatory paperwork. The SEC filing shows CallMiner thinks the round might grow to around $12 million.

—The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has awarded $5 million to LabCentral, a new project aimed at increasing the small lab space available for life sciences innovators in the Boston region. The money comes from the state’s 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative approved in 2008. LabCentral has already been operating as a pilot project for two years. It’s led by Johannes Fruehauf and chairman Tim Rowe, whose day job is CEO of the Cambridge Innovation Center.

Avid Technology has a new CEO. The Burlington, MA-based maker of audio and video editing software says Gary Greenfield has stepped down as chairman, president, and CEO. The new CEO is Louis Hernandez, who has been on the Avid board for several years. Greenfield was hired in late 2007 after an interim CEO shuffle, and there was speculation that his background with a buyout firm meant the company might be going private.

That didn’t happen, as Avid stayed publicly traded. But the company’s stock (NASDAQ: AVID) has done poorly, dropping from nearly $30 per share when Greenfield took office to less than $8 today. But Greenfield will still be well-paid: The SEC filing announcing his departure notes he’ll remain on the board, and get his $1 million salary along with a $1.1 million bonus.

MassPRIM, the state’s public pension investment agency, will again target $1 billion in total investments in private equity and venture capital during 2013, Dow Jones reported. The pension board targeted the same amount last year, but wound up investing $736 million, the report says.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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