LOWELL -- The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announced Monday that it issued a $50,000 planning grant for Middlesex Community College (MCC) to expand its biotechnology facilities.

According to a press release, the college was granted the funds to complete a comprehensive planning study to identify the best approach for expanding its biotechnology facilities. This will include a clean room to support increased enrollment and workforce development, education and training.

"The college is thrilled with the support this grant will provide to Middlesex to allow us to utilize both industry and technical experts to review and consider updates to our facilities which will benefit our students, our business partners, and the local economy," said MCC President Carole Cowan in a statement. "Biotech is one of the most exciting, successful and dynamic programs we have at the college, and this grant helps ensure that future graduates of the program will find continued success in this critical industry."

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is a quasi-public agency tasked with implementing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, a 10-year, $1-billion initiative that was signed into law in June 2008. The MLSC's mission is to create jobs in the life sciences and support scientific research.