Research and Development
Francisco J. Martinez arrived to Lawrence, MA in January 1990 at age 19 from his native Colombia. Shortly thereafter he began working at the local textile factory, Polartec LLC, as a union employee. His career rapidly progressed from cleaning the factory floors on the night shift to fork lift driver and eventually operating large textile machinery. At the same time, Mr. Martinez participated in the company’s tuition reimbursement program and attended evening classes at Northern Essex Community College, Merrimack College, and UMass-Lowell. He eventually transferred and earned his BS degree in Management and Leadership at Franklin Pierce College.
In 1996, after the devastating fire at Polartec he was promoted into a managerial position and rose through the ranks to become one of the youngest division managers in Polartec's history at age 28.
Mr. Martinez left Polartec in 2003 and after a short stint in retail, he joined the US Army-Natick Soldier Center where he became a leading Product Development Engineer and Project Officer. It was at Natick were he found his love and passion for developing personal protective clothing an individual equipment to prevent harm on our forces. Mr. Martinez has developed an unprecedented number of new, lifesaving products for the US Army, Marines, and the Special Operation Forces in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Among them the Army Combat Shirt which blended a flame resistant moisture wicking torso with rugged camouflage sleeves for greater Soldier comfort and athleticism under protective ballistic vests. It was featured on the cover of Time Magazine.
In 2009, Francisco left government to pursue his dream of starting his own company and with one of his best friends from the Army launched Protect The Force LLC. The successful company grew and eventually merged, creating a much larger company now called Mission Ready Solutions (MRS) where he is a director and Chief Technology Officer. Francisco helped take MRS public and it is now trading on the Toronto stock exchange. At MRS Mr. Martinez created the Ballistic Combat Shirt in collaboration with the Army and he is now recognized as the primary patent holder. He has applied and has been awarded additional US patents.
Francisco has been instrumental in developing collaborations between academia, the government and technology start-ups. In 2015, as an adviser to MIT's- Advanced Fibers and Fabrics of America Consortium (AFFOA), he advocated to the Governor of Massachusetts, Department of Defense officials and other legislators to help win a multi-million dollar government award to develop a technology incubator in Cambridge.
Mr. Martinez is currently a Senior Technology consultant to the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and advises in maturing Government funded technologies for use in commercial and government applications.
Most recently he was asked to join a planning committee of an MIT sponsored non-for profit, EarthDNA, headed by Dr. Dava Newman (former NASA Deputy). The group will collaborate with the United Nations-Environmental Management Group to create a Global Sustainability Charter of subject matter experts committed to transform their business practices towards achieving a greener world.
Mr. Martinez resides in Wellesley, MA with his wife and best friend of 27 years, Susan English, and with their Daughter Katie. He takes joy in coaching his daughter's soccer team and spending time with his family and friends.