The state of Maine has found an innovative way to find funding to supports its technology industry – the state issued $50 million in bonds and just awarded $30 million in grants, with the remaining $20 million to be allocated this fall.
Funding for the Maine Technology Asset Fund was arranged and made through the Maine Technology Institute, a state-funded nonprofit founded in 1999 that offers early-stage capital and commercialization assistance for the research and development of innovative technology-based projects that create new products, processes and services and generate high-quality jobs across Maine, and announced by Democratic Governor John Baldacci. The organization claims that for every $1 the state invests in technology, $12 are leveraged in additional private and public financing for Maine. In addition, the technology companies it funds buy 32% of their materials and 42% of their services from other Maine companies.
MTI received 66 applications for grants for a total of $113 million, and technologies chosen were built on traditional Maine industries including agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture. In addition, grants were awarded in genetics, nanotechnology, global positioning, high-resolution imaging, and ceramics/composites.
The bond issue was on the November ballot and received 51% of the vote.
Awarded grants include:
Advanced Nanocomposites for the Renewable Energy and Transportation Industries, University of Maine, $5 million
Forest Bioproducts Research Technology Center, University of Maine, $4.8 million
Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, $4.7 million; the lab specializes in studying human diseases and in reproducing mice used by the lab and other scientific institutions
University of New England College of Pharmacy, Portland, $4 million
Seldon Technologies Inc, Old Town, $2.9 million
Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, University of Maine, $2.6 million
Sappi Fine Paper Technology Center, Westbrook, $2.2 million
Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research & Education $1 million