The Maine Technology Institute announced this week it has provided more than $1.2 million to four organizations dedicated to growing certain of Maine’s high-potential, technology-enabled industry clusters.
The grants, which come from MTI’s Cluster Initiative Program, were given to organizations supporting Maine’s agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and food production cluster and Maine’s composites and advanced materials cluster.
The Maine Grain Alliance of Skowhegan received $50,000 for a feasibility study that will inventory existing grain drying and storage infrastructure along convenient trade routes, and research technologies and financing options to improve this infrastructure.
FocusMaine, in partnership with Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the Maine Aquaculture Association, received $219,600 to develop business development tools and attempt to unlock access to traditional financing for Maine aquaculture companies.
The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority in Brunswick received $495,165 to develop TechPlace’s Shared Composites Layup Room and Paint Booth for use by TechPlace tenants and other scale-up composites companies.
The University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center received $438,046 for the establishment of a Smart Materials Industry Consortium and Smart Materials Lab in Orono.
“These projects leverage significant support and leadership from the private sector and will advance and stimulate economic activity in two strong clusters in the state of Maine,” Brian Whitney, MTI’s president, said in a statement. “They will enhance collaboration between public and private sector entities, improve our innovation infrastructure to increase Maine’s competitiveness, and help emerging companies gain access to capital that will lead to the development of new businesses, products, processes, skilled workforce, and jobs.”
MTI, created by the Maine Legislature in 2000, provides funding to Maine entrepreneurs operating in one of seven target industries: aquaculture and marine technology, biotechnology, composite materials, environmental technologies, forestry and agriculture, precision manufacturing, and information technology.