Photo: Maine Gov. John E. Baldacci

Maine Gov. John E. Baldacci and Maine Technology Institute (MTI) President Betsy Biemann today announced that the MTI Board of Directors has approved a total of $30 million in awards to 14 applicants across Maine.

In November 2007, voters approved $50 million in bond funds to finance capital assets to help individual companies and research organizations, as well as collaborative efforts among them, move new technologies along the research and development path to the market and benefit the Maine economy. MTI manages the Maine Technology Asset Fund (MTAF) and the award process. This is the first of two rounds of competitive awards from the Maine Technology Asset Fund. The MTI Board expects to release a Request for Applications this fall for a second round of awards for the balance of the funds.

The projects that are receiving support today will develop and bring new technologies to market, boosting the state's economy and creating and sustaining good jobs for Maine people," said Baldacci. "These are smart investments in our state's technology sectors to transition to a 21st century economy, building on our strengths. Over the years, these investments have generated new good-paying jobs across our state and leveraged federal funding for path-breaking centers of excellence."

Awards covered projects that are located in all seven of Maine's technology sectors and will help to develop technologies that build on traditional Maine industries in aquaculture, forestry, and agriculture, as well as genetics, nanotechnology, global positioning, high-resolution imaging, and ceramics and composites.

DECD Commissioner John Richardson noted that the applications clearly built on Maine's strengths and demonstrated the potential of collaboration among Maine technology developers to foster economic development across the state. The Commissioner also commented, "The competitive application process of the fund is extremely important because it encourages collaboration among our universities, nonprofit research laboratories and for-profit innovative businesses. Collaboration is proven to bring new technologies from the lab directly to the market, such as our composite technology and its application today in our boat building industry."

A new Request for Applications for the second round of Maine Technology Asset Fund awards will be announced in late 2008. Detailed information about the Fund and the general application process are available on the MTI Web site.