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Research and Development Programs

The State of Maine has a variety of coordinated programs to help start-ups and existing businesses, making it one of the most nurturing environments to grow an entrepreneurial company.  Most of these programs are available to companies in one the state’s seven targeted technology sectors:

  • Advanced Technologies for Agriculture and Forestry
  • Aquaculture and Marine Technology
  • Biotechnology
  • Composite Materials
  • Environmental Technology
  • Information Technology
  • Precision Manufacturing

Maine Technology Institute

MTI funds companies commercializing new products and services.  The grants are awarded based on technical feasibility, commercial viability and economic impact in Maine.

Seed grants of up to $12,500 fund commercialization activities such as market research, intellectual property protection and product development.  These grants are awarded up to six times per year.

Development awards are up to $500,000 and fund activities such as product development, manufacturing scale-up and limited production.

MTI’s Accelerated Commercialization Fund matches other investment up to $500,000 to move a company’s new products to market.

University of Maine

The Bangor Region is also home to the state’s research university, the University of Maine.  UMaine is a world leader in aquaculture, composites, bioproducts, and sensor science research, and has a diverse array of research and education programs.  UMaine goes well beyond simply providing technical services to companies, and actively partners with both early-stage and established companies to develop new products.  Most UMaine research facilities are designed to assist companies with all stages of product development from basic science to pilot-scale manufacturing.

  • Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center is perhaps the best facility in the world for composites and structural materials research and development, developing innovative products for boatbuilding, construction materials, transportation technologies, and wind power.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Center is a one-stop-shop for product development and can assist companies with manufacturing equipment and production processes.
  • Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin, co-located with the US Department of Agriculture Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Research Center, together are one of the largest and most important aquaculture research centers in the world.  Focusing on land-based aquaculture, the Center assists the farming of a wide range of species from sea vegetables to urchins to halibut and cod.  The Center also includes on-site business incubation facilities for private companies.
  • Food Science Pilot Plant is a comprehensive food product development facility.  It can assist companies with new recipes, quality testing, pilot manufacturing and has a sensory testing facility.
  • Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology is a world leader in the development of sensors to detect toxic chemicals and biological threats.  The Center is involved in cutting-edge research in thin coatings, semiconductors and nanoscale devices.
  • Process Development Center has long been the pulp and paper industry’s center for research and development.  The Center is now also a leader in the development of bioproducts such as ethanol and bioplastics from wood fiber and other cellulosic materials.
  • High Performing Computing Research Lab is a large-scale cluster supercomputing facility that allows companies to use time and space for data modeling and warehousing.
  • Target Technology Incubator is a business incubation facility for early-stage technology companies that provides business assistance with all aspects of commercialization such as product development, intellectual property and financing.