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FAQ

What is MTI?
The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) is a private, non-profit corporation that offers early-stage capital and commercialization assistance for the research and development of technologies that create new products, processes and services, generating high-quality jobs across Maine. MTI was created by Maine’s legislature in 1999 to promote, stimulate and support research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products and services in Maine’s technology-intensive sectors to increase the likelihood that one or more of the sectors will develop into an economic cluster of activity. (5MRSA 15302)

Is MTI a state agency?
MTI is a private non-profit organization created and funded by the State of Maine. It is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by Maine’s Governor. The Board is made up of industry leaders and representatives of several public agencies that share MTI’s mission of supporting research and development and the commercialization of products and services in Maine’s technology sectors.

Who can I speak with about my idea?
The MTI team is available from 9:00-5:00 M-F to answer your questions about funding and business growth. Please see Contacts for a list of the MTI team members or refer to the individual FUND or GROW programs for staff contact information. Please call 582-4790.

How can I tell if I am a fit for MTI and or a program?
Businesses, non-profit organizations, academic institutions and entrepreneurs with operations in Maine are all eligible for MTI funding through a variety of programs. Each MTI funding program has an application process where applications are reviewed for their criteria. Not Sure Where to Start? can help you assess which program you might explore for funding. Please see individual FUND programs to determine the right fit for your idea and business development phase.

How can I join a Technology Board?
Service on the MTI Technology Boards is voluntary and is open to private sector representatives, scientists and other representatives of the targeted technology sectors. If you are interested in serving on a Technology Board please contact the Chair of the Technology Board, or the Business Innovation Program Manager, Joe Migliaccio. Your interest and background will be reviewed by Technology Board members who will decide whether to accept new members at that time based on that board’s size and skill set needs.

How can I access the funds?
Each MTI funding program has an application process where applications are reviewed for their criteria. Start Here can help you assess which program you might explore for funding. Please see individual FUND programs to determine the right fit for your idea and business development phase.

What is the next step to apply?
Please refer to the individual FUND programs for the application process and deadlines for submission.

What do you mean by a competitive process?
Each MTI FUND program employs an application process whereby applications are reviewed using standard criteria for technical and business review. Funding decisions are made based on the project’s fit to the MTI program and the application’s potential for success. On average, MTI funds one out of every three or four applications.

Is there a way to appeal an MTI decision?
Yes, MTI has a standard appeal policy that is linked here:  MTI Appeal Policy

What sector does my technology belong in?

You can reference the Seven Technology Sectors section to review the targeted technologies. Your technology may fit one or several sectors, or may be a the intersection of sectors. Please feel free to call MTI program staff or submit your question for further information.

Is it a grant or a loan?
MTI awards include both grants and loans depending on the program. Please see individual FUND program specifics for more information.

Is there additional funding available in Maine?
There are other organizations that provide funding to businesses for growth. Please see the Partners and Links list for information.

Is funding limited per program or application round?
No. MTI does not limit the amount of funding dedicated to a program or to a particular application round. Each MTI award program does, however, have a maximum award limit. Please refer to the individual FUND programs for this information.

Does the manufacturing have to take place in Maine?
Awardees must have a significant base of operations in Maine prior to signing their MTI Agreement. The base of operations may include but is not exclusive to business and manufacturing operations, product development support or process improvement activities resulting from the Technology funded by MTI.

How do I determine my pay rate?
All salaries/wages, whether match or paid with MTI funds, must be the actual pay rate, or should NOT exceed the mean hourly wage rates for the comparable category position compiled by the Bureau of Labor and listed at the Standards National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, unless clearly justified. (http://stats.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_alph.htm).

MTI does not have a set rate for consultant/contractor services, or for non-principal project personnel. However, a reasonable rate is expected. MTI staff will verify that the proposed rates are the actual billable rates for the consultant/contractor or other personnel.

What qualifies as in-kind match?
Uncompensated hours or significantly reduced rates compared to reasonable market rates for personnel or external contractors, donated equipment or project expenses, and costs associated with loaned or in-house use of company equipment all qualify as in-kind. In-kind support is not a substitute for the cash match.

Can I count money I’ve already spent as match?
MTI funds cannot be used to recoup sunk costs incurred prior to the submission deadline and these costs may not be recovered or used as match for the MTI Project.

Where can I get help writing my business plan?
In addition to MTI staff, there are a number of programs offered in Maine tasked with assisting you, the Maine entrepreneur. Please click here for a list of resources.

Can I sell my product out of Maine?
Of course!

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