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1/11/11 - MTI awards over $220,000 fueling Maine entrepreneurs and companies to develop new products and services for market

In its January Seed Grant Awards, the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) Board of Directors awarded over $220,000 in 19 new Seed Grants to innovative entrepreneurs and companies across Maine to advance their innovative technologies and bring new products and services to market. These MTI awards leveraged over twice that much, almost $443,000, from other sources.

Entrepreneurs in this latest round represent communities across the state from Bar Harbor to Hartland to Skowhegan to Sanford and York and represent technologies in the areas of advanced technologies in forestry and agriculture, aquaculture and marine technology, biotechnology, composite materials, environmental technology, information technology and precision manufacturing. A complete list of January’s awardees follows.

“MTI’s Seed Grant program offers core funding to fuel entrepreneurs and companies that are looking to develop and bring innovative products and services to market,” remarked Betsy Biemann, MTI President in announcing the awards. “When they apply, Seed Grant applicants have to prove their idea, compete for funding and match every dollar of MTI funding with at least one dollar of other investment. This round of Seed Grants represents an especially high number of strong applications.”

Seed Grants of up to $12,500 are offered six times a year to support early-stage research and development activities for new products and services that lead to the market. A company may be awarded a total of up to $25,000 in multiple Seed Grants for a specific technology. All projects must fall under one of Maine's seven targeted technology sectors including advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, aquaculture and marine technology, biotechnology, composite materials technology, environmental technology, information technology and precision manufacturing technology.

The next deadline for application is February 10, 2011.  Entrepreneurs with ideas of innovative technologies are encouraged to apply.

MTI is a publicly financed, private nonprofit organization created by the Legislature to stimulate research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products, processes and services in the state's seven technology-intensive sectors. Programs are designed to enhance the competitive position of those sectors and increase the likelihood that one or more of the sectors will support clusters of industrial activity and create quality jobs across Maine. More about MTI at:


January 2011 MTI Seed Grant Awardees


Advanced Technologies for Forestry and Agriculture

Peter Bragdon in Vassalboro, for a Hay Fuel Log

Bragdon will conduct marketing, engineering and feasibility studies on a manufactured fuel made from low quality hay. This technology would add significant value to hay that cannot be sold as animal feed because of its poor feed value. Award: $12,500 Match: $42,202 

Aquaculture and Marine

Time Temperature Integration LLC in Kennebunkport for a Beta Testing for TT-Eye Model 40H

The TT-Eye is a patented, simple, low cost device that monitors perishable goods for temperature abuse throughout the shipping and storage cycles. Funds secured from this MTI grant will be used for TT-Eye beta testing with Maine seafood companies shipping product throughout the United States. Award: $5,000 Match: $5,020


The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor for the Development of a New Lymphoma Drug Discovery Tool

Negative side effects are a major challenge for lymphoma treatment. Functional bioassays that accelerate drug discovery are key to developing more effective therapies. This proposal has two goals: (1) develop and implement a bioassay based on a novel treatment concept; (2) use this assay to identify new candidate therapeutic drugs.  Award: $12,500 Match: $12,994

Pondera Nutraceuticals Inc in Pownal for a Pondera Endorphinate Commercialization Plan

Pondera Endorphinate™ helps restore and maintain a person’s ability to minimize the experience of physical and emotional pain and distress. Pondera will test market Endorphinate and combine this information with market research and financial planning to create a commercialization plan. Award: $12,500 Match: $23,310

Surgical Sponge Manufacturing Inc in Sanford  for Surgical Sponge Manufacturing

Surgical Sponge Manufacturing will develop the specifications for installing a custom automation manufacturing system for neuro and micro surgical sponges. Currently assembled manually, this automation will allow SSM to hold exclusive manufacturing rights with American Surgical Company, manufacturer/supplier of medical sponges. Award: $12,500 Match: $15,143

Composite Materials Technology

Genplex Custom Plastic Extrusions in Skowhegan for Advanced Plastics Composite Extrusion Technology

Genplex will take steps necessary to begin entry into the high margin, high technology based market of engineered resin extrusion with market study and process development. Award: $12,500 Match: $15,750

Applied Ingenuity in Windham for IVPT-IV Pole Transport Device

The IVPT is a long overdue optimization device for the transportation of groups of poles in any setting. The IVPT will increase manpower efficiency by at least 100%. The IVPT will be made out of composite materials and produced by a precision manufacturer. Award: $8,820 Match: $17,100

York Manufacturing Inc in Sanford for York Flash-Vent Technologies

Flash-Vent is a patented drainage plane flashing. It combines flashing materials with an active drainage plane material, which allows it to solve many of the challenges the building industry faces with wall systems/materials. Flash-Vent is a composite material and is in need of materials testing and additional design assistance. Award: $12,500 Match: $38,985

Maine Marine Trades Association in Portland for Offshore Wind Facility Support and Service Vessel

MMTA, MCA and MWII will conduct a detailed market study to identify niche vessels that midsize Maine Boat Builders may be able to fulfill for the British and East Coast US markets in response to the growing offshore wind energy industry. Award: $12,500 Match: $13,050

Environmental Technology

RoyallWear LLC in Richmond for the Redesign & Testing of Hospital Johnny Alternative

Jazzy Johnnys™ will rework its prototype garments and expanding the pilot program of their Jazzy Johnnys™, made from plant fiber fabric of significant interest to the medical field. Award: $12,310 Match: $13,290

Information Technology

Introspective Systems LLC in Brunswick for the Market Research for SIM based Design Product

Introspective Systems will conduct market research for SIM•pleXity™. SIM•pleXity™ to address the need of architect, engineer and facility manager clients for design tools that enable real-time modeling, simulation and control and development of sustainable and green building systems. Introspective Systems applies advanced computational intelligence software to efficiently manage complex data/control systems. Award: $12,030 Match: $12,385

Howell MSI Inc in Westbrook for Howell Multi Spectral Imaging

Howell MSI will use proprietary photographic technology to create digital archives of cultural artifacts for scientific study, reproduction and proof of authenticity. Award: $12,500 Match: $81,976

MeetImpact Inc in York for an Event Recommendation Engine

MeetImpact will use their Seed Grant to develop the web-based system, IMPACT to find the people and information needed to drive the growth of your business. For event organizers, IMPACT helps fill the room faster with more relevant attendees while increasing audience satisfaction. Award: $12,500 Match: $24,625

NuPulse Media in Portland for a Location-based Smartphone App and Social Network

Junctions is a smartphone app and corresponding social platform that compiles location-based multimedia content into an innovative and interactive “Experience Map” environment. This Seed Grant will be allocated to further develop “exMap” technology, build the Junctions web platform, and expand the Junctions app to additional mobile platforms. Award: $12,500 Match: $57,800

Precision Manufacturing

Technological Innovations LLC in Sanford for a New Generation Nano-Carbon Capacitor

Technological Innovations will design, process and assemble a prototype nano-carbon electrochemical capacitor; an advance technology, high energy density, capacitor targeted at a high growth market. Award: $12,500 Match: $15,120

North East Wipers in Hartland for North East Wipers Product and Business Development

The North East Wiper system allows drivers of commercial vehicles to clean side mirrors from the convenience of the cab, enhancing driver productivity and road safety. This grant will be used for market research, a business plan with marketing strategy, and research and development of system components. Award: $12,500 Match: $18,625

Wireless Sensors LLC in Falmouth for Third Generation Wireless Sensor Network Design

Wireless Sensors will use their Seed Grant for finalization of electronics, firmware and housing design for a third generation wireless sensor product family utilizing patented self configuring, self healing mesh network topology with speed spectrum frequency hopping radios.  Award: $12,500 Match: $12,500

Spelt Right Inc in Yarmouth for Spelt Right Former/Divider Redesign

This grant will be used for precision manufacturing technology to assist Spelt Right to become more efficient in its production of spelt bagels. Spelt Right seeks to have bagel equipment – a divider and former – redesigned to adapt to soft spelt dough as the original equipment has been designed for strong wheat dough.  Award: $12,500 Match: $14,155

Bruces Tractor Sales LLC in Old Town for Snow Blower Prototype Completion and Testing

Bruces Tractor Sales has designed a mechanical motorized snow-blower attachment. The snow blower will be front mounted onto a tractor and the unique design will allow faster and easier snow removal than current front and rear-mounted snow blowers.  Award: $7,180 Match: $8,900





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