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Success Stories

Tex Tech: Reinventing itself through Innovation

At Tex Tech, there is no shortage of ideas. Big ones. Good ones. After all, this is a company that has survived since the late 1800s, adapting and thriving over the years to meet the market. While countless other textile manufacturing companies in New England have closed up shop, Tex Tech has gone back to the drawing board to develop new ideas, helping the company move forward. Nearly a century ago, it was pro baseball uniforms. Today, Tex Tech produces specialty fibers and fabrics - mainly used for security and safety related products - and is the world’s leading producer of tennis ball felt...

UMaine: Working Together Strengthens Composite Materials

The composite materials technology (composites) cluster in Maine is vibrant. In 2008, lead contractor Maine Marine Manufacturing launched the 83-foot Mark V.1--nicknamed MAKO—a composite high-speed military test vessel, Harbor Technologies’ composite beams were recently named one of the Top Ten Inventions by Popular Science magazine and Correct Building Products (now GAF) introduced new technology in its CorrectPorch product, posted record sales in July despite a downturn in the housing and construction markets and was listed on the Inc. 5000. Yet, just over five years earlier, a reduction in research and development (R&D) activity suggested that this cluster was not particularly strong. Several awards from MTI have helped the University of Maine boost this cluster’s growth since that time...

Quantrix: Maine Entrepreneur Finds Success Overseas

Portugal isn’t what you might think of when you think about small businesses in Maine. But that’s where Chris Houle and Peter Murray found their largest client in the early days of starting Quantrix, a small desktop software company based in Southern Maine. It opened their eyes to the potential of their product in international markets; six years later and now half of their clients are overseas. “We would never think of ourselves as having just a local market,” states Chris Houle, CEO of Quantrix. In 2002, Houle co-founded the company with Murray, Chief Technology Officer, and it has grown by leaps and bounds largely because of this very attitude. While the United States is the country with the single most sales, the other 50 percent of Quantrix’s sales is entirely international...

Ocean Farm Technologies

Floating fish farms are easier to tend when constructed in sheltered waters. But that means that coastal views are disrupted and waste can accumulate despite the motion of waves. So farmers install expensive feed monitoring equipment or tow the pens to new locations—thus burning fuel and increasing cost. In waters off Puerto Rico, researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology test a self-propelled spherical fish cage made by Ocean Farm Technologies...

Bioplastics Cluster Looks to Maine Potatoes and Forests

In 2008, the MTI board of directors approved a Cluster Enhancement Award of $200,000, matched by $459,000, to support a sustainable bioplastics cluster project to make PLA, a biodegradable plastic from Maine potatoes. Over the next 18 months, the cluster members worked together to demonstrate the feasibility and marketability of producing an environmentally friendly organic plastic from one of the state’s traditional crops. The collaborating organizations have evaluated establishing a trade association to exchange information, influence related policies, educate consumers and other companies, and build market awareness for Maine made potato-plastic products...

ORPC: A Sea of Opportunity through Innovation

Captain Paul Wells thought often about the power of ocean currents during his career as a cruise industry executive. After retiring in 2004, he attended the first EnergyOcean conference and approached one of the presenters with a question, “How would I go about starting a company fo­cused on generating electricity from ocean currents?” And the idea for Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) was born...

AccelGolf: Taking a Swing at a Mobile Golf App

Who can have a private coach join them for every round of golf, use a GPS rangefinder to line up every shot, and receive a digital performance report while walking away from the 18th green? Anyone can  thanks to William Sulinski’s AccelGolf personalized mobile software for golfers. Sulinski merged his love for golf, his interest in the Inter­net, and his entrepreneurial drive to create a fun, game-improving product that can be accessed from any golfer’s Web-enabled hand held device. AccelGolf is the first product offered by mCaddie, Inc., the company Sulinski co-founded almost two years ago...

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences: Taking a Closer Look at how Research Equipment Attract Dollars and Talent

Scientists often need basic equipment like a pair of sturdy boots, a bucket and a can of bug spray. But in order to be successful, researchers need laboratory tools that can’t be bought at the local sporting goods store...

Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory

The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) in Bar Harbor was awarded just over $5 million in awards from the Maine Biomedical Research Program (MBRP), which was administered by the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) for the Maine Biomedical Research Board. The program promotes economic development by expanding biomedical research activities statewide, while improving disease treatment and prevention options for Maine citizens. It also supports biomedical research organizations successful in attracting federal research grants and provides incentives for small, eligible institutions to grow...

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