As I have noted previously in a blog or two, MTI’s governing statute was/is really an inspired piece of legislation on several different levels. For one, it specifies that we invest our funds across Maine’s seven targeted technology sectors (biotechnology, composites and advanced materials, environmental technology, forestry and agriculture, information technology, marine and aquaculture, and precision manufacturing). And, each of those sectors is assigned a volunteer board of subject matter experts who review and evaluate MTI funding proposals and provide the organization key insights into strategic trends and needs within the sector.
In addition to our overarching Board of Directors, these Technology Board members are a key ingredient in our public-private partnership. I am continuously impressed by the high caliber of the individuals serving on these boards and the depth and breadth of the sector-related knowledge they possess. There are over 100 Tech Board members advising MTI at this time and the organization is indebted to each of them for sharing their expertise and advice with us. I truly view them as our organization’s secret sauce.
While we are always looking to add talented Tech Board members to our MTI team, we are particularly challenged of late to identify new Information Technology (IT) subject matter experts to serve on our IT Tech Board. Perhaps not surprisingly, MTI receives a substantial number of proposals from innovators within the IT space. While our current IT Tech Board members do a remarkable job helping to evaluate the many proposals we receive, it is imperative that we add additional subject matter experts in IT to complement their efforts.
MTI Technology Board members serve two main roles: (1) Provide thoughtful reviewer input on MTI grant and loan applications in the specified technology sectors, and (2) Act as ambassadors to those industry sectors in Maine, attracting the best and brightest applicants for MTI funding.
As reviewers of MTI technology proposals, Tech Board members are asked to field occasional requests to review and evaluate MTI funding proposals via our online portal. We seek subject matter experts who will confidently provide those assessments and provide constructive feedback on the proposals to MTI Investment Officers. We also ask our Tech Board members to work with MTI to ensure strict adherence to MTI’s confidentiality and conflict of interest standards. Generally, Tech Board members should plan for an estimated 2-3 hours of time each month dedicated to the MTI review process; times may vary due to number of applications submitted.
Tech Board members are also invited to attend in-person or virtual Tech Board meetings when scheduled to discuss strategic challenges and opportunities in the sector, receive and review MTI portfolio data, and network with other sector-related experts.
Again, while we are in immediate need of IT professionals to join our Tech Board, we also welcome other subject matter experts with interest in serving on our other six Targeted Technology Boards.
If you’re interested in joining MTI’s Technology Board and becoming a key ingredient in the secret sauce of MTI’s metaphorical sandwich, please reach out to me . . . especially if you have relevant expertise in information technology, artificial intelligence, app development, etc. Send me an email at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.