As the final days of 2023 wind down, it seems appropriate to reflect upon the many awards made, and the assistance and support provided, to help foster entrepreneurship and innovation in Maine. At the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) we have appropriately summarized our impact in our recently released annual report. The report is linked here.
This was an incredibly active year for MTI as we operated our core funding and assistance program in addition to continued deployment of supplementary funding from the state and federal government to help businesses recover from the adverse impacts associated with the global pandemic.
On June 30, MTI’s fiscal year 2023 (FY23) ended and the data on our funding and impact was truly astounding. In our core funding program, MTI made 123 awards totaling $7,778,940. The organizations receiving those awards matched MTI’s funding with $42,803,897. For some context, in FY22, MTI made 120 awards for $6.89 million, and in FY21, MTI made 123 awards for $7.4 million.
In addition to our core funding, MTI was asked to help allocate millions more associated with the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan (MJRP). The MJRP was funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and allocated a billion dollars to support economic development, worker attraction and training, affordable housing, health and human services, and higher education, to name just a few.
Utilizing the MJRP/ARPA funding, in August 2022, we announced 174 awards totaling $23.3 million in our Pandemic Recovery for an Innovative Maine Economy (PRIME) program. The PRIME program was designed to support innovation and, specifically, to help address revenue losses in Maine small businesses and high growth enterprises.
In December 2022, we announced $14 million in Forestry Recovery Initiative II (FRI-2) awards to 19 companies. The Forest Recovery Initiative was created to provide funding to support economic recovery and development opportunities in the forest products industry. Phase one (FRI-1) was deployed in FY22, where MTI provided 224 awards totaling $6.2 million to forest products businesses across Maine that were struggling to remain viable during the pandemic. Phase two (FRI-2) of the program was focused on improving market opportunities for Maine timber and promoting forward looking projects that would help advance the long-term stability of the forest industry.
Also in December 2022, we announced $5 million in funding through our PRIME Ecosystem program to 16 Maine entrepreneurial support organizations. The PRIME Ecosystem program was also the result of the MJRP/ARPA programs.
As I noted, FY23 was an extraordinarily busy year for the organization. In total, MTI deployed approximately $50 million in state and federal funding to more than 330 businesses and organizations throughout Maine. An amazing amount of output for our small team. Kudos to MTI’s staff, contractors, volunteer subject matter experts, and Board of Directors for all their efforts!
I hope you enjoy reviewing the MTI annual report as it aptly details all the organization’s efforts and associated impacts over the past year. Undeniably, we are incredibly honored to conduct this consequential technology-based economic development work on behalf of the State of Maine and its citizens.
My best to you and yours for a healthy and prosperous 2024!