$57 Million in Awards Issued to Maine Companies. More than 5,350 Jobs to be Created, $1.4 Billion in Economic Impact to Be Generated

It’s hard to fathom but another year is drawing to a close.  And, as many of you know, it’s been an extraordinarily busy one for the Maine Technology Institute.  Many exciting changes have been instituted, a record number of funding was deployed, and significant economic impact and job growth will result.

To fully illustrate and celebrate the year that was, MTI publicly issued its Fiscal Year 2018 annual report yesterday.  The report summarizes the impacts associated with the organization’s investments and services across the State of Maine.  The report is linked here.

I am delighted with how it turned out and credit MTI’s marketing partner, Visible Logic in Portland, with helping to develop meaningful success story content, great graphics and photography, and an overall design that suitably conveys MTI’s impact and stimulus.

As a publicly-funded non-profit entity, MTI’s core mission is to diversify and grow Maine’s economy by encouraging, promoting, stimulating and supporting innovation and its transformation into new products, services and companies and, ultimately, the creation of quality jobs for Maine people.

MTI invested more than $57 million in 175 distinct projects in Fiscal Year 2018 (ending June 31, 2018).  This was a record award and impact year for MTI as the organization typically invests anywhere from $6-10 million in any given year.  This past year, MTI was asked to administer a $45 million research and development infrastructure bond that was passed by the Legislature in 2016 and supported by Maine voters in 2017.  MTI launched a competition for the funds – – titled the Maine Technology Asset Fund 2.0 program – – and received nearly 200 proposals seeking, in aggregate, $400 million in funding.  Applications were received from companies in each of Maine’s 16 counties.  After a thorough and transparent review process, MTI made 18 awards that, according to an independent economic impact analysis, will create 5,350 jobs and generate $1.4 billion in economic impact over the next three years.

In addition to the 18 companies that received funding through the MTAF2.0 program, 157 other projects received investments ranging from $5,000 to over $1 million through a mix of grants, loans, equity investments, and organizational support. Organizations and entrepreneurs across the State of Maine received funding for their innovative projects including telescoping containment walls; the creation of a new aquaculture habitat in Bremen; the development and manufacture of ultra-secure shipping containers, and the expansion of other innovative production and manufacturing capabilities.

In addition to deploying a record level of funding in FY18, MTI also worked to implement its strategic plan that was adopted in June 2017.  The implementation plan will lead to a completely new method of funding innovation in Maine in FY19.  The new method is a more tailored, customer-centric approach that eliminates funding deadlines, streamlines and simplifies the application processes, and facilitates a more nimble and expeditious decision-making process.  Launched in August, the new funding approach has received positive feedback from entrepreneurs and companies across Maine.

This has truly been an incredible year for MTI and Maine’s innovation economy.  MTI’s investments, true to its mission and mandate, are helping to develop new Maine products, companies and jobs.  The $57 million invested by MTI in FY18 also generated over $240 million in private sector matching investment.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the efforts of the MTI team and the entrepreneurs, companies and partner organizations that are working diligently each day to grow Maine’s innovation economy and to provide quality employment opportunities for Mainers.

So, as the final days of 2018 pass, I want to take a moment to convey my best wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy holiday season and a wonderful New Year.