MTI Fiscal Year Results – Another Busy Year for the Organization: More than $28.5 million deployed across nearly 450 Maine entities

Brian Whitney MTI President

The Maine Technology Institute operates on a July 1 – June 30 fiscal year and given that our fiscal year 2022 (FY22) has now closed, it seems like an appropriate time to share some of our numbers with you from the past year. The data revealed the following:

The organization made 118 awards from its core funding program. Those awards totaled $7.07 million and leveraged $45.8 million in private sector matching funds. For some context, in FY21 MTI made 123 awards for $7.4 million, and in FY20 it made 113 awards for $9.6 million. So, it was another busy year for MTI’s small but mighty staff, its contractors and subject matter experts, as well as its Board of Directors.

In addition to managing its core funds, MTI was also asked to assist the State of Maine as it worked to distribute approximately $1 billion in federal discretionary American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding as part of the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan (MJRP). The MJRP makes substantial investments in economic development, worker attraction and training, affordable housing, health and human services, and higher education, to name just a few.

MTI was specifically involved in three sector related MJRP buckets of funding in FY22. First, MTI managed $20 million for “one-time grants funding for economic recovery and development opportunities in the forest products industry.”  Working collaboratively with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development, we developed programming to help achieve the objectives of the legislation. This past fall, we launched Phase 1 of the Forestry Recovery Initiative (FRI) and made 223 awards totaling $6.2 million to provide financial relief to forest products industry businesses that have experienced negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic to help them sustain the viability of their business.  A second phase of the Forestry Recovery Initiative will launch soon and will seek to improve market opportunities for Maine timber, as well as promote forward-looking forestry projects that will help advance the long-term stability of the forestry industry.

In FY22, MTI also collaborated with the Maine Department of Marine Resources to make 102 awards through the Seafood Dealers and Processors Program (SDPP) totaling $15.3 million. The awards will help enterprises engaged in Maine’s iconic seafood industry weather the pandemic-related challenges associated with supply chain issues and other adverse market conditions.

And, finally, the MJRP included meaningful allocations to support innovation, including $39.6 million to help address revenue losses in Maine small businesses and high growth enterprises. To deploy that funding, MTI created the Pandemic Recovery for an Innovative Maine Economy (PRIME) Fund.

The PRIME Fund will award grants in three phases. Phase 1, which is now completed with award announcements due imminently, focused on direct support to businesses who suffered negative impacts from the pandemic. More than $23 million in awards will be associated with PRIME Phase 1 and, while they will technically be made in FY23 given that our new fiscal year commenced on July 1, most all of the project work occurred in FY22.

PRIME Fund Phase 2, of which approximately $5 million will be available, will target public-private partnerships that support and bolster Maine’s innovation economy and is expected to launch later this summer or fall. Phase 3 is still under development and likely won’t launch until late in 2022, early 2023. There will be approximately $10 million available for PRIME Fund Phase 3.

So, again, FY22 was a busy one for the MTI team. Between our core innovation fund, the Forestry Recovery Initiative, and the Seafood Dealers & Processors Program, we deployed over $28.5 million across nearly 450 Maine entities. Almost an equivalent amount of funding will soon be announced in PRIME funding.

MTI is proud to play a role in helping mitigate some of the harmful economic impacts associated with the global pandemic by supporting, sustaining, and growing innovative organizations in the State of Maine. We look forward to another busy and productive year in FY23. Stay tuned for further updates in the coming weeks and months.

Have a wonderful rest of the summer.