Seeking Volunteers To Help Shape Maine’s Innovation Economy: The Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board is being reinvigorated and your help is needed

Brian Whitney MTI President

You have probably heard the saying attributed to Winston Churchill that aptly observes, “we make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”  Today I am asking you to consider volunteering some of your time and expertise to help shape Maine’s innovation economy.  If you have an interest in playing a meaningful role in helping to guide the work of policy makers in relation to Maine’s technology-based economy, please let me know.  Here is a little background on the opportunity:

As you may know, last year about this time, Maine’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy  – – A Focus on Talent and Innovation – – was released.  And, this past year, the 37-member Economic Recovery Committee (ERC), created by Governor Mills in May to develop a plan to help Maine’s economy recover from the pandemic, released its final report and recommendations in November 2020.  The report delivered eight bold recommendations.

The two initiatives were monumental efforts with many Mainers playing a pivotal role in fashioning the recommendations.  Today, I am going to focus on just one of the recommendations that was highlighted in both reports – the need to reinvigorate the Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board (MIEAB) with diverse entrepreneurs and members.  Of course, now you are asking, what on earth is the Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board?  Well, MIEAB is made up of 32 members from the public and private sectors and is responsible for providing advisory to policy makers on innovation priorities.  Here is a link to the statute governing the Board.

MIEAB is obviously a large Board but it does contain a nice mix of public and private sector interests and is a useful resource to policy makers.  Specifically, MIEAB is responsible for developing the State’s five-year innovation action plan as well as annual updates of the plan.  It also serves as the State’s EPSCoR Steering Committee.

We are actively seeking a new and diverse batch of appointees to help reinvigorate the Board and allow it to recommend and apply innovative approaches to current challenges.  Specifically, we are seeking individuals from the private sector with relevant experience in the following seven targeted technology sectors:  biotechnology, composites and advanced materials, environmental technology, agriculture and forestry, information technology, marine and aquaculture, and precision manufacturing.

Additionally, we are seeking individuals from Maine non-profit research institutions within the same seven sectors, as well as representatives from UMaine and USM and our private universities and colleges.

Finally, the Board also seeks two representatives with demonstrated experience in venture capital.

The Board meets on a quarterly basis and members are appointed by the Governor.

The Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board is looking for interested members who share a passion for technology and enterprise development, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit.  If you have the relevant expertise, interest, and available bandwidth to get involved, please shoot me an email so we can discuss in more detail.  If you are not personally interested in getting involved but have some ideas about other quality candidates, please do not hesitate to refer them to me and I will follow-up.  My email is [email protected].

I look forward to hearing from you about your interest in giving back and helping to chart a more prosperous future for Maine.  Thank you for your time and consideration.