Award: Challenge grants for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades
Frequently Asked Questions of the Day
The funds provided under this program are general fund bond dollars provided through public law approved by the Maine Legislature and signed by Governor LePage in 2016, and approved by Maine’s voters in June 2017:
Law enacted (April 2016) “An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Stimulate Investment in Innovation by Maine Businesses to Produce Nationally and Globally Competitive Products and Services” LD 1053, Public Law Chapter 479.
MTI’s portion of Question 1: Bond Issue (June 2017): “$45,000,000 in funds for investment in research, development and commercialization in the State to be used for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades that enable organizations to gain and hold market share, to increase revenues and to expand employment or preserve jobs for Maine people, to be awarded through a competitive process to Maine-based public and private entities, leveraging other funds in a one-to-one ratio”
Intent and Content Prepared by the Office of the Secretary of State in the “Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Special Referendum Election, June 13, 2017”: “Forty-five million dollars ($45,000,000) would be distributed by the Maine Technology Institute in the form of grants to support infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades in the following targeted technology sectors: biotechnology, aquaculture and marine technology, composite materials technology, environmental technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, information technology, and precision manufacturing technology. Funds would be awarded to public and private entities in Maine through a competitive process, and recipients would be required to match these State dollars with an equivalent amount of federal or private funds.”
Dollars and Sense
MTI anticipates disbursing approximately $20-25 million in challenge grants during these Fall 2017 Lightning Rounds, but reserves the right to award more or less, depending on the quality and quantity of requests. MTI also recognizes that this is a new process and program and reserves the rights to amend the process and timeline if necessary. MTI will notify all applicants should there be a change.
While there is not an upper or lower limit on the dollar amount of an individual project, MTI expects that any request of over $5 million will have very high and demonstrable economic outputs and will be subject to intensive due diligence in the decision-making process.
Program Outputs (awards should enable recipient to do one OR more)
- Gain and hold market share
- Increase Revenues (preference for revenue sources outside Maine)
- Expand employment
- Preserve jobs
- Recipient must be a Maine organization or establish a core footprint in Maine at the time of investment
- Recipient must provide a minimum of 1:1 cost sharing for the project (from private or Federal funds)
- Funds must be used for infrastructure – capital construction, improvements, or equipment costs
- Project or recipient must be associated with research, development and commercialization innovation continuum
Projects that meet the program parameters and have potential for the strongest demonstrable program outputs will be selected for challenge grant awards. MTI will look at the “bang for the buck” – or amount requested balanced against the projected economic outputs.
Beyond the required outputs criteria, MTI will use a portfolio approach to decision-making, balancing various factors in its award decisions.
- business attraction with business retention
- far-to-market with near-to-market economic outputs
- big bets with sure bets
- company maturity level
*Please do not submit multiple drafts of a request through the portal, but the final version of the request only