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Maine Environmental, Energy Groups Merge

March 14, 2003

Around the country, the current funding climate is forcing some technology groups to explore new relationships with each other, including consolidation. In other cases, it just makes good sense. For example, two of Maine's environmental and energy technology organizations are joining forces with the goal of advancing job growth, R&D and new product commercialization within their overlapping industries.

The Environmental Business Council of Maine (EBCM) and the Maine Environment & Energy Center (Maine E2 Center) are combining to create the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2 Tech Council). The new organization will service an industry sector that includes more than 200 companies and nonprofit organizations employing approximately 4,000 workers.

A two-year Cluster Enhancement Grant provided by the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) is supporting the new organization's start-up effort, with additional cash and in-kind support donated by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and by approximately one dozen other companies, organizations and agencies.

"This merger is a very healthy step for the Maine economy," Willard Warren, president of the EBCM, said in a press statement. "Individually, the Maine E2 Center and our organization have had a limited capability to fully serve the expanding list of Maine firms researching and commercializing environmental and energy technologies. Together, as the E2Tech Council, we can draw on more resources and forge more partnerships that will ultimately mean more jobs and opportunities for Maine."

Environmental and energy technology is one of seven economic sectors targeted for growth and assistance within the state. The E2 Tech Council will provide information about state and federal early-stage financing programs, university research partnerships, and business incubation and technical assistance programs.

The Council will also provide improved communications and networking opportunities for Maine environmental and energy technology companies, entrepreneurs, and educational and conservation institutions.

The Center for Environmental Enterprise at Southern Maine Technical College is hosting the new organization, with John Ferland, president of CEE, serving as interim executive director.