• Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

Maine Legislators Pass R&D Initiatives

May 22, 1998

Maine lawmakers have passed an R&D investment package to increase the state's research and development capacity. The package includes a $20 million bond issue that must be approved by the voters in November.

The bond initiative would provide:

  • $13.5 million to the University of Maine System for capital improvements and equipment purchases to support activities in the target areas of biotechnology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, software engineering and development, advanced materials engineering and development, and marine biology;
  • $3 million to the Maine Science and Technology Foundation (MSTF) to invest in a Marine Technology Fund;
  • $1.5 million to MSTF for a Research Challenge Grants program for research institutions in the for-profit, not-for profit or academic sectors; and,
  • $2 million to the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development toward the development and construction of the Gulf of Maine Aquarium Research Facility.

"Through a broad coalition of organizations across the state, we were able to obtain bipartisan support for these initiatives within the Maine legislature. And we look forward to continuing that work with our partners to get the message out to Maine voters that the R&D bond issue will help create more high-skilled, high-wage jobs and a stronger Maine economy," said Joel Russ, MSTF's Executive Director.

In addition to the bond initiative, the legislature approved $475,000 in supplemental funding for MSTF, including one-time funding for commercialization activities and ongoing support for the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Also, the cap for the Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit Program will be raised from $5 million to $7 million over the next two years to stimulate additional private sector investments.

Finally, Maine lawmakers created the Joint Select Committee on Research and Development to monitor the R&D investments and oversee the implementation of the state science and technology plan, "Answering the Call for an Entrepreneurial State."

Additional information on these initiatives is available from MSTF by contacting Robin McGlauflin at 207/621-6350.