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October 09, 1998

Mainers will vote on Election Day on a research and development bond issue that if passed would allocate $20 million to improve the Maine economy by supporting innovative research and development in the fields of biotechnology, computers and other information technology, aquiculture and marine technology, forestry and agriculture, and advanced materials.

If passed, funding from the bond issue would be allocated to the following:

  • The University of Maine System would receive $13.5 million for capital improvements and equipment purchases;
  • The Maine Science and Technology Foundation would receive $4.5 million to enhance research and education capability among public and private educational institutions conducting marine research and nonprofit marine research institutions, and to provide funds for a Research Challenge Grants Program to enhance research and development capacity and productivity; and
  • The Department of Economic and Community Development would receive $2 million to leverage $2 million in matching private contributions to build the Gulf of Maine Aquarium Research Laboratory that would support applied fishery research and marine biotechnology research in Maine.

The bond proposal is the result of a unanimous bi-partisan recommendation of a special legislative committee that studied Maine's investment in research and development.  Those supporting the bond issue argue that if it is passed the funding will:

  • Create new jobs, new products, new business and industries;
  • Attract millions of dollars in federal funds to support Maine-based research and development;
  • Help strengthen Maine's economy and improve its quality of life; and,
  • Help make Maine more competitive with other states.

For more information, visit the Maine Science and Technology Foundation’s webpage at www.mstf.org.