The Department of Economic and Community Development yesterday announced that Betsy Biemann, president of the Maine Technology Institute since 2005, is resigning. No reason for her departure was given.
MTI, based in Brunswick, is a public-private partnership focused on helping technology startups commercialize their products. Joe Migliaccio, manager of MTI's Business Innovation Program, will serve as interim president, effective immediately, until a new president is found, according to a press release from DECD Commissioner George Gervais. "We thank Betsy for her more than seven years of service and wish her the best," he said in the release. Efforts to reach Biemann were unsuccessful.
Last year, MTI restructured its funding mechanism and developed a new category of award designed to help entrepreneurs test technology ideas. At that time, Biemann told Mainebiz the changes would help MTI better respond to the needs of Maine's business community and help create more jobs. Mainebiz named Biemann to its 2010 Next List.
Since 2000, MTI has doled out more than $100 million in public money to 1,300 projects. The competitive funding requires a 1:1 match from the recipient.
Last month, Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a $20 million R&D bond that would have gone to MTI, arguing that R&D funding should come from the general fund if it's a priority, and that the majority of the money would have gone to government programs and nonprofits, not businesses. The Legislature did not get enough votes to overturn the veto.
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