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The National Science Foundation's Science and Engineering Indicators 2018 report identifies Maine as one of 12 states spending less than $1 billion per year in R&D. The report notes that state spending on R&D varies considerably, from $253 million spent by Wyoming to $125 billion spent by California. The report also notes that Maine's R&D spending has tracked considerably below the U.S. average for the period between 2000 and 2015, with Maine showing a 16% increase in spending over that 15-year period, compared to a 34% increase in the U.S. average. Those figures provide useful context for LD 111, “An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Research and Development and Commercialization,” a bill proposed by Bar Harbor Rep. Brian L. Hubbell, D-District 135, with co-sponsors that include Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Aroostook, and House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport. The working draft of the bill calls for a $250 million bond, issued in $50 million increments over a five-year period, to provide funds to the Maine Technology Institute for R&D and commercialization. The bill stipulates that the funds must be awarded through a competitive process to Maine-based public and private institutions to leverage matching private and federal funds on at least a one-to-one basis. Targeted sectors would be prioritized under guidance from the Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board and the Office of Innovation.
Would you support a $250 million R&D bond, spread in $50 million increments over five years?

02/07/19 AT 07:41 AM
How can a thoughtful person respond to your question. By state, what is the per capita investment in R&D?

02/06/19 AT 02:59 PM
The matching funds and competitive process sold me on the idea.

02/06/19 AT 02:59 PM
Lacking proper investments, Maine is being penny wise and pound foolish. Let's not have our economy looking like a scary Stephen King clown.

02/06/19 AT 01:24 PM
Hello, editor, it is the National Science Foundation, not Board.

Editor's note: Thanks, it's been corrected.

02/06/19 AT 01:24 PM
We should be given figures for past R&D.

02/06/19 AT 01:05 PM
Attracting creative, vibrant, cutting-edge companies should be a top strategic objective.

02/06/19 AT 12:44 PM
I would expect Maine to be one of the states that spends less on R&D.

02/06/19 AT 12:44 PM
It is only a start. We need to up that ante.

02/06/19 AT 12:06 PM
Maine is not ever going to be a manufacturing state like the rest of the rust belt just south of us. This is a state that has much to offer in natural resources and people with incredible work ethics. The usual tax and spend Democrats are not doing anything to increase employment with this proposed bond, it is just another tax that the population will be forced to pay when the bond comes due. Instead of a bond issue, why not offer tax incentives to try to lure new companies to Maine and this way the cost to the population would be less and easier to swallow. Any money raised through a bond issue will, no doubt, be allocated to companies that have aligned themselves with the current Democratic administration and provide little if any value for the dollar spent. This is nothing more than the usual tax-and-spend scenario that has historically provide substandard return for investment. Why would we want to become another California?