July 18, 2018

MTI, Biobased Maine issue last call for 'emerging forest technologies'

Photo / Tim Greenway
Photo / Tim Greenway
Charlotte Mace, the executive director of Portland-based Biobased Maine. The nonprofit is accepting “requests for information” from emerging forest industry technologies that would like to be considered for investment awards that will be made this fall in MTI's “forest industry innovation challenge.” The deadline for this stage of the competition is Friday.

About Maine Technology Institute

MTI is a publicly financed, private, nonprofit organization created by the Legislature in 1999 to stimulate research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products, processes and services in the state's seven targeted technology sectors. MTI programs are either loans, equity investments, or grants designed to enhance the competitive position of those sectors and increase the likelihood that one or more of these sectors will support clusters of industrial activity and create quality jobs across Maine.

About Biobased Maine

Biobased Maine is a mission-driven trade association promoting the sustainable use of renewable biomass from forests, farm, and sea. Its mission is to achieve a sustainable biobased manufacturing industry in the state of Maine. Its members include manufacturers, raw material suppliers, landowners, farmers, consultants, research institutions, private equity and non-governmental organizations.

The Maine Technology Institute and Biobased Maine have issued their last call in their "request for information" from emerging forest industry technologies that would like to be considered for investment awards that will be made this fall in MTI's "forest industry innovation challenge."

The deadline for that stage of the competition is Friday.

The request for information regarding emerging forest industry technologies has a stated goal of accelerating "the most viable, commercially-relevant forest industry technologies" with Maine's $8.5 billion forest products industry.

A precursor to MTI's upcoming Forest Industry Innovation Challenge this fall, companies must submit basic information in response to this RFI in order to qualify for the innovation challenge. Submitted information will be included in MTI's Forest Industry Emerging Technology Database, which is currently under development.

The two organizations have invited submissions on all types of forest industry technologies, including technologies to manufacture solid wood products, energy products, engineered wood products, advanced products, construction materials, mass timber, wood composites, biobased chemicals, bioplastics, advanced biofuels, and nanocellulose.

Information submissions are due by July 20 to Biobased Maine at, and detailed submission guidelines can be found here. For a copy of the complete RFI, click on the PDF link at the end of this story.

"MTI has a strong track record of accelerating the development of new technologies in Maine," said MTI President Brian Whitney. "We anticipate that this RFI and the resulting Forest Industry Innovation Challenge this fall will result in more timely MTI investments in emerging forest industry technologies and enterprises that will add quality jobs in rural Maine regions that are enthusiastic for the new opportunities."

"This project is critical to bridging the gap between Maine's still strong forest industry, emerging technologies, and communities eager to host new manufacturing that can create good jobs making value-added products," said Charlotte Mace, executive director of Biobased Maine.

Mace added: "Leveraging MTI's leadership in innovation and project development and Biobased Maine's network of technology companies, this project will identify emerging technologies that represent the most viable investments. And this isn't a one-time thing. We're developing a process to continuously fill Maine's pipeline with promising technologies in a coordinated, well-organized way."

Over the past several years, Maine's forest industry has come together to chart a course for the future of the industry. The industry remains strong and robust, contributing an estimated $8.5 billion annually to the state's economy.

The industry is also poised to embrace new opportunities and there have already been success stories. In just the past two years, $253.5 million in investment has been made in Maine's forest industry, including investments in pulp and paper equipment, wood processing equipment, energy production, and new facility construction.


"Request for Information" from emerging forest technologies


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