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July 29, 2022

$23M in state grants awarded to Maine technology companies

person sitting on steps FILE PHOTO / JIM NEUGER Goals are to strengthen tech-based businesses, generate quality jobs, and provide for a more resilient economy, said Maine Technology Institute President Brian Whitney.

Maine Technology Institute’s new PRIME program awarded $23.3 million through 174 grants to companies to aid recovery from the pandemic, invest in new products and business lines, attract new customers, and sustain long-term growth.

The Pandemic Recovery for an Innovative Maine Economy, or PRIME Fund, administered by MTI, aims to accelerate job creation and help technology companies that didn't access other federal pandemic-response economic support programs.

The program targets seven technology sectors — biotechnology, composites and advanced materials, environmental technologies, forest products and agriculture, information technology, marine technology and aquaculture, and precision manufacturing.

Money for the fund comes through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.

Brunswick Landing-based MTI received more than 300 applications for funding.

“While the funding decisions were incredibly difficult given the sheer volume of proposals and the high quality of the applications, we are confident that these grants will help strengthen our state’s tech-based businesses, generate quality jobs, and provide for a more resilient Maine economy,” said Brian Whitney, president of the Maine Technology Institute.

The goal is to accelerate job creation and reach businesses that did not, or were unable to, access other federal pandemic-response economic support programs. Enhancing investment in innovative companies is also a recommendation of the state’s 10-year Economic Strategy and the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee to make Maine more competitive against other states.

“Together, with other recently announced programs, my Administration is working to ensure that innovative Maine businesses are well positioned to drive positive change in Maine’s economy and the global marketplace,” said Gov. Janet Mills. 

The awards announced this week represent the first phase of grants from the overall $39 million PRIME fund and ranged from $10,000 to approximately $387,000. The first round received 321 total applications seeking more than $71 million. Two further rounds of PRIME grants are expected later this year. 

To be eligible for a PRIME grant, businesses must be engaged in Maine’s designated technology sectors through research, development, or innovation; employ 250 full-time employees or less, and demonstrate that their business has been adversely impacted by the pandemic.

Eligible uses of grant funds include payroll, rent or mortgage payments for business facilities, business-related equipment purchases, start-up costs for new programs and/or new markets which may require capital investment, and more.

Phase 1 focused on direct support to businesses that suffered negative from the pandemic. 

Phase 2 will target public-private partnerships that support and bolster Maine’s innovation economy.

The governor's Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, approved by the Legislature, lays out a blueprint for investing nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the state's economy. 

For more information, click here.

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