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Maine International Trade Center announced today the seven Maine companies with innovative products that have been selected for this year's New Products Global Showcase.
MITC said in a news release that the seven companies, whose products have demonstrated success in the United States and are prepared to compete in the global market, will compete for "Best in Show" honors at Trade Day 2019 next month.
A special sneak peek event will be held Tuesday, April 30, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown Portland/Waterfront, at 321 Commercial St.
"The seven companies selected this year have proven track records and successes in domestic markets and are poised for growth," MITC President Wade Merritt said. "We're excited to present their innovative and proprietary products, which our jury deemed ready for global markets, to an international audience at Trade Day 2019."
In order to be eligible, the new product had to have been launched within the past two years and is currently in the market with demonstrated commercial viability. Entries were evaluated on international market appeal, as well as innovation. The competition is open to all Maine companies.
Several of this year's finalists offer products that are contributing to the growth of Maine's bioeconomy, the essence of which is innovation for sustainable growth, MITC stated. The bioeconomy uses renewable biological resources from land and sea — such as fish, forests and micro-organisms — to produce energy, food and value-added materials. "Maine's Future in the Global Bioeconomy" is the theme for Trade Day 2019 on May 24, when attendee votes will determine this year's winner.
Here are the seven companies and their products:
Cerahelix, which is led by Susan MacKay, uses nanotechnology to create a new class of ceramic filters used across a broad range of industries. The patented technology enables single-stage treatment of industrial wastewater for reuse even under the most challenging conditions. Cerahelix says its product offers cost savings and reduces a customer's carbon footprint. Cerahelix is working with breweries, dairies and land-based aquaculture, among other potential users of its filters.
Dental Lace Inc., Cape Elizabeth and Pittsfield
Dental Lace is a zero-waste product. It's a glass container with a stainless-steel cap that holds floss that is 100% compostable Mulberry silk. The refill bags are certified as being compostable and boxes are 100% post-consumer paperboard. Good Morning America recently chose Dental Lace to be featured as part of its Green Living Discovery Box. Dental Lace sales have increased 300% since it began in 2017. In addition to selling directly to consumers, Dental Lace sells to 274 wholesale accounts and distributes and sells to 39 countries outside the U.S. with six distributors serving 11 countries.
Down East Innovation, Bridgton
Down East Innovation has been researching, developing, and producing a wide variety of critical application items, primarily for the U.S. military. Its latest product is the "3DSR" high-performance tactical buckle, designed to provide quick-release functioning for straps used on combat rucks and other military applications. Made from a proprietary fragmentation resistant polymer, the product delivers fail-safe release under heavy load (300 pounds capacity). Ergonomically designed, the buckle is easy to find and release even while wearing gloves. This product is set to replace the company's 1584 buckle. Down East Innovation has produced and delivered more than 20 million units of that product to the U.S. Army and others.
Maine Standard Biofuels, Portland
A small spill of some byproduct at Maine Standard Biofuels led to an accidental discovery. The company that collects used cooking oil and turns it into biofuel for transportation and heating realized that the byproduct created by its refining process was actually a concentrated, environmentally friendly cleaning product. Wicked Strong Solvitall is a high-performing, penetrating lubricant that unlocks seized parts and prevents and fights corrosion, as well as cleans and degreases. The biodegradable non-toxic, sustainable formulation is a non-flammable alternative to petroleum-based products.
Ocean's Balance, Biddeford and South Portland
Ocean's Balance produces products made from sustainably grown and harvested seaweed from the Gulf of Maine. The company practices zero-input farming techniques and uses sustainable harvesting methods to manufacture its products at its Biddeford facility. The company was recently chosen as the winner of Season 4 of "Green Light Maine." Ocean's Balance product line — Kelp Purée, Seaweed Sprinkles, Organic Seaweed Flakes, and Organic Whole Leaf Seaweed — provides a variety of ways to include seaweed in everyday diets.
Rapid Assault Tools, South Portland
Rapid Assault Tools develops and produces equipment for law enforcement and military operators. The company listened to those on the front lines and asked what they needed to make their jobs safer and more efficient. The result is a line of forced entry/rescue tools, ladders and training aids. The Battery Powered Hydraulic RatPak for forced-entry teams in the law enforcement and military markets includes a compact pump and multi-purpose tools to provide robust breaching methods with very high mobility. As the product gains traction in the marketplace, the company is seeing interest from other sectors including fire and rescue operators, earthquake and confined quarters rescue and corrections facilities.
True North Beauty, Milo and Lake View Plantation
A walk in the woods behind her home in northern Maine led Heather Lux to discover a new passion and purpose in her life. What she found was Chaga, a rare wood-like mushroom that grows on birch trees in cold climates. The use of Chaga for skin and medicinal purposes, because of its high concentration of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, is well-known and dates back centuries in European, Asian, and Russian cultures. True North Beauty manufactures natural skincare products containing Chaga, which is harvested from birch trees in Maine. The new Us Collection was designed to reinforce the company's brand mission of helping people achieve healthy, clear skin. This collection includes a Hydration Cream, Solid Cleanser, Facial Serum and Cleansing Oil. The exclusive formula is unscented and made of 100% effective natural ingredients, including a unique, proprietary Chaga-infused formula. Lux expects growth in 2019 to come from increased wholesale distribution to spas, specialty stores, and national retailers.
Trade Day 2019, “Maine's Future in the Global Bioeconomy,” is the premiere annual international business event in Northern New England. It will be held on May 24 at Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.