Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

October 1, 2021

Gulf of Maine Research Institute will use $750K grant to expand region's 'blue economy'

people with totes COURTESY / GULF OF MAINE RESEARCH INSTITUTE The Gulf of Maine Research Institute, headquartered on Portland's waterfront, received a second $750,000 federal grant this year for its Blue Economy Initiative. Seen here is work underway at True Fin, a blue economy startup that was the first “mission-driven” company launched by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s business development group, Gulf of Maine Ventures.

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute, a Portland-based marine nonprofit, was awarded $749,815 for its Blue Economy Initiative, which is developing a collaborative commercialization platform for the marine-related startup sector. 

The money follows a federal grant of $749,856 awarded to the initiative in April to help seafood businesses recover from the pandemic.

The new funding, from the federal Economic Development Administration, aims to enhance the global competitiveness of the Gulf of Maine seafood industry, create high-quality jobs, and generate blue economy entrepreneurship, according to a news release.

“Between changing ocean conditions due to climate change and supply chain challenges brought on by the pandemic, Maine’s seafood and fishing industries need our support now more than ever,” U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine 1st District, said in the release.

“The innovation and collaboration on display at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute through their Blue Economy project will help build a more resilient Maine economy so these industries can not only survive, but thrive in a sustainable way.”

Gulf of Maine corridor

The Blue Economy Initiative is designed to combine the technical expertise of GMRI with business formation and support services for blue economy entrepreneurs and startups, so they can access investment capital and prepare for the region's climate future, according to the organization’s website.

building on waterfront
FILE / Courtesy of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute
The Gulf of Maine Research Institute, headquartered on Portland's waterfront, received funding to create an aquaculture workforce training program.

The effort envisions a “Gulf of Maine corridor” from Maine to Boston as a global hub of innovation.

Objectives include:

Create and accelerate for-profit companies for entrepreneurs and start-ups.

  • Help scale and develop marine businesses by connecting them with regional partners, industry resources and support services.
  • Help fund the growth of the Blue Economy through partnerships with angel investors, venture capital firms, state, local and nonprofit lending entities, and other capital sources.
  • According to the institute, the Gulf of Maine region offers blue economy entrepreneurs a combination of natural resources, research laboratories, higher education institutions and entrepreneurial support services.

Throughout the region, a burgeoning group of businesses are focused on driving innovation in finfish, shellfish and algae aquaculture, as well within U.S. wild fisheries. Their solutions include supply chain digitization, aquaculture innovations, and new fisheries technology.

The grant was awarded through the EDA’s Build to Scale Program, created through the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to support technology-based economic development initiatives that accelerate high quality job growth, create more economic opportunities, and support the future of the next generation of industry leading companies.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF