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February 19, 2020

MTI seeks applications for $2M in innovation funding

Two co-founders of Hyperlite Mountain Gear at their facility in Biddeford. File photo Courtesy / Hyperlite Mountain Gear Hyperlite Mountain Gear is a past recipient of a grant from MTI's Maine Technology Asset Fund 2.5 program, which it used towards the purchase of a CNC cutting machine and automated sewing machines. Pictured here are Dan St. Pierre, left, Hyperlite's co-founder and CFO, and Mike St. Pierre, founder and CEO.

The Maine Technology Institute is seeking applications for $2 million in funding from organizations looking to make investments in R&D equipment, infrastructure and technology that will drive innovation and generate economic benefits for the state. 

Individual funding requests are capped at $500,000 or less from the Maine Technology Asset Fund 2.5 program.

Fund recipients in 2018 included Hyperlite Mountain Gear of Biddeford and Ohio-based paper maker Verso (NYSE: VRS). Hyperlite used its award of $177,640 to help purchase a CNC cutting machine and automated sewing machines, while Verso applied its $4 million award toward upgrading and converting equipment at its mill in Jay to enter the high-demand containerboard market. That allowed Verso to double production and add 120 new jobs at the facility, which it recently sold.

Funding for the MTAF2.5 program comes from a research and development bond passed by state lawmakers in 2016 and approved by voters in 2017. That $45 million bond was fully awarded by MTI in 2018, but $2 million is now being made available for redeployment due to project forfeitures, the Brunswick-based organization said.

The latest funding round will prioritize support for companies or organizations representing rural or economically disadvantaged regions of Maine, according to MTI.

All projects must fall within seven targeted technology sectors: biotechnology, aquaculture and marine technology, composite and advanced materials, environmental technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, information technology and precision manufacturing technology.

Brian Whitney headshot
Courtesy / Maine Technology Institute
Brian Whitney, president of the Maine Technology Institute

“MTI is seeking proposals that will provide extraordinary economic benefits to Maine and its citizens,” said MTI President Brian Whitney in a statement.

“We look forward to receiving, reviewing and assessing the proposals and, ultimately, working with Maine’s public and private sector entities to bring about the kind of economic stimulus and employment opportunities for Mainers that lawmakers and the public envisioned when approving this bond.”

2018 recipients are not eligible to apply in the new founding round.

MTI will accept electronic funding requests through March 27. Guidelines for the MTAF2.5 program are available online.

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