In challenging economic times, families and governments alike have to tighten their belts and cut back on extraneous expenditures. Families and governments, however, also have to make prudent investments for the future. Economic development bonding is as important for Maine as retirement and savings accounts are for families.

Investments in research and development made through state bond initiatives have been a prudent and reliable way to improve our economy.

In 2007, Maine voters approved $50 million in R&D bonds and in 2010, an additional $3 million was approved. Administered by Maine Technology Institute, 35 projects have been funded, creating 289.5 new jobs and preserving 303. The projects generated $17.1 million in revenue, $100.7 million from non-state government sources and $29.4 million in investments from private capital.

Support from previous state R&D bonds over the past decade has enabled Jackson Laboratory to build new research buildings, a data center and other vital infrastructure, helping our workforce grow to 1,400.

This week, Maine legislators meet to vote on five bond initiatives, including a $20 million research and development proposal. The state’s largest chambers of commerce agree that an R&D bond this year would spark more economic activity and at a most critical time.

Investing in science and technology has been a solid economic development strategy in Maine, creating good jobs with good pay and benefits for Maine’s young people. Passage of the state R&D bond is a clear signal that we care enough to invest in our own future. R&D investment works for Maine.

Michael E. Hyde

Vice president for advancement

The Jackson Laboratory

Bar Harbor

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