Three organizations received awards totaling $658,756 from the Maine Technology Institute’s Cluster Initiative Program for projects intended to boost technology-intensive clusters in the state.

The awards will leverage $895,229 in matching contributions from private donations.

MTI also approved two “Tech Start” grants totaling $5,900 to help advance new products and processes in biotechnology, information technology and precision manufacturing. Those awards will be matched by equal contributions from the award recipients.

The CIP awards went to:

Coastal Enterprises Inc. received $134,189 for the Maine Scallop Aquaculture Cluster Project. The project, which provided a $134,310 match, supports efforts to enhance Maine’s scallop aquaculture by using techniques developed in Japan.

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute received $398,306 for continuing its Sustainable Seafood Cluster Initiative. GMRI works with seafood harvesting, processing, distribution and sales companies to enhance the benefits from an economically and ecologically sustainable Gulf of Maine fishery. The award triggered an equal match from industry, grants and individuals.

The city of Ellsworth’s Union River Center for Innovation received $126,270 to support a bioscience cluster. The money will be used to help develop an incubator to assist bioscience entrepreneurs in the region. The funding was matched with $376,802 from city and private industry supporters.

The Tech Start grants went to Traps Eyeware in Portland, which was awarded $2,100 to be matched by an equal amount from the company, and MedRhythms of Cape Elizabeth, which was awarded $3,800, to be matched by an equal amount from the company.

Tech Start grants are intended to help entrepreneurs and companies across Maine develop their ideas into new, innovative products or services.

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