The Maine Technology Institute awarded $1.2 million to four projects that boost the state’s high-potential clusters, which are concentrations of like businesses and associated institutions within a particular field. The funding leveraged $1.4 million in matching private money.

The awards were granted to support projects within the state’s food and composites clusters, according to a release from MTI.

The Maine Grain Alliance of Skowhegan received $50,000 for a feasibility and planning project to inventory existing grain drying and storage infrastructure along convenient trade routes, and research technologies and financing options to improve this infrastructure;

FocusMaine, in partnership with Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the Maine Aquaculture Association, received $219,600 to assist business planning and to unlock access to traditional financing for aquaculturists, and to create an open source small business resource based on the state’s competitive advantages;

The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority of Brunswick received $495,165 to develop TechPlace’s shared composites layup room and paint booth for use by TechPlace tenants and other composites companies; and

University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center received $438,046 to establish a Smart Materials Industry Consortium and Smart Materials Lab in Orono.

The awards were made through MTI’s Cluster Initiative Program.

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