The Gulf of Maine Research Institute started a for-profit subsidiary to attract investment and create products for the free market.

The Portland nonprofit on Monday announced an Ocean Business Accelerator to develop products and ventures that will be sold to customers.

“In the last decade, we have identified a number of opportunities, some of which make sense to evolve in the for-profit market instead of staying captive in a nonprofit,” Blaine Grimes, the institute’s chief development officer, said in an interview. Grimes will serve as the business development officer at the accelerator.

The accelerator was established with private donations and a $150,000 grant from the Maine Technology Institute.

Grimes would not say what products or services the accelerator planned to release. Its work will align with the institute’s mission to preserve the Gulf of Maine ecosystem, encourage sustainable fishing, educate the public and support local communities, Grimes said.

The business arm of the organization will grow some of the institute’s own expertise and partner with other companies on new projects, she added.

“There are some situations, where the idea requires more capital investment than the institute can raise through its charitable structure, or the growth of the opportunity would be better-served in a for-profit model,” Grimes said.

The accelerator and any companies it creates will have separate organizations and bookkeeping than the nonprofit institute, she added.


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