The University of Maine highlights provided here are an integral part of the UMaine Blue Sky Plan and aligns outcomes with the research strategic plan as well as the state’s science & technology strategic plan. Each are referenced as they collectively address the broader academic and R&D initiatives. It is important to note that in addition research is intimately connected to teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as the enhanced linkage of GK-12 teachers and students in appropriate research activities.
The University of Maine Blue Sky Plan (2012-2017)
The University of Maine will align its innovation, entrepreneurship and community outreach with the priority economic and cultural needs of Maine. Our interconnected research, teaching and service mission will be a primary engine that drives Maine’s future. Our research enterprise will increase UMaine’s stature and footprint, and expand “use-inspired research.” We will focus on targeted growth in arenas promising returns on investment that will ultimately benefit all of our constituencies.
Increase total income from UMaine Research and Development Initiatives.
- Increase UMaine research expenditures from $100 million in FY 2009 to $125 million by 2017.
- Increase private foundation research funding from the FY 2010 level of $750,000 to $3 million by FY 2017.
- Grow UMaine intellectual property creation and increase royalty income ten-fold by 2017.
- Increase industry-funded research projects from $4.5M to $9.0M by FY 2017, including revenues and contracts from the Department of Industrial Cooperation and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and gifts from the UMaine Office of Development and the University of Maine Foundation in support of research.
- Review current Indirect Cost Return (ICR) policies to “reinvest” in the research enterprise.
- Review impacts of ICR percent return to units through pilot studies.
State of Maine Science and Technology Action Plan
The Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board (MIEAB) is required by statute to develop a Science and Technology Action Plan every five years, starting in 2010. This plan describes a new phase of Maine’s investment in an innovation economy, broadening the earlier focus on building research capacity to include investment into innovation and entrepreneurship as well as R&D. This is reflected in a new vision: Create an environment where science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship stimulate Maine’s economy.
Progress towards the new vision with three benchmarks:
- Research capacity: Maine’s total R&D activity will reach $1.4 billion by 2015, 3 percent of gross state product, up from $524 million in 2005 and $148 million in 1997.
- Employment: Maine’s innovation- intensive sectors will increase their aggregate employment by 5,400 to 60,000 by 2015. These sectors had employment of 67,073 in 2000 and 54,232 in 2008.
- Per capita income: Maine’s per capita income will increase to $42,000 by 2015, up from $33,962 in 2007 and $22,179 in 1997.
To reach these benchmarks, the State of Maine must pursue three strategies:
- Increase Maine’s total research and development by increasing R&D in the academic, non-profit and private sectors.
- Increase employment by building innovation capacity.
- Increase per capita income by increasing the skills of Maine workers.
The University of Maine FY13 Highlights
- 523 proposals were submitted involving 325 researchers and 56 departments, with $147,573,786 requested from external sponsors.
- Over 1,300 job positions were created and/or supported through MEIF, external grants and contracts.
- Over $6 million from grants and contracts was used to support students’ tuition and salaries to work in all technology sectors, including more than $1,000,000 to support over 300 undergraduate students.
- Over $2.5 million in new major equipment was secured to outfit labs throughout the university.
- 16 new U.S. and foreign patents were issues to UMaine and have been licensed.
- The Target Technology Incubator housed five tenants companies, supported five affiliate companies, and provided referrals or counseling to more than 100 walk-in companies and individuals. Including the eight graduating companies, they created 17 new full-time positions and raised $2.4 million in new capital, more than doubling FY12
- UMaine-affiliated aquaculture incubators in Franklin and Walpole supported six companies moving toward full-scale commercialization.
- In FY13, Blackstone Accelerates Growth co-funded 30 Innovate for Maine fellows representing 13 colleges and universities worked with 33 innovative Maine companies statewide supporting commercialization and company growth.
Total new dollars (MEIF + All Grants/Contracts/Gifts) available for R&D expenditures: $60,396,524 in FY13. UMaine used $11.6 million in MEIF funds to leverage $41,759,968 in external grants and contracts, specifically in the state’s seven targeted sectors.
UMaine continues its technology transfer and commercialization program. The university’s total patent portfolio now contains more than 175 patents, patent applications and international patents.
The University of Maine is a partner in the operation of two of the state’s Advanced Technology Development Centers or “business incubators.”
UMaine works with several economic development organizations and municipalities to package real estate, programs and services necessary to support companies commercializing new technologies.