UMaine Highlights - Economic Development Partnerships
Moving R&D into Maine’s Economy
UMaine works with several economic development organizations and municipalities to package real estate, programs and services necessary to support companies commercializing new technologies. Specific partnerships include Blackstone Accelerates Growth, the Maine Business Incubation System, Target Development Corporation and Mobilize Maine, as well as collaborations with many of Maine’s trade associations and professional organizations.
UMaine often supports companies with their Maine Technology Institute-funded grants. In addition, UMaine researchers support the Maine Technology Institute by serving on the board of directors, technology boards and proposal review committees.
Workforce development through meaningful internships.
UMaine has a strong history of meaningful internships for students. Many of these are integrated into the seven technology sectors. Programs like the Pulp and Paper Scholars, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, and individual companies, such as KEPWARE, pay students for jobs in real problem solving experiences in Maine’s research, development, commercialization and economic development community.
The latest of these programs is the Innovate for Maine Fellows program run by the UMaine Foster Center for Student Innovation in partnership with the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (Portland) and the Maine Technology Institute (Brunswick).
As part of the Blackstone Accelerates Growth initiative, one of UMaine’s key roles is the development and operation of the Innovate for Maine Fellows program. This program is designed to reverse the brain drain of many of Maine’s best and brightest students by connecting them with innovative companies in the state through internship placements. Exposure to these companies gives students confidence that there are meaningful work opportunities in the state. In addition to the internship placement, students participate in intensive training and networking opportunities to build the workforce of future innovators and entrepreneurs. Any Maine student, regardless of where he or she attends school, and any out-of-state student attending a Maine college or university may apply to be part of the program. In FY13, 30 fellows representing 13 colleges and universities worked with 33 companies statewide. The internship are funded by Blackstone and the individual companies.