The Bangor Daily News published an opinion piece titled “Maine inventors have a natural advantage,” by David Kappos, a partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York who also served as under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from 2009 to 2013. “Continued promulgation of fabrication labs is crucial to Maine’s ascent in innovation. The University of Maine has wisely made bold investments in such facilities,” the article states. The complete version of the article first appeared in Maine Policy Review, published by UMaine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.
Archive for the ‘Economic Development’ Category
Mainebiz reported on the 12 panelists who have been named for the 2014 Top Gun Showcase on June 4. At the showcase, 12 of the 20 companies that went through the Top Gun entrepreneur mentor program will have their pitches evaluated by the panelists who come from a variety of industries. The University of Maine’s Target Technology Incubator is co-hosting the event with the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, which runs the Top Gun program. The event is supported by the Blackstone Accelerates Growth initiative, the Maine Technology Institute, business sponsors, mentors and program advisers.
The Portland Press Herald published an article on a startup founded by two former University of Maine hockey coaches Dan Kerluke and David Alexander, along with Tim Westbaker, a computer programmer and UMaine alumnus. The trio created Double Blue Sports Analytics to create an iPad app that allows hockey goalies and goaltending coaches to easily capture performance data and analytics. The startup is the first to market with such a goalie-specific data analytics product, but already has plans to tap into the much broader global market for sports science and training, the article states. The company is a tenant of the Target Technology Incubator, an Orono facility that was developed by UMaine and the Bangor Target Area Development Corporation to provide an environment for business development and commercialization activities for innovation-based startups. Kerluke told the Press Herald he met Westbaker through Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation. Kerluke calls Moriarity the company’s “guardian angel.”
David Handley, a vegetable and small fruit specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, and John Rebar, executive director of UMaine Extension, spoke to the Bangor Daily News for an article about the U.S. Department of Agriculture offering new crop insurance options to cover fruits and vegetables. According to the article, the program will extend coverage to smaller farms as opposed to only benefiting growers of commodity crops, such as corn and soybeans. Previous insurance programs gave little incentive for farmers to diversify their crops, the article states. Handley said in previous Farm Bills, crop insurance appeared to cover the same crops that crop subsidies covered, and the new options appear to be an effort by the USDA to try to fix some of the current issues that haven’t been popular with farmers. “We are seeing a real resurgence in growth of diversified farms,” Rebar said. “They need some risk protection.”
The Bangor Daily News spoke with Daniel Williams, interim executive director of the Collins Center for the Arts, for the article “People behind Bangor’s entertainment industry laud growth.” Williams said he remembered people talking about building a “creative economy” in the Bangor area years ago and believes it is finally happening. At a Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Williams said he and other entertainment representatives are working to identify and fill their niche to provide a variety of entertainment offerings that appeal to diverse audiences. The BDN also quoted Williams in an article about the CCA offering the kickoff performance of a national tour of Stephen King and John Mellencamp’s musical “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.” Williams said the first night of the show — in early November — will be the CCA’s gala opening for this year’s season. “It’s an incredibly exciting thing for us and for the region in general, as synonymous as we are with Stephen King,” he said. “We’re lucky enough to be the first stop on their national tour.”
The latest edition of Maine Policy Review, a publication of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, was the focus of the Mainebiz article, “Innovation linked to education, R&D spending: report.” The article states that according to the report, Maine has made considerable improvements in higher education attainment and research and development investments relative to the nation since the late 1990s, but it still has far to go to stimulate those and other drivers of innovation and personal income. The full Maine Policy Review report is online.
Paul Anderson, director of the Aquaculture Research Institute at the University of Maine and director of Maine Sea Grant, was a recent guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show. The show focused on salmon aquaculture in Maine and how the industry has changed so far and where it may go in the future.
The Boothbay Register mentioned the UMaine Business Challenge in an article about the Boothbay-based Above and Beyond Scheduling winning second place in the contest. The UMaine Business Challenge was founded in 2011 by a group of 2010 UMaine graduates who wanted to give back to their alma mater while creating more opportunities for student entrepreneurs. Above and Beyond Scheduling is a new business venture by Juliette and Ronald Cohen that will act as an in-between service for patients and caregivers using a network of certified nurses, aides and specialists. The Cohens won $1,000 and consulting services provided by Cary Weston of Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications. “This win means a lot to both of us,” Juliette Cohen said. “Now we can use our resources in other ways, and we won’t be stretched so thin at the beginning.”
The University of Maine’s proposed offshore wind pilot project was the focus of the Working Waterfront editorial, “Changing wind direction should not blow Maine off course.” The project was recently chosen as an alternate for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Demonstration Program and will receive $3 million for further research and development. It will be considered for more funding should it become available. “The potential benefits of offshore wind generation are too great to put on the shelf,” the editorial reads.
The Huffington Post spoke with Andrew Plant, an educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Aroostook County, about growing soybeans in northern Maine. Plant said growers in northern parts of the state who are searching for crop alternatives to increase net farm income should consider planting soybeans. He said the beans perform best in well-drained soils, which are typical in Aroostook County, and can easily fit into a two- or three-year rotation with or without potatoes.