The State of Maine’s investment in the Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF) is a vital and ongoing commitment to advancing the research enterprise at Maine’s public universities to improve the civic and economic life of Maine.

At the start of 2022, the flagship University of Maine earned an R1 Carnegie Classification, joining the ranks of the nation’s top 146 doctoral research universities engaged in “very high research activity.” The R1 designation is the world standard for research universities, and this recognition is a direct result of more than 20 years of consistent MEIF and
other investment that has supported the growth of UMaine’s research capacity. The entire University of Maine System and the State of Maine as a whole are indebted to the foresight of the Maine Legislature for its commitment to this investment, which pays dividends back to Maine many times over.

UMaine’s R1 classification will help Maine’s public universities attract even more talent, investment and innovation to Maine at a pivotal moment in the state’s history. Throughout the ongoing pandemic, Maine’s public universities have been an essential and responsive partner, supporting Maine’s communities and innovating to solve problems. Now, the University of Maine System is increasingly focused on supporting Maine’s recovery and building resilience for the future. To do so, we draw upon the deep research strengths we have built across the seven MEIF sectors.

This MEIF report, which details the results of the System’s research efforts over the last fiscal year, demonstrates what advancements are possible from sustained research investment. A few highlights include:

  • In FY2021, the state’s $17.35 million MEIF investment was leveraged at a rate of 5.7:1 by our UMS campuses, leading to more than $98 million in additional federal and private-sector grants and contracts in the seven sectors.
  • MEIF funds, and the external grants and contracts they leverage, supported the work of 506 researchers and technicians, as well as 1190 graduate and undergraduate students.
  • MEIF-supported grants and contracts provide funds to purchase major equipment to upgrade and outfit university laboratories.
  • Maine’s public universities secured 7 new US patents and 32 associated foreign patents, worked on development projects with large and small businesses and start-ups, and provided R&D support to 390 companies and individuals.
  • Also included with this FY2021 MEIF report are additional financial reports and information required in the statute that created MEIF.

I am available at your convenience to discuss how we use MEIF funding to expand knowledge, research, and economic opportunity in Maine. Please contact me directly if you’d like to do so.

Sincerely,

Dannel Malloy
Chancellor

The Maine Economic Improvement Fund Fiscal Year 2021