Role of MEIF

The role of MEIF is to support the solution of fundamental problems and discover new solutions, and to provide researchers at Maine’s public universities with the investment necessary to:

  • attain external grants and contracts to support R&D activities in Maine’s seven sectors
  • attract and retain world-class researchers
  • provide support for modern laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment
  • Create new products, patents, technologies, companies and exciting job opportunities in Maine
  • create and sustain economic development and innovation

MEIF funds often provide the required match to acquire federal or private sector grants, and this investment in Maine’s public university R&D helps faculty, staff and students successfully leverage tens of millions of dollars in grants and contracts annually.

MEIF directly supports faculty, grad students and staff who are working to make the universities more competitive for federal grants, expanding opportunities to support Maine companies and involve students in research learning and real applications of their education.

MEIF increasingly fosters university partnerships with business and industry through economic development collaborations, entrepreneur training programs, business incubators, technology accelerators, business research and other programs. These efforts lead to new Maine-based products, technologies, patents and spin-off businesses.

The University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine are the two universities with established research and graduate programs in the seven targeted research sectors and have received MEIF funds, with 76.6 percent to the University of Maine and 19 percent to the University of Southern Maine. In addition, 1.4 percent of MEIF funds are awarded to the University of Maine Machias and 3 percent to the other campuses and Maine Maritime Academy.

Indicators of success show that Maine’s MEIF investment is paying dividends by:

  • Creating businesses and jobs, including the jobs of university faculty, staff, and students working on MEIF-funded projects
  • Boosting Maine’s economy by leveraging MEIF funds to bring federal and private-sector grants and contracts to Maine.
  • Building capacity and expertise to help Maine companies solve problems and commercialize innovation.
  • Generating new intellectual property and working to commercialize patents and innovations.
  • Capitalizing on natural resources and core strengths by focusing R&D efforts on economic sectors where Maine can make real gains. University research personnel use MEIF resources to support the staff, equipment and facilities they need to successfully pursue and develop research projects.