Maine Impact Week to celebrate, foster innovation powered by UMaine

Maine Impact Week, an annual celebration of the University of Maine’s community and contributions to the scientific, creative and economic advancement of the state, kicks off on April 8.

More than 15 events will highlight the impact of research and creative work produced by Maine’s premier research university, which ranks among the top 3.7% of doctoral universities nationwide with very high research activity. Most events are free and open to the public.

The week culminates on April 12 with the UMaine Student Symposium in the New Balance Field House. More than 1,000 students will present their research and creativity through posters, oral presentations and exhibits. Projects cover a range of topics including art, business, education, engineering, science and the humanities. The symposium is free and open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to register in advance online and bring non-perishable food and personal hygiene products to donate to the UMaine Black Bear Exchange and Caring Community Cupboard. 

Other highlights during the week are as follows:

  • Expert-led stargazing and total solar eclipse viewing will be offered in Jackman by staff from UMaine’s Versant Power Astronomy Center on April 7 and 8. UMaine scientists and students will also release a giant balloon to livestream the rare celestial event from the stratosphere. Additional information is available online
  • The Older Adult Health and Wellness Fair will take place from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9 at Buchanan Alumni House. Older adults and caregivers are invited to this free event, which will include 20+ exhibitors for health screenings, educational opportunities and information about local volunteer groups and older adult services.
  • Showcases at UMaine’s Innovative Media and Commercialization Center will highlight research entities on April 10 and artistic presentations by interdisciplinary PhD students on April 11. Both events are free and open to the public.
  • The inaugural Maine Innovation Exchange will take place on April 11. The event aims to streamline how businesses can tap into the portfolio of research, innovation, infrastructure and talent at the state’s top research university. The one-day conference will showcase university-business partnerships, demonstrate how to forge new collaborations and connect businesses to innovative growth solutions. Registration for the event is $50 and is available online. Optional campus tours are also available. 

A new development in 2024 is two spin-off events hosted at UMaine’s Portland Gateway on 300 Fore Street, Portland later in the month. 

  • The Manufacturing Showcase on April 17 invites businesses to connect with research services and experts from UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, a global leader in green energy and materials, advanced wood composites, large-scale bio-based additive manufacturing, smart materials, ocean engineering and much more. This two-hour, open house event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required and available online.
  • Research Services Demonstration Day on April 23 will showcase cutting-edge research equipment and services offered by the University of Maine System. During the two-hour open house, innovators and enterprises can meet experts and learn how to tap into resources ranging from biological applications to logistics at the University of Maine, the University of Southern Maine and University of Maine School of Law. Advance registration is required and available online.

Maine Impact Week is hosted annually by UMaine’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. In 2023, Maine’s flagship secured an unprecedented $189.7 million for research projects — a 28% increase over the previous year. UMaine’s research and development expenditures exceeded $245.7 million, a 78% increase from five years ago. Most of this research support came from outside Maine, a net gain for the state’s economy. 

“Maine Impact Week embodies the spirit of scientific, cultural and creative advancement championed by UMaine and its community,” says Kody Varahramyan, vice president for research and dean of the graduate school. “The recent records set by our research enterprise are driven by faculty, staff and students working across disciplines to address challenges and pioneer opportunities. Their success is a testament to our unwavering commitment to advancing knowledge, both among our students and for the betterment of life in Maine and everywhere.” 

A full list of events and details, such as registration links, can be found on the Maine Impact Week website. 

Contact: Erin Miller, 207.581.2285,