The Maine Technology Institute’s “Prime” program has awarded 174 awards to companies for helping recover from the pandemic, investing in new products and lines of business, attracting new customers and supporting long-term growth.
Governor Janet Mills today announced $23.3 million in grants under her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to help Maine technology companies recover from the pandemic, invest in new products and business sectors. business, attract new customers and create long-term economic growth.
The prizes were awarded by the PRIME (Pandemic Recovery for an Innovative Maine Economy) fund, which is administered by the Maine Technology Institute. The new fund focuses its investments in companies engaged in Maine’s targeted technology sectors, which include biotechnology, composites and advanced materials, forestry and agriculture, marine industries, precision manufacturing and more.
By targeting these sectors, the PRIME Fund aims to accelerate job creation and reach businesses that do not have access or have been unable to access other federal economic support programs in response to the pandemic. Increasing investment in innovative businesses is also a key recommendation of the state’s 10-Year Economic Strategy and the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee to make Maine more competitive with other states.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Mills administration has allocated more than $288 million in aid to support Maine small businesses in various economic sectors. Earlier this month, the governor announced two more programs — “Grow Maine” and “Thrive Maine” — using federal funds to provide an additional $120 million to help small businesses succeed in Maine.
“In Maine, innovation is a proud tradition – some people even call it ‘Yankee ingenuity.’ The PRIME Fund will continue this proud tradition, investing directly in Maine businesses that are at the forefront of new products and services, many of which were unable to access federal economic assistance at the height of the pandemic,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Together with other recently announced programs, my administration is working to ensure that innovative Maine businesses are well positioned to drive positive change in Maine’s economy and in the global marketplace.”
“Catalyzing innovation is a central part of Maine’s 10-year economic development strategy,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Ministry of Economic and Community Development. “The PRIME Fund makes strategic investments in Maine companies that are at the forefront of the kind of new technologies and ideas that will create jobs, attract top talent to our state, and strengthen Maine’s economic future.”
“MTI has received over 300 applications for the PRIME Fund, demonstrating the dire need for support,” said Brian Whitney, president of the Maine Technology Institute. “While funding decisions have been incredibly difficult given the volume of proposals and high quality of applications, we are confident that these grants will help strengthen our state’s technology companies, generate quality jobs, and ensure a more resilient Maine economy.”
The awards announced today represent the first phase of the $39 million global PRIME fund grants and range from $10,000 to approximately $387,000. This round received 321 total applications asking for more than $71 million. Two more rounds of PRIME grants are expected later this year.
To be eligible for a PRIME grant, companies must be engaged in Maine’s designated technology sectors through research, development, or innovation; employ 250 full-time employees or less and demonstrate that their business has been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
Eligible uses of grant funds include salaries, rent, or mortgage payments for commercial facilities, purchases of business-related equipment, start-up costs for new programs and/or new markets that may require investments in capital, and more.
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine residents and families, help businesses, create well-paying jobs and build an economy. ready for future prosperity.
It draws heavily on the recommendations of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the state’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy, turning them into concrete actions to improve the lives of Maine residents and strengthen the economy.
To learn more about Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.