Maine Technology Institute (MTI), established by the Maine State Legislature in 1999, promotes and stimulates research and development throughout Maine. Funding from MTI generates additional, much-needed monies for companies working to bring new products and services to Maine’s technology industry. Since 2000 alone, MTI has funded over 1,200 technology projects. MTI invested $106 million toward those projects, resulting in an additional $173 million in funding. On Nov. 22, 2014, MTI announced that a fourth round of funds is available from the Maine Technology Asset Fund (MTAF). This fund is an award program in which competitors vie for monies from MTI. The MTAF itself is financed from Maine State bond proceeds that voters put into effect in 2007 and 2010. The current round of available monies is expected to total up to $3.3 million, which could generate up to 14 times more technology funding throughout the state.
Any company winning awards from MTI must use the monies for capital and related expenses regarding research, development and commercialization projects from which Maine stands to benefit economically. Some expenses that can be covered by this funding include equipment, software and licenses, and technical training for personnel related to equipment purchased. The awards cannot be used to cover any technology company’s standard operating expenses.
MTAF funding competitions follow a pattern established early on in the process. Prospective applicants must go to the MTI website in order to obtain the Request for Application form. Also on the site is the entire process for application, the requirements to be eligible for the award and the process timeline. Applicants can also take a look at all of the criteria used to evaluate the applications, giving them a better understanding of how the competitive and selection process works and, thereby, a better chance of receiving an award of funds.
All prospective applicants must file a Notice of Intent (NOI) to apply. The NOI does not factor into the final evaluation, but it does allow the team at MTI to ensure that there are enough reviewers from the correct industries to evaluate the applications received. All Notices of Intent are due in to the MTI office by noon on Friday, Dec. 18, 2014. Late NOI paperwork will not be accepted, so applicants are urged to submit this essential paperwork early.
MTI is offering two workshops for prospective applicants. On Dec. 1, 2014, there is a workshop in Portland, and there is a second workshop in Bangor on Dec. 4. Prospective applicants can find specific details regarding the specific times and locations for both workshops on MTI’s website. Martha Bentley, the MTAF program manager, is handling all questions about the application process and any related matters.
If prospective applicants have questions about MTI in general, these should be directed to Scott Burnett, who is MTI’s Director of Marketing and Analytics.