GARDINER — The Maine Technology Institute is poised to leave Gardiner for the redeveloped Brunswick Naval Air Station.

The nonprofit organization’s current lease expires in August. The institute is exploring Building 27, the former Navy family services center, as a new home that would increase its public visibility and links to tech-related companies, The Times Record of Brunswick reported Thursday.

The group has eight full-time employees.

“Part of our strategic plan is to increase our outreach and visibility for businesses,” said Betsy

Biemann, president of the Maine Technology Institute. “With our lease expiring in August, it was an opportunity to see if there were locations that would help us achieve that plan.

“Brunswick Landing was one of those options,” she said.

The potential move to Brunswick is “in its initial stages,” Biemann said.

Although the institute’s board is considering other locations, it was clear Friday that the redesigned and renamed Brunswick site – with its focus on creating a center of business innovation – is the clear front-runner.

“It seems to be where we should be, in a place that will help us have the most positive impact for Maine businesses and others in terms of outreach and support,” Biemann said. “With the focus (in Brunswick) on businesses developing composites, renewable energy … these are areas that MTI is very interested in supporting.”

Lease terms are still being discussed. Biemann said a decision will be made by the end of July.
Biemann said she has not heard from representatives of Gardiner.

The Maine Technology Institute was established by the Legislature in 1999. Since 2000, the institute says, it has funded 1,295 technology projects in Maine.