December 3, 2012

28 Maine companies sharing $1.5M in tech grants

By Jessica Hall jhall@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The Maine Technology Institute said it awarded about $1.5 million to 28 companies in the state working on the development of technology-based products and services in industries such as aquaculture and marine technology, as well as forestry, agriculture, and precision manufacturing.

The MTI funding was matched by more than $2.5 million raised by the recepients.

In total, MTI said it awarded $56,851 in TechStart grants, $170,227 in seed grants, $1.2 million in development loans and $29,999 in business accelerator grants.

The TechStart grants of up to $5,000 were awarded to entrepreneurs and companies developing new ideas and products to bring to market. Seed grants up to $25,000 were awarded to entrepreneurs pursuing early-stage research and development activities.

Meanwhile, development loans of up to $500,000 were awarded to support research and development of new or enhanced products, processes or services leading to commercialization.

Business accelerator grants were available to companies that have recently won federal Small Business Innovation Research Phase I and Phase II grants or are start-up or early-stage companies that have won am MTI Development Loans.

All MTI funding requires at least a one-to-one funding match.

“While all of these awards recognize the development of innovative technologies, the larger development loans approved by MTI’s Board to four companies acknowledge truly unique ideas with the capacity of significant impact on the state and national economy,” said MTI President Bob Martin.

MTI said it provided development loans to Fluid Imaging Technologies in Yarmouth ($498,600) for development of the "high sensitivity FlowCAM," an automated particle analysis instrument; Pika Energy in Gorham ($218,834) to accelerate commercialization of a wind energy system for the residential market; SeaChange Group in Cumberland ($249,923) to provide product testing of the company’s fuels for the marine transportation industry; and, RAS in Brunswick ($249,491) for the sustainable production of black sea bass and yellowtail in a recirculating aquaculture system.

“These four companies are poised to become world-class in their sectors,” Martin said. “The matching funds raised by this group demonstrate that others recognize these value opportunities as well.”

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