MIDCOAST REGIONAL REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY Executive Director Steve Levesque shows off TechPlace to Sen. Angus King on Friday.

MIDCOAST REGIONAL REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY Executive Director Steve Levesque shows off TechPlace to Sen. Angus King on Friday.

BRUNSWICK

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, braved the elements Friday to tour TechPlace at Brunswick Landing.

In 2013, King offered support to secure a $750,000 Economic Development Administration grant to help get the necessary renovations at the former Navy building and hangar to accommodate multiple businesses.

King toured the building, where murals and other Navy markings still remain, and chatted with some of the business tenants.

Stopping by MVP Aero, King watched a short video of the triphibious plane the company has designed and will soon begin to construct. Watching how the two-seat aircraft can maneuver in the air, sea and snow, King was quick to say he just might need one of his own.

At InSphero, King heard about the work being done there in the area of hepatoxicity or chemical damage of the liver using liver microtissues.

Next, King stopped by Griffin LLC where gadget guru Eric Bleicken develops systems for use in Special Operations, communications and force protection. In his introduction, Bleicken was compared to “Q” from the James Bond movies. He showed King what looked like a square of sofa stuffing, telling him the lightweight material is better than Kevlar for absorbing and dispersing the force of a bullet.

Bleicken introduced King to a handgun that, with special bullets, can blast like a cutting torch or welder depending on the tip attached to the barrel.

King was also shown the shared spaces of TechPlace — a lab where companies can conduct work in a clean space and a workshop where they can build molds or utilize a 3D printer.

At the end of the tour, King said the facility was “fantastic.” He referred to it as putting the power of people together with the resources to create things. King said the 23 new businesses that have made their home at TechPlace are a welcome addition with many new jobs being brought to the area.

“Lots of new jobs, lots of potential, lots of room to grow — what’s not to like? It’s all due to the leadership of the authority,” King said.

King credited Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Steve Levesque for the positive transformation of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. He said Levesque had done a fantastic job but that he’s not surprised, adding he’s been working with Levesque for almost 20 years.

“Ten years ago, I remember being in my kitchen and hearing the news about the closure but my next thought was, this is really going to be tough for this area. But it’s a really great place and we’re going to rebuild and that’s what’s happened,” King said.

King said he had spent a lot of time hearing the P-3 Orions over Brunswick and that every so often he would hear a complaint about the noise the patrol planes made. King said he always replied that “that’s the noise of jobs.”

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