The Maine Technology Institute approved seven new grant applications in August, totaling $55,785 in awards to entrepreneurs from across Maine to advance new product and process development in aquaculture and marine technology, forestry and agriculture, information technology, and precision manufacturing.

This round of MTI awards leveraged $105,093 of matching contributions from the award recipients.

Awards from this round include:

• Four TechStart grants at $16,655

• One Business Accelerator grant at $9,140

• One Seed grant at $25,000

• One Phase 0 grant at $4,990

“The awards from this MTI funding round represent solid geographic diversity and a focus on innovation across some traditional natural resource-based and legacy industries in Maine such as agriculture, aquaculture, leather tanning and shoe making,” said Brian Whitney, MTI’s president. “We are thrilled to play a role in growing and retaining jobs throughout Maine and across industry sectors.”

Following is a summary of the awards:

TechStart grants

• The Maine Shoe Project of Northport, award amount $3,490; match amount $3,490

The project aims to reinvigorate the Maine shoe industry, bringing capital into the state through the manufacturing and marketing of custom-fitted women’s shoes.

• Sensory Cyber Systems of Orono, award amount $5,000; match amount $10,795

Sensory Cyber Systems is committed to the development, construction and distribution of technologies for clinical, biomedical, research, educational, engineering and various other business applications.

• Sensory Eyesight for Education (S.E.E.) of Old Orchard Beach, award amount $3,165; match amount $3,665

Sensory Eyesight for Education has designed a therapeutic medical device that will enable individuals with cortical visual impairment who are under the age of 22 to build new brain cells around old damaged brain tissue.

• Tasman Leather Group of Hartland, award amount $5,000; match amount $9,262

Tasman Leather Group has developed several innovative processing methods to produce leather products that are in high demand from customers, including the U.S. military, L.L. Bean, New Balance, Timberland and others.

Business Accelerator

• Sea & Reef Aquaculture of Franklin, award amount $9,140; match amount $35,740

Sea & Reef will use the grant to help increase sales.

Business Accelerator grants are available to startup/ early stage companies that have been awarded MTI development loans and to companies that have recently been chosen for a federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I or Phase II grant and/or a Broad Agency Announcement award.

Seed grant

• Raptor Maps, Inc. of Van Buren, award amount $25,000; match amount $37,141

Phase 0 KickStarter

• Alba-Technic of Winthrop, award amount $4,990; match amount $5,000

Head injuries from accidental falls is a significant and growing problem, specifically within the elderly population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that approximately 2.5 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations, or deaths were associated with traumatic brain injury. Accordingly, Alba-Technic is developing the SMARTY protective headgear to mitigate fall-related head injuries.

What is MTI?

MTI IS A PUBLICLY financed, private, nonprofit organization created by the Legislature in 1999 to stimulate research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products, processes and services in the state’s seven targeted technology sectors. MTI programs are either loans, equity investments, or grants designed to enhance the competitive position of those sectors and increase the likelihood that one or more of these sectors will support clusters of industrial activity and create quality jobs across Maine.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: