The Maine Algal Research and Innovation Accelerator (MARIA), is planned to be constructed on Bigelow Laboratory of Ocean Science East Boothbay campus this spring and early summer. The Accelerator will be a roughly 3000-square foot greenhouse and research facility that will grow algae to explore new commercial algal-based products and develop universal algal standards. The initial funding included $5,000 provided by MTI, a seed grant that inspired the whole initiative. The project is also funded through a $100,000 federal grant and a $300,000 loan from the Maine Community Foundation’s Farms, Fisheries and Food Fund.  “My hope is that the greenhouse will serve as a flywheel that drives innovation. It will accelerate the process of taking ideas for natural products created using micro and macro algae and turning them into concepts” said Mike Lomas, Director of the National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) at Bigelow Laboratory. Read full story