Gov. Mills’ call to re-establish an Office of Innovation was exciting and bold. An office to coordinate all of the state’s investments in technology makes perfect sense if only for one single point: We are swimming in an abundance of innovation. Millions of taxpayer dollars and decades of research have yielded major advances in the understanding of our own natural resources. What we need now is a coordinated effort to help translate our wealth of innovation into actual industries and jobs that create real value. What we need is the commercialization to finally realize the benefit of our investments as Maine takes its place as a critical trading partner in the high North Atlantic.
In the last decade, Maine has invested over $354 million in research and development. We’ve developed innovative ways to grow and process kelp, oysters, potatoes and blueberries. We’ve learned about invasive green crabs’ migratory patterns and modeled what will happen as the Gulf of Maine acidifies and warms. We’ve discovered new uses for wood and carbon fiber. Read full story