Maine Technology Institute issues forest technology RFP

By Maine Technology Insititute | December 21, 2018
The Maine Technology Institute has announced a request for responses to the Emerging Technology Challenge for Maine’s Forest Resources. The goal of the challenge is to deploy a forest industry technology in Maine, preferably co-located at an existing industrial facility, where forest biomass is used in the production of a value-added product for sale into a well-defined, promising market.

 MTI will award up to $1.5 million in grants to challenge winners, for one or more projects. Responders to the challenge are expected to submit information to describe their strong business case, feedstock fit with Maine, the technical and technoeconomic merit of their technology, economic benefits to Maine, and geographic fit.

Submissions are due by January 25, 2019, and should be submitted to Biobased Maine. MTI has contracted with Biobased Maine to help collect information on forest industry technologies and managing the challenge process. Click here for detailed submission guidelines. Information on the challenge can also be found on MTI’s website.

"MTI supports Maine’s robust forest industry, including efforts to diversify it," said Brian Whitney, MTI President. "MTI recognizes the growth of industrial biotechnology around the globe and wants to ensure that Maine is part of this growth."

While this innovation challenge is restricted to emerging technologies for Maine’s forest resources, the challenge will also serve as a pilot project to inform innovation challenges in other sectors in the future and to benefit of Maine’s overall economic development.

 Over the past several years, Maine’s forest industry stakeholders have collaborated to chart a course for the future of the industry. The industry remains strong and robust,contributing an estimated $8.5 billion annually to the state’s economy, with the potential to grow to $12 billion by 2025. It is poised to embrace new opportunities, and there have been recent success stories. In the past few years, approximately $1.02 billion has been invested in Maine’s forest industry, including pulp and paper equipment, wood processing equipment, energy production, and new facility construction.

 "With a wave of recent investments and a new vision for growth through 2025, the future of Maine's forest industry is bright," said Charlotte Mace, executive director of Biobased Maine. "New forest technologies will help to diversify and sustain the industry into its second golden age and revitalize rural Maine communities with the creation of high-paying jobs."