Maine Composites Alliance wins half-million-dollar grant

MCA has been awarded $489,468 from the Maine Technology Institute to organize, promote and expand Maine's ocean and wind energy cluster.

The Maine Composites Alliance (MCA, Portland, Maine, USA) has been selected by the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) to receive an award of $489,468 in collaboration with the Maine Wind Industry Initiative and the E2Tech Council to organize, promote and expand Maine’s ocean and wind energy cluster.

“This award will help Maine industries participate in the supply chain to service the onshore and offshore wind and hydrokinetic ocean energy development that’s taking place throughout the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada,” stated Steve Von Vogt, executive director of MCA. MCA and its partners also raised $660,781 as a cash contribution and $107,593 in in-kind contributions in order to qualify for the MTI grant.

Over the past decade, Maine has made concerted efforts to build upon its core composites capabilities through investments in research and development via its academic institutions and support for its industries innovating in the development and use of new building materials. These investments include:

  • Major investments in University of Maine Advanced Composites and Structures Lab (AEWC), an applied research facility focused on use of composites, from Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research EPSCoR, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the MTI, and the State of Maine.
  • MTI has made significant investments in composite companies such as the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC), Harbor Technologies and Kenway Corporation.
  • A major investment by U.S. Department of Labor through the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development Initiative (WIRED) in the composites, marine and boatbuilding industries.

"We congratulate the Maine Composites Alliance on this award," added Betsy Biemann, president of Maine Technology Institute. "MTI's Cluster Initiative Program works across Maine with industry to help companies and organizations within a particular industry sector come together to create scale and help the whole industry grow. We look forward to seeing the progress of this industry cluster as they work on promoting and expanding Maine's ocean and wind energy cluster nationally and internationally and by doing so, create good jobs across Maine."

Von Vogt states, “The key challenge in many of these efforts is bringing together assets into an efficiently coordinated supply chain. The MTI award will support MCA’s effort to address immediate unmet needs in the ocean and wind energy cluster and expand the lessons and solutions developed through other composite dependent sectors.”