Maine Technology Institute invests $1.5 million in forest resource sector

The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) has awarded $1.5 million (€1.3 million) under its Emerging Technology Challenge for Maine’s Forest Resources.

Two companies have each been awarded $750,000 under the initiative, which was established in December 2018 to support the development of emerging technology companies in the forest resource sector.

In addition to GO Lab, which received the award to transform the wood fibre insulation market over the next 10 years, Biofine Developments Northeast (BDNE) received the $750,000 award.

BDNE will use the funding to continue its commercial development of the first large scale biorefinery deploying Biofine’s technology in Bucksport, Maine. The facility will convert woody biomass to the chemical intermediate, levulinic acid, which can be used as a renewable substitute for heating oil.

“MTI supports Maine’s robust forest products industry, including efforts to diversify it,” said Brian Whitney, president of MTI. “This innovation challenge was an opportunity for MTI to take an active role in helping to identify promising and innovative technologies to help address daunting challenges in one of our key industrial sectors. And, it’s a model that we can replicate to address formidable problems plaguing other sectors in our state.”

The forest industry in Maine contributes an estimated $8.5 billion annually to the state’s economy.

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