Governor Baldacci Calls R&D the Future of Maine's EconomySeptember 18, 2006 - TRCSOUTH PORTLAND - Governor John E. Baldacci said that a large part of the future of the state's economy is dependant on research and development. The Governor emphasized the importance of R&D to the crowd at the annual Maine Technology Institute Mixer."As well positioned as we are as a state, the longer we stay idle, the quicker someone else will pass us by coming up with new ideas, new technology and new jobs," Governor Baldacci told the attendees at the mixer. "All of you understand this and you don't want to be passed by someone else."The Governor praised the efforts by the Maine Technology Institute to continue to make investments in research and development. MTI has approved 824 projects for funding, totaling more than $32 million and matched by over $53 million since 1999."These investments are paying off for small businesses, larger companies, the textile industry, the boatbuilding industry," said the Governor, "they are all more competitive and creating more sustainable jobs while stimulating Maine's economy. This is helping your friends, neighbors and families right here in Maine."The Governor said that research and development throughout the state has increased in the past three and a half years. "Institutional personnel in R&D increased 67%, faculty involved in R&D grew by 66% and institutional R&D space grew 40%," said Governor Baldacci. "Innovation-based economic development is being achieved in your state."Governor Baldacci congratulated the three Maine businesses who received North Star Alliance funding through MTI - Small Craft Engineering LLC in Portland; Bruce Schwab Rumbleseat Rigging LLC in Woolwich; and Duncan Design in Portland. The fund is intended to target boatbuilding, marine trade and composites industries. "We are working in a global economy and MTI is fitting well into the state's plan for R&D and economic development by making it a priority for Mainers," said Governor Baldacci. "I support this institute because I know what benefits we will see as a state when you support R&D."In Maine, R&D activity directly supports over 11,000 jobs; over 500 companies have been assisted, mostly through MTI, creating over 600 jobs in the past 3 years; the University's research activity has tripled in the past decade; and Maine's federal research funding ranks 22nd in the country.Governor Baldacci is looking to continue the progress made in Maine on research and development by increasing investments in the state's current programs; expanding higher education; and growing and recruiting mid to large size innovation-driven companies."Clearly, an innovation driven economy is good for Maine and good for all of us," said Governor Baldacci. "Our plan will continue to bring prosperity, jobs and economic stability to this state for years to come."CONTACT: Crystal Canney, 287-2531, (cell) 557-5968 Dan Cashman, 287-2531, (cell) 837-4821 Read Online: http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?id=23891&topic=Portal+News&v=article-2006NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.