Vote YES on Question 1 (June 13, 2017)
The Special Referendum Election ballot would contribute to improving Maine’s competitiveness and economic growth opportunities.
Maine currently invests only one percent of its GDP (gross domestic product) in research and development.
That puts us 45th in the nation and last in New England for investing in innovation. While our business community and state politicians claim that the future of Maine is building the creative economy and in encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit, they haven't invested the capital to deliver on the motto that Maine is "Open for Business".
Innovation isn't possible without a strong foundation of infrastructure and technology.
The $50 million bond up for vote will leverage an additional $50 million in matching funds. The combined $100 million will fund research and development, and provide loans and startup capital to small businesses that have the potential for significant growth and job creation.
Supports Maine Technology Institute
The passing of this referendum would provide $50 million in bonds to be managed by the Maine Technology Institute (MTI). This organization was created in 1999 to support innovation and job creation in the state. They will be responsible for distributing the funds and managing the investments focused on the state’s targeted technology sectors, as well as loans to businesses with potential for growth and job creation.
Of the $50 million, $45 million would be allocated to MTI to invest in the state’s seven targeted technology sectors; biotechnology, environmental technologies, and marine technology and aquaculture.
The most direct impact on our economy will be creating full-time well-paying jobs in the state. For example, in 2009 MTI granted $4.45 million in state infrastructure bond funds to Bigelow Laboratory. These funds enabled us to create 50 new direct and indirect fulltime jobs, establish or expand joint ventures with 24 companies, and successfully compete for an additional 35 new research grants that brought in over $30 million to the state of Maine. These funds created permanent and well-paying jobs, generated tax revenue, and helped the state of Maine expand its competitive edge.
Investing in Research is Good for Everyone
According to the Portland Press Herald, The bond funds will benefit not only the direct recipients of funding through MTI, but also create an economic ripple effect throughout Maine's communities. It’s estimated that every $1 spent on R&D generates another $2 to $4 in local spending, from restaurant meals to haircuts to durable goods purchases.