The US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will invest $519,930 as part of a $856,549 project to Bio-Based Maine, in partnership with the University of Maine, to develop a road map to advance biobased manufacturing, marketing Maine’s biobased assets to investors in new technologies and processes, and providing technical assistance to Maine forest products manufacturers and users in the implementation of new biobased technologies. It is anticipated that the cost analysis, technology assessment and market research component of the project could place one or more mills into the production of cellulosic sugars, with 195 or more jobs created.
With the funding, Biobased Maine, along with its partners, will begin work with stakeholders statewide to comprehensively map and then market Maine’s bio-based manufacturing assets, including the state’s industrial infrastructure, transportation systems, workforce strength, and financing options.
Biobased Maine is an industry trade association that promotes the sustainable use of renewable biomass from forests, farms, and sea to manufacture the next generation of biobased chemicals, materials, and fuels. It aims to expand biobased product manufacturing in Maine through applied research, technical assistance, and information sharing that supports new product development, process engineering, and market assessment. Members include manufacturers, raw material suppliers, landowners, farmers, consultants, research institutions, private equity and nongovernmental organizations.
By the way, some of the Maine-based early adopters of bio-based chemicals include Tom’s of Maine, True Textiles, Biovation, Grow-Tech, Cerealus, Stonyfield Farm and Itaconix.