Maine wins designation as a federal Tech Hub for forest bioproducts

Maine has won designation as a federal Tech Hub for the development of forest bioproducts and is in the running to receive up to $70 million to help advance the industry.

Meanwhile, the state is getting $500,000 in federal funding to plan and coordinate efforts aimed at creating that hub.

A consortium of the Maine Technology Institute, state officials and more than 30 businesses, schools and other organizations applied for the competitive designation from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Other members include the University of Maine, the Roux Institute, the Maine Community College System, Sappi, IDEXX Laboratories, Thornton Tomasetti, FOR/Maine, the AFL-CIO and the Maine Venture Fund.

The Maine group is one of 31 hubs selected out of 198 applicants nationwide. The state can now apply to become one of the five to 10 hubs that will receive allotments of $50 million to $70 million in federal funds.