Maine trade conference hails “ancient future” industries for innovation, resilience

Maine’s heritage industries – enduring through decades and even centuries – demonstrate how to innovate and stay relevant amid change and how to be resilient amid challenges.

That was the central message from speakers during Maine International Trade Center’s Trade Day 2024, held May 16-17 in Bangor. The theme was “Evolution: The Future of Maine’s Heritage Industries.”

The conference noted that for centuries, the state’s economic growth and global competitiveness came from the agriculture, forest products, seafood, shipbuilding and textile industries, all based on Maine’s natural resources.

Those heritage industries have experienced significant changes over the last two decades through advances in manufacturing processes and improved technology, including development of new products such as clothing made from forest products and heat-resistant textiles used in space.

There are now plenty of similar opportunities for Maine businesses, speakers said.