The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded a $812,823 grant to the Maine International Trade Center and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development to help the state attract more foreign direct investments.
The EDA grant is meant to support the MITC’s plans to establish a statewide Invest in Maine Program.
MITC recently conducted a two-year pilot focused on the composites and advanced materials sector wherein they attempted to engage international companies.
The Invest in Maine Program was established with support and funding from the Maine Technology Institute. Through this program, MITC coordinates overseas meetings with potential foreign investors across Europe, Asia and Latin America, and hosts investor and company visits in Maine.
MITC also has a “Study Maine” initiative, and this Visit-Study-Invest promotional video created as part of the Invest in Maine Program combines Maine’s pitch to attract foreign investors, students and tourists.
The promotional video has been shown at events all over the world, including in the United Kingdom, China and Mexico.
All told, the pilot program engaged 112 international companies, which resulted in visits by 12 of them to Maine and generated 12 proposals including joint ventures in the composites and advanced materials sectors.
MITC expects to double this conversion rate in the added sectors of renewable energy, aerospace, life sciences and food production as a result of the Invest in Maine Program. They believe that the new investment will help them build on the momentum and interest sparked by the pilot.
Specifically, EDA’s investment will enable them to do workforce assessment and research, along with marketing, lead generation and other promotional activities for enticing foreign companies to select locations in Maine for investments.
According to the MITC, the EDA investment will provide companies in Maine with access to capital, encourage job growth and business expansion in advanced and general manufacturing, and help develop supply chains and promote innovation in healthcare and science.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams said in a statement that attracting FDI to the United States, increasing exports and promoting trade is a major focus for the EDA and the Department of Commerce.
ASC Williams added that this EDA investment will help infuse Maine’s economy with new jobs and industries to create a stronger, more sustainable economy.