Campus Ventures is both a grant-funded and fee-for-service innovation and commercialization accelerator program for Maine companies and university technology transfer/spin-off projects.
The program was designed to help entrepreneurs, companies and university faculty members advance technology-intensive projects and provide rich experiential learning opportunities for students.
Campus Ventures supports innovation, economic development, and job creation in Maine.
- Campus Ventures as a Business Resource: Participation in Campus Ventures can jump-start a commercially viable technology to market and develop or resolve technical challenges within a technical product or process.
- Innovation and Economic Development: Campus Ventures is a portal through which industry can access university resources and provides a clear path for faculty to commercialize their research. We provide a "fast-track" for applied research and commercialization of new technologies.
- Experiential Education for Students: Campus Ventures students gain documentable, transferable skills relevant to their career path. Students work in teams with project managers and project plans that include milestones, budgets, and time constraints, exposing them to expectations in the workplace.
Campus Ventures is funded in part through a Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF) grant, a Maine Technology Institute (MTI) Cluster Development Award, and by industry partners. In 2010, USM and UMaine were awarded an MTI Cluster Development grant to support the Precision Manufacturing Cluster. These funds are being currently used to build capacity to support Maine companies in the precision manufacturing sector. Included in this grant were three pieces of advanced prototyping, 3D scanning, and manufacturing equipment which was divided between the two campuses.
Capacity to build this program was funded in large part due to MTI's investment in building staff, project management and technical capacity with our partners at UMaine's AMC.
To date, the Campus Ventures program has completed or is currently engaged in 30 applied research and commercialization projects. Since inception in 2010, three new commercialized products or technologies have been brought to market through the program. Over 60 undergraduate and graduate students have completed paid internships with the program.