We now live in an economy driven by the creation of knowledge, ideas, and information governed by rules different from those of natural resource-based or industrial economics. A knowledge economy challenges institutions of higher education to prepare innovative, entrepreneurial students with the vision and leadership to engage with their communities in support of economic and cultural growth, as well as, shared prosperity for all. 

USM recognizes its role in advancing regional and state economics. Through our research, academic programs, and training, we respond to the workforce and economic prosperity imperatives of Maine’s businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies. 

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Maine Economic Improvement Fund

Through the Maine Economic Improvement Fund at the University of Maine (MEIF @ USM), our faculty, professional research staff, and students undertake strategic initiatives that address industry-specific challenges in the areas of:

  • Biotechnology
  • Aquaculture and marine technology
  • Composite materials technology
  • Environmental technology
  • Advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture
  • Information technology
  • Precision manufacturing technology
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Maine Center for Business & Economic Research

As a federally designated University Center, funded in part by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Maine Center for Business & Economic Research (MCBER) links University expertise with partner organizations to support economic prosperity for Maine’s residents and businesses.

The Center offers applied research and technical assistance services to economic development districts, profit and nonprofit organizations, and individuals.

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Maine Regulatory Training and Ethics Center

Our Office of Research Integrity and Outreach (ORIO) developed the Maine Regulatory and Training Ethics Center (MeRTEC) in collaboration with our community partners to address risks associated with noncompliance in the state’s expanded regulatory climate.

In support of innovation and economic growth, the Center provides technical assistance, training, and internships and hosts an annual research integrity symposium.

The Center also collaborates with the University’s academic programs to offer the following certifications:

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Maine Small Business Development Center

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides comprehensive business management assistance, training, resource, and information services to build and strengthen Maine’s small and technology-based business communities.

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Maine North Atlantic Institute

The Maine North Atlantic Institute launched in 2015 to act as a convener to support the University’s interests in the North Atlantic and Arctic regions. We fund research, develop and strengthen partnerships, and support faculty and student exchanges and educational opportunities.