|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
Maine's economy has undergone a significant transformation with the loss of the majority of its forest products manufacturing and commercial fishing industries in the past ten years. Between 2013 and 2014, paper mill closures led to layoffs of more than 1,100 workers in East Millinocket, Lincoln, Old Town, and Bucksport. These four mills lie within an 84-mile corridor along the Penobscot River, and the direct job losses, coupled with the resulting secondary job losses, have devastated the Penobscot and Hancock counties regional economy. Despite these losses in one of Maine’s most traditional industrial sectors, there is good news in another traditional – but younger – sector in this region: biotechnology.
The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) was founded in Bar Harbor, Maine, in 1929 as an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with seven employees working in a 14,000 square foot facility. Today, JAX is a world leader in mammalian genetics and a vital component of the nation’s biomedical research infrastructure with more than 1,500 employees. The Laboratory’s mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. Laboratory scientists discover the mechanisms and causes of human diseases and collaborate with clinicians from around the globe to advance biomedical research. JAX has established itself as a leader of Maine's research community, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and a scientific hub for courses, conferences, training and education.
In 2015, EDA invested $1.82 million to support the construction of infrastructure and support systems improvements that will enable Jackson Laboratory to construct and operate a large, automated state-of-the-art research mouse vivarium and related research facilities in the city of Ellsworth. This added capacity will support critical biomedical research worldwide, and is expected to create 365 direct, high-quality jobs and leverage $119 million in private investment.