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Gulf of Maine Research Institute


Portland, ME

Build to Scale Program

Venture Challenge

Project Name

Gulf of Maine Blue Economy Initiative

Award Amount

Federal Share

Local Match



The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), through its Gulf of Maine Ventures office, will expand and scale its newly launched Blue Economy Initiative to create and accelerate businesses applying technology to traditional and emerging marine industries. The Blue Economy is defined by the World Bank as the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.” Throughout the Gulf of Maine region, entrepreneurs are focused on driving innovation in sustainable finfish, shellfish, and algae aquaculture, as well in modernizing wild fisheries and driving climate adaption. Their solutions are essential to the region’s global competitiveness and quality job creation. The Blue Economy Initiative is a natural extension of GMRI’s integration of scientific research, community development work, and educational outreach platforms to directly benefit coastal communities and the environment. This project will sustain the early momentum of this work; help build out critical capacity to incubate and accelerate technology-forward businesses; provide mentorship, technical, and market support; and leverage an expanding network of partnerships. The Blue Economy Initiative offers a unique business development platform combining the technical expertise of GMRI, business formation and support services, the committed resources of multiple partner institutions, and a path to accessing needed investment capital. The result will be enhanced global competitiveness of the Gulf of Maine seafood industry, high-quality sustainable jobs, and a new generation of Blue Economy entrepreneurship.

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Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Build To Scale (B2S)
formerly Regional Innovation Strategies Program (RIS)

SPRINT Challenge

STEM Talent Challenge

Accelerate R2 Network Challenge

National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE)

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