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Gulf Of Maine Research Institute


Portland, ME

Project Name

Gulf of Maine Blue Innovation Recovery

Award Amount

Federal Share

Local Match



The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), in partnership with SeaAhead, a Boston-based bluetech startup platform, will lead a blue innovation recovery initiative to provide direct support to regional seafood-related startups and small businesses that face significant operational challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the Gulf of Maine region, a burgeoning group of entrepreneurial businesses are focused on driving innovation in finfish, shellfish and algae aquaculture, as well within U.S. wild fisheries. Their solutions – including supply chain digitization, aquaculture innovations, and new fisheries technology – are essential to global competitiveness in the blue economy. This economic relief grant will help preserve the region’s momentum in blue innovation as entrepreneurs face an increasingly difficult operating environment. It will also establish a lasting platform for growth and resiliency after the pandemic.

The project workstreams center on building a stronger regional open innovation platform that addresses the critical tasks that blue economy startups and small businesses struggle to execute, especially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The EDA SPRINT grant will assist seafood-related startups and small business scale-ups by enabling the Project Team to 1) scale entrepreneurship support models through a digital platform and simplified access to physical assets; 2) deepen and enrich digital mentorship models and connect startups to key mentors; 3) increase and enhance access to investment capital. The end result is an enhanced economic corridor in northern New England that will allow the region to be more resilient to the next economic shock.

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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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