Maine Gulf Institute Wins $1.3 Million for Climate Change and ‘Blue Economy’ Initiatives

The Gulf of Maine Institute is funding $1.3 million from the federal government for two initiatives aimed at making the state’s waterfront communities more resilient to climate change and supporting innovation in the seafood industry and other marine businesses. Received funds close to a dollar.

The Portland-based Institute’s Climate Center will receive $650,000 to help develop regional plans to address rising sea levels and other impacts of climate change. GMRI’s Blue Economy Initiative will receive $632,000 to help launch and grow marine businesses.

The grant was included by Senator Angus King in Congress’ recent 2022 Omnibus Budget.

“Our mission is to develop collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges,” said Don Perkins, Institute’s president and CEO. It also focuses on the mechanisms of how we understand and manage the Gulf of Maine as a system of change, how we produce sustainable seafood, and how we support the resilience of coastal communities. I’m here. “

The Climatic Center hopes to develop ‘preparing for sea level rise’ workshops at the Portland Institute and coastal communities, and has so far hosted 60 such events from York to Mount Desert Island. I was.

“We want to make sure waterfront communities across Maine that are as large and well-resourced as here in Portland are functioning. Sea-level rise and increased storms, as well as resilience to climate change, can be models for cost-effective mitigation, even in species-dependent locations,” said David, director of the Center.・Reed Miller said. “The idea here is to usher in a new era of climate-smart waterfronts.”

The group looks beyond economics and infrastructure to the social resilience of communities and the resilience of the ecosystems that surround them, said Gail Bowness, climate action program manager for local governments at the institute. said.

The center is expanding its staff to support efforts to improve community resilience. Besides Bowness, a sea level expert has been hired, with one of his vacancies in the field of climate finance. These professional resources can be invaluable to some communities in Maine.

“It’s a big deal,” said King. “In effect, 300 or he can be a town staff of 400 and he can be 2 or he can be 3 picks.”

The Blue Economy Initiative is coordinated by Brain Grimes, Chief Venture Officer for Gulf of Maine Ventures, GMRI’s Business Development and Impact Investment Program.

She said the grant will build the capacity of the commercialization platform to help bridge the gap between innovation and capital spending.

Gulf of Maine Ventures has developed a create-scale-invest process. First, the program helps generate ideas for innovation, from product development to business development strategies. Second, we support existing businesses with access to industry knowledge, scientific and business technology advice, and the Gulf of Maine Ventures partnership network. Second, the program helps secure direct investment through venture capital partners.

Gulf of Maine Ventures has already helped launch several blue economy businesses. Among them is True Fin, a startup launched in 2019 as Gulf of Maine Sashimi. The company focuses on providing quality fish products through special processing and ultra-freezing, enabling higher selling prices and higher rewards for fishermen. Another startup is New England Marine Monitoring, which uses cameras and artificial intelligence to improve data collection for fishermen and fishermen.

Gulf of Maine Ventures has partnered with Bold Ocean Ventures Management, led by Tim Agnew and Brady Bohrmann, to launch a $15 million venture fund to invest in local blue economy companies.

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