Industry Opportunities

The City of Old Town has identified six targeted industry sectors that, through existing industry-academia collaborations spurred by the University of Maine, present great opportunities for future  growth.   

Targeted industry sectors include:

While we are here to help you with your economic development needs regardless of your industry, for these targeted industries, the Bangor Region and Old Town offer unique competitive advantages.

Forest Bioproducts

The State of Maine is among the top states east of the Mississippi in terms of available biomass. Over the past Century, access to this important resource drove the significant rise of the pulp and paper industry in Maine. Today, it creates a new opportunity to use the biomass for alternative energy and other natural resource derived products. The University of Maine is among national university leaders in R&D related to these technologies through the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) and Pulp & Paper Process Development Center (PDC).

Through FBRI, the University of Maine has become a national leader in forest based bioproducts R&D. The mission of FBRI is "to advance understanding of the scientific underpinnings, system behavior and policy implications for the production of forest-based bioproducts" and "to provide and promote technology validation and partnerships that will meet societal needs for materials, chemicals and fuels in an economically and ecologically sustainable manner."

Through the work being done at FBRI, the University of Maine has developed considerable relationships with industry to foster commercialization and business development.   A recent example of this being The University's collaboration with Old Town Fuel and Fiber:

The University of Maine Pulp & Paper Process Development Center (PDC) provides assistance to industry by providing facilities, equipment, and technical expertise for research and development. They have a strong history of partnering with forest products industry including pulp and paper for R&D related to pulping, bleaching, papermaking, coating, finishing, testing and analytics, and rapid response testing.

Advanced Materials & Composites

The University of Maine has become nationally known for its R&D and teaching programs related to materials science. This has largely been the result of the growth of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center (AEWC). Since its commencement in 2000, AEWC has grown substantially in size and scope.

AEWC serves as a comprehensive R&D center for developing composite products or structures from the conceptual stage through research, manufacturing of prototypes, comprehensive testing and evaluation, code approval and commercialization. In addition to operating numerous labs and equipment to carry out R&D and assist business and industry, the AEWC houses two pilot plants: a Composites Extrusion Pilot Plant and a Strand Composites Pilot Plant.

Since its beginning in 2000, the AEWC has conducted nearly 300 product development and testing projects over the past 5 years with both small startup companies and globally recognized corporations.

Sensors & Nanotechnologies

Through the University of Maine's Laboratory for Surface Science & Technology (LASST), the University has increasingly become involved in R&D related to sensors, including nanotechnology. LASST conducts interdisciplinary research projects and technology transfer activities in the areas of surfaces and interfaces, thin films, microelectronic devices, sensor technology, and nanotechnology.

LASST has a history of interacting with Maine companies as well as national and international partners. These activities have been supported by federal SBRI/STTR programs, the Maine Technology Institute, and industrial funding. Patents from LASST R&D activities includes technology related to sensors, ion detectors, and microdevices.

New Media & IT

"New Media" has emerged as a convergence of industries involving communications, art, and computer science as well as tools and technologies in other sectors. The University of Maine has established a New Media Program for students that also provides R&D to industry. The New Media Program offers an interdisciplinary course of study in the systems, technologies, history, design, and theory of information.

Since its beginning as a program area, the New Media Program has assisted in the development of several start-ups, including Intelligent Spatial Technology, Transit ID, LLC, and FireFly .

To support the further growth and development of the New Media Program, the University of Maine is launching a new media center that school officials say will help create jobs and strengthen the State's economy. In addition to supporting student studies, this $3.9 million investment will support R&D and commercialization work.

Food Sciences & Human Nutrition

The University of Maine has a long history of supporting agricultural and food sciences with education, technical assistance, and R&D. In 1994, these two disciplines were officially joined with the formation of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Today, the Department assists food processors, entrepreneurs', farmers, researchers, and students in the food industry seeking to expand product lines, create value added foods, solve issues in existing food products, and scale up recipes for commercial products.

Additionally, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, together with the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, offer the following services to the food industry:

  • Better Process Control School
  • Project and Process Review
  • Consumer Sensory Testing
  • Grant Writing Support/Review
  • Food Processing Workshops
  • Analytical Consulting
  • Assistance in Development New Food Products
  • Applied Research for Troubleshooting Issues
  • Commercial Kitchen Facilities

Data Centers & Supercomputing

The University of Maine has expertise and infrastructure within the area of supercomputing as well as infrastructure to support the development of data centers.

While the use of supercomputing at the University of Maine is in its nascent stage and development data centers has yet to emerge these two technology areas offer possibilities for partnerships between the University and the City of Old Town to support demand at its business parks.

Supercomputers are a resource that are in demand to support industry, academic, and research collaborations. The University of Maine houses supercomputer technology through its High Performance Computing service. Its mission is to "exploit applied computing research to provide advanced educational opportunities, cultivate and initiate research efforts, and to promote and facilitate High Performance Computing (HPC) for the University of Maine System, the New England region, and the North American continent."

Data centers are also a growing market. This growth presents an opportunity for the University of Maine and Old Town due to access to the significant bandwidth created to support the University; improved IT infrastructure redundancy that will be made available through the completion of Maine's "Three Ring Binder" project (; and relatively safe and secure area geography. To realize this potential, the University and Old Town are discussing ways to provide low cost redundant energy.