BEALS – Some exciting news for the University of Maine System and Downeast Institute. They just secured a $5 million investments which will help them to expand.
“We finally raised the money we needed to do the phase 2 facility expansion project,” said Dianne Tilton, the executive director of the Downeast institute.
The Downeast Institute received over $4 million to grow its laboratory in Beals. This will not only provide more jobs and student learning opportunities, but will also help expand opportunities in the seafood industry – studying the state’s marine resources.
“It’s not easy raising $4 million and that’s why the money from the Next Generation Foundation was a domino,” said Tilton, “Because we wouldn’t have been able to compete for the Marine Bond Money without that.
It was a process that took over 16 years.
“I guess if you could describe how I feel is like a kid on Christmas,” said Director of Research, Brian Beal.
The investment will purchase equipment needed for scientists in the Downeast community.
“The reason we wanted the facility to be enlarge was to have a critical mass of scientists, students and other people working on these innovative processes and creating new programs,” said Beal.
This will help with experimentation for marine and climate resources.
“The funders came here and saw the variety things that we do,” said Beal.
With the variety of camps and programs they run, they believe that this will also help the local economy.
“People come and purchase goods and services, which helps the local economy,” he said
“It’s not just the direct economic benefit of people doing work here, it’s the results of what they will find out and how it will be transferred to the local marine economy,” said Tilton.