On Tuesday, April 20, the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs held a public hearing on LD 169, An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Stimulate Investment in Innovation by Maine Businesses to Produce Nationally and Globally Competitive Products and Services, sponsored by Sen. Louis Luchini (D-Hancock).
Linda Caprara, senior government relations specialist for the Maine State Chamber, testified that in this high-tech digital age of intense global competition, it is critical that Maine companies have the tools they need to invest in innovation to grow Maine’s economy. The strength of the state’s economy depends upon it. Maine companies compete globally, and to be able to keep up with the demands of the global marketplace, companies have to constantly stay ahead of the competition. That means investing in R&D to improve existing products and services and to discover and develop new products to bring to market. Investing in the necessary technology and equipment to upgrade and accomplish this is very costly. In addition, innovation enables companies to gain and hold market share in their respective industries and to preserve and to increase jobs in the state.
The importance of R&D in innovation is outlined in Maine’s strategic plan, which identifies key areas of growth throughout the state. The plan also identifies several key strategies that promote innovation that includes investments in R&D. The plan notes that investment in R&D was higher prior to the 2009 recession than it is today, underscoring the need to increase current funding.
Caprara noted there are some very exciting things happening around the state in different areas – such as bio-technology, bio-medical, renewable generation from our university system working with composites, to facilities such as The Jackson Laboratory and MDI bio labs working on cutting edge bio-medical breakthroughs to improve human health. Investments in these areas provide huge opportunities for growth, she said. For more information, please contact Linda Caprara by calling (207) 623-4568, ext. 106, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.