Research & Development Resources

Are you looking to find your next great product breakthrough, or even your first one? Maine understands the importance of investing in innovation to create business growth and supports R&D throughout the state through the resources below.

Questions? Want to learn more about all the great programs Maine has to offer? Contact us!

The State of Maine does not vet or endorse any specific resource, but we are confident you will find supports that match your needs.

Maine Technology Institute (MTI)

MTI supports the development of new technology related products and services that will create high-quality jobs for Maine people.

SBIR/STTR Technical Assistance Program (TAP)

MTI offers funding and technical assistance to Maine companies applying to the SBIR/STTR program, which is a federal program that funds R&D and product innovation at small businesses.

UMaine (Orono)

Maine’s flagship state university offers a robust program to partner with businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the state to advance innovation and R&D, helping businesses to start and grow.

Office of Innovation and Economic Development

Supports new and existing businesses by connecting them to the innovation resources of the university, facilitating commercialization activities, and helping to transfer university R&D into marketable products and services. Can assist companies with R&D activities, physical space, business support, and access to talent.

University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center

World-leading, interdisciplinary center for research, education, and economic development encompassing material sciences, manufacturing, and engineering of composites and structures. Assists with product development and testing.

University of Maine Advanced Manufacturing Center

Provides engineering, manufacturing, research, and support services to businesses/entrepreneurs that are seeking to transform an idea into a prototype or new product. Specialized in precision manufacturing.

Foster Center for Innovation

Provides courses, training, coaching, and consulting to students, community members, startups, and established businesses to help them develop the skills needed to effectively create, test, and actualize ideas.

Aquaculture Research Institute

Offers cutting edge research, education, and services that advance sustainable aquaculture development in Maine and the nation. Brings together researchers and faculty from multiple disciplines at UMaine, key industry partners, and applied R&D opportunities to facilitate innovation.

Dr. Matthew Highlands Food Pilot Plant

Food science innovation lab that partners with Maine food companies to develop new products and techniques. Offers services to enhance product lines, create value-added foods, or scale up recipes for commercial production. Facility includes commercial kitchen that can be rented out.

Frontier Institute for Research in Sensor Technologies

Interdisciplinary research center that conducts research, teaching, and outreach activities in the broad area of surfaces and interfaces, thin films, microelectronic devices, sensor technology, and nanotechnology. Activities range from fundamental research to applied development to technology transfer.

R&D Tax Credits

Research Expense Tax Credit

In general, R&D tax credits are based on federal IRS rules and applied for as part of a company’s state corporate tax return. The credit is based on a percentage of the federal Credit for Increasing Research Activities. The credit is limited to 5% of the excess qualified research expenses over the previous three-year average plus 7.5% of the basic research payments under IRC § 41(e)(1)(A). The credit is further limited to 100% of the first $25,000 in tax liability plus 75% of the tax liability in excess of $25,000. The credit cannot be carried back, but it can be carried forward for up to 15 years. Form and Instructions (PDF).

Research and Development Sales Tax Exemption

Sales of machinery and equipment used by the purchaser directly and exclusively in research and development is eligible for a sales tax exemption. Sales tax exemptions are applied either at the time of purchase using an Industrial Users Blanket Sales Tax Certificate of Exemption (PDF) or as a refund with the Refund Form (PDF).