In March 2017, the MDI Biological Laboratory inaugurated a new era in its 119-year history with the opening of our new Center for Science Entrepreneurship, funded through a $3 million state bond issue. The new center will promote a thriving science and technology sector in Maine by facilitating innovation- and entrepreneurial-based learning and by nurturing emerging life science and technology companies.
Our goal is to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem for Maine that trains students to adapt to a rapidly changing job marketplace and provides entrepreneurs with the skills and resources to turn their ideas into successful businesses.
The new 6,560-square-foot center doubles our training capacity and builds on our impressive legacy in education and entrepreneurship:
- As the creator and leader of Maine’s first state-wide biomedical innovation catalyst, Maine INBRE, we have provided training for more than 2,100 Maine students and have fostered the careers of many early-stage scientists. In fact, 91 percent of INBRE graduates have gone on to pursue careers or advanced education in science or medicine.
- Using our scientific expertise as a platform, our training also focuses on the non-technical skills required to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship — skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, adaptability, creativity, communications, collaboration and openness to risk-taking.
- We have created a vibrant campus-wide ecosystem of scientists, entrepreneurs and students and seek to expand this model statewide. In this role, we serve as the incubator of a number of science and technology startups, including our spinoff, Novo Biosciences, whose goal is to commercialize the regenerative medicine drug candidates we have discovered.
As important as providing training and resources for Maine students and entrepreneurs is, however, the impact of the center will reach well beyond Maine. It will also serve scientists, students, fellows and technical staff from around the world who are drawn by our diverse educational opportunities, including our signature courses in aging and regenerative medicine, which have established us as a global player in these fields.
With the new center, we will be expanding upon our role as a global hub to help students and professionals maximize their potential, realize their career ambitions, contribute to the advancement of biomedical science and translate their ideas and discoveries into products, services and therapies that will benefit human health and well being.