UM, USM to receive $20M grant to research sustainability

Posted July 13, 2009, at 9:48 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine and University of Southern Maine have received a $20 million grant that will directly support 200 to 300 jobs, UMaine announced Monday.

UM and USM officials will join with Gov. John Baldacci at 10 a.m. Wednesday to introduce the grant from the National Science Foundation EPSCoR —the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research — to create the Center for Sustainability Solutions.

The five-year project will bring together UM and USM research teams, as well as government and industry stakeholders, to focus on creating a sustainable society. The project’s goal is to generate solutions to sustainability problems such as renewable energy, alternative transportation and water resource management.

The center will also create partnerships with most of Maine’s colleges and universities for research and education efforts.

The jobs created with the grant money will mainly be in the research sector, as well as in statewide education initiatives at all grade levels in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In addition to the EPSCoR grant, the Maine Economic Improvement Fund is contributing $1 million per year for five years. UMaine will make an in-kind contribution of $1 million per year in the form of faculty salaries and the use of research facilities.

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