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Calling all bio-based projects! The Maine Born Global Challenge wants to hear from you!

MAine .jpgAn exciting guest post today, inviting our readers to take part in a fantastic new initiative – the Maine Born Global Challenge which has been launched to source global technologies and help finance bio-based projects in existing infrastructure sites. Dr. Kimberly Samaha, Chief Expansion Officerof Synthesis Venture Fund Partners who are directingthe Challenge guides us through what they are looking for and how you can become involved.

The State of Maine in the United States has committed resources from the Department of Economic & Community Development, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Department of Environmental Protection to support the full implementation of these projects in a timely and efficient manner. The State has opened an invitation portal to any global, bio-based company capable of utilizing the surplus of woody biomass in Maine as well as introducing other feedstocks supplies to fuel any innovative process.

The Maine Born Global Challenge commercializes innovative technologies by providing physical locations and real projects for market expansion and value creation. Companies of complementary technologies will be grouped into project teams, assigned to specific power plant locations, given funding for business/implementation plans and provided with investment/project financing for project execution. The Maine Born Global Challenge aims to source proven technologies and forward-thinking strategic partners that are brought to create a sustainable, closed-loop circular economy to rejuvenate the rural areas with the shuttered paper and pulp plants as well as existing biomass to energy plants. The initiative is broken down into four distinct phases, building the circular economy with confidence and impactful action:

  • Phase 1: Pre-qualification (Ends Mid-January 2017)
  • Phase 2: Team Organization (March 2017)
  • Phase 3: Project Planning (May 2017)
  • Phase 4: Project Execution ( 2017-2019)

The Natural Advantage

The Challenge is the first of its kind, in that it truly focuses on the commercialization of innovation. The portfolio of project sites can be considered living labs, allowing Applicants to expedite the process of pilot to demonstration to full commercialization. The State of Maine has a unique combination of factors such as sustainable biomass supply, existing sites with operating biomass to energy plants, operating woodyards and transportation on major interstates and rail. True commercialization requires established markets obtaining long-term off-take agreements for products, and the ability to scale resources, transportation logistics and qualified labor. These factors combined with the fact that Sponsor Owners already have revenue-producing energy plants in place is a major incentive to investors sensitive to market risk. The use of Federal loan programs that buffer innovation risk levers un-bankable projects to become financially feasible.

Challenge 1 Time Line.jpgThe Project Directors

The State has taken a relatively hands-off approach to the initiative. Synthesis Venture Fund Partners will be directing the Maine Born Global Challenge by establishing long term partnerships with corporations and entrepreneurs who share their vision for innovation and value creation. Experience, economic rationale, and flexibility are the founding pillars of the firm and brought into every opportunity pursued. Synthesis is a Venture Fund Partner which bridges the gap between traditional project financing/private equity and the more entrepreneurial venture capital models.Synthesis role, through our network of energy professionals, is to assist with financing, government support, policy, and technical due diligence to ensure the success of innovation commercialization. Every project company has its own unique funding needs and level of maturity to market. Synthesis works on a case-by-case basis to facilitate the right mix of funding mechanisms including equity and other financing alternatives to accelerate growth to commercial scale operations.

Interested and want to learn more?

Companies interested in applying for the initiative are provided with a unique username and password to access The Maine Born Global Challenge portal and further read about the initiative and formally apply. Visit their site at and contact the firm through the online forum or by emailing Mr. Jimmy Massaad at

As always with guest posts, they do not necessarily reflect the views of Bio-Based World News Editorial team and managment. .

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