February 20th, 2017
ORONO, ME -- U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) has joined with officials from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Maine at Orono (UMaine) to announce the establishment of a partnership between the two that will work to strengthen Maine’s forest economy.
Efforts to Strengthen the Forest Products Industry
ORNL and UMaine have signed a Letter of Intent expressing their commitment to establishing a collaborative model that brings together ORNL’s expertise in additive manufacturing and composites with UMaine’s focus on forest bio-based composites and other composite structures to advanced and support the state’s forest products sector.
“A nationally recognized center at UMaine is intended to function as an ORNL collaborative partner, advancing additive manufacturing of forest bio-based low cost composite materials and large structures, supporting ongoing relationships with marine, military, civil infrastructure, and renewable energy clients and providing a regional center for workforce training,” the Letter of Intent reads.
The signing of the Letter of Intent marks one of the first steps in implementing the recommendations offered by the federal Economic Development Assessment Team, which was created at the request of Senators King and Susan Collins in March 2016 to support the state’s forest products industry.
“The University of Maine and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are world-class research institutions, and the collaborative, innovative partnership established today will leverage their collective knowledge and expertise to advance opportunities that will attract biobased industries and grow Maine’s forest economy,” Senator King said. “This is both a welcome and encouraging step forward for all those who call our beautiful state home and particularly for those who work in our forest economy. I am hopeful that it will be the first of many to come that will lead to job creation and economic growth across rural Maine.”
Partnership to Boost Innovations
“The partnership announced between UMaine and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a testament to the many innovations that have already been achieved by UMaine and will accelerate the promising research of using forest-based biomaterials and composites in advanced manufacturing applications,” said Senator Collins. “Today’s announcement fulfills one of the recommendations of the Economic Development Assessment Team Senator King and I requested to help grow the economy and create jobs in rural Maine communities, and it represents another important milestone in our efforts to strengthen the forest products industry.”
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a multiprogram research laboratory managed by UT-Battelle, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The laboratory is located on the Oak Ridge Reservation, a 30,000-acre tract of land in East Tennessee. Most of DOE's national laboratories are operated under contract by private companies such as UT-Battelle.
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