Betsy Biemann resigns abruptly from MTI

Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2012 in News

Betsy Biemann resigns abruptly from MTI

Betsy Biemann

AUGUSTA — Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais announced Tuesday, June 19, that Betsy Biemann, president of the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) since 2005, is resigning.

Gervais refused to comment on whether Biemann was resigning under pressure, but she was one of the few Baldacci appointees left in any leadership role under the LePage administration.

She joined MTI after serving as an associate director at The Rockefeller Foundation in New York City, where she managed a national grant and investment program aiming to increase employment in low-income communities. She also oversaw Rockefeller's equity investments in community development venture capital funds and below-market loans to social enterprises. Biemann joined Rockefeller's staff in 1996, after working in the field of international development for 10 years, principally in Africa and Latin America. She has consistently received high marks from industry insiders.

MTI, based in Brunswick, serves as one of the state's key public-private partnerships driving economic development. Joe Migliaccio, manager of MTI's Business Innovation Program, will serve as interim president, effective immediately, while a search for a new president is conducted.

"We thank Betsy for her more than seven years of service and wish her the best. We also look forward to working with Joe and the rest of the MTI team in keeping a strong focus on growing Maine companies and helping the private sector commercialize their products and services," Gervais said.

MTI is critical to the long-term development of Maine's research, development and commercialization infrastructure. "Precious state resources need to be invested with job creation and new revenue as the ultimate goals," added Gervais.

Ongoing research and development investments are an extremely important part of growing our future economy. "These projects are driven by the private sector, the real experts in job creation and the foundation of our economic success. If our state is to remain 'open for business,' we need to make sure that our private-sector job creators get the access to the capital they need at the most critical time," said Gervais.

In the last two weeks, LePage vetoed bond measures that would have provided funding for R&D projects, including MTI.

Since 1999, MTI has invested millions of dollars of public money in innovative technologies across Maine to help accelerate commercial success in Maine's seven technology sectors: biotechnology, composites and advanced materials, environmental technologies, forest and agriculture products, information technology, marine technology and aquaculture and precision manufacturing.

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