BRUNSWICK, Maine — Gov. Janet Mills made a stop Thursday afternoon at the Brunswick-based startup bluShift Aerospace.
The governor’s office said the visit was to “promote the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan’s investment in innovation to spur economic growth as Maine recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mills’ plan proposes spending $80 million to expanding public sector business support through increased research and development spending, her office explained in a release. Investments in research and development are a “key driver of economic growth,” the Maine Development Foundation’s Measures of Growth report indicates.
“Investment in research and development is an investment in Maine people, their ideas, jobs and a stronger economic future,” Mills said Thursday. “With robust support for research and development, Maine can create and recruit innovative new companies that will offer good-paying jobs, attract and keep families here, and diversify and strengthen our economy. I want to put Maine on the map as a state that supports innovation and assist the entrepreneurs who make it possible.”
Mills said that bringing innovative companies to Maine, like bluShift Aerospace is part of this plan.
"When you take the green economy we talk about and green-collar jobs. look at solar we've got about 200 megawatts in the queue for solar right now and those solar jobs if you tour any of those entities, those businesses you'll see mostly people under 40, mostly people who come back to Maine because they grew up here, they love it here, they want to be here," Mills said.
bluShift Aerospace is developing rockets powered by bio-derived fuels to launch satellites into space. The company launched the world's first biofuel rocket from Aroostook County in January, which founder and CEO Sascha Deri said put Maine on the map in the space industry.
“State and Federal R&D funding has been vital to our company’s early growth, ultimately allowing us to conduct Maine's first commercial rocket launch,” Deri said in a release Thursday. “We are proud to grow our company in Maine, and we’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received to develop our ‘Made in Maine’ launch service powered by our non-toxic, bio-derived fuel.”