The Maine Space Grant Consortium has announced a new campaign to drive interest in the state’s aerospace industry, including the state’s first space conference scheduled for November.
Maine Space 2030 will be geared toward attracting aerospace companies to Maine, encouraging aerospace research and development at the university level and bringing new students and workers to the field.
The consortium said the state’s aerospace industry, which it described as “the NewSpace economy,” could provide as many as 5,500 new jobs by 2042, and generate as much as $1.1 billion per year to the state’s GDP.
“Maine is at a critical crossroads,” said Terry Shehata, founder and executive director of the Maine Space Grant Consortium, a nonprofit focused on promoting aerospace-related education in Maine. “Our pathway to space leads through our schools and universities, our entrepreneurs and business leaders, and through the funders and believers who can envision Maine as a NewSpace leader.”
The campaign includes the Maine Space Conference, scheduled for Nov. 5-7 in Portland, which will feature presentation and panel discussions on Maine’s aerospace industry.
“All of these efforts are critical to building the state’s capabilities to develop next-generation resources for high-growth data-rich industries to prosper,” Shehata said. “If we succeed, by 2030, students, teachers and businesses around Maine will see themselves in Maine’s space future.”
One of the largest aerospace companies in the state right now is Brunswick-based BluShift, known for its work in developing rockets.
Last year, aerospace companies Blue Origin, based in Kent, Wash., and Cedar Park, Texas-based Firefly Aerospace helped bring the nonprofit space education program Teachers in Space to Maine for the first time.