Cluster concept may boost boat building in Maine

PORTLAND, Maine – A real estate investor and a dock manufacturer are developing an industrial campus in Brunswick, Maine to boost the composites and boat-building industries there and, eventually, the rest of the state, according to a story this morning on the Web site.

Tenants will use composite materials to make products like yacht hulls, windmill blades and aviation parts.

In addition, Andre Cocquyt, one of the world’s leading experts on composites technology will move to Maine and will develop the curriculum at a new training center to be established in Brunswick, according to the story.

The moves are part of a push to develop an “industry cluster,” in the area, with the idea being that when companies in related businesses and their suppliers are grouped together they make a powerful center of commerce, attracting both workers and capital.

The North Star Alliance, a group of companies in the marine sector and the composites industry as well as several state agencies, has taken on the mission of fostering industry clusters in the state. The group’s effort, which started more than a year ago, has helped Maine secure federal Department of Labor grants totaling $17.2 million to be used to strengthen the composite boat-building industry, according to the story.

The group plans to create an advanced composites cluster in Brunswick and use it as a model to replicate elsewhere in the state for the boat-building industry and eventually other sectors.

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