Signature Industries – experiment

FOCUSMAINE seeks to accelerate the state’s economy through the growth of the identified traded sector signature industries, which present the highest potential for growth and employment expansion in Maine.

In April 2015, FOCUSMAINE hired a global consulting company for in-depth analysis of global trends and market opportunities, Maine’s related competitive advantages and weaknesses, and on-the-ground perspectives from Maine business and economic thought leaders, investors, entrepreneurs and policy makers. This led us to focus on Maine

  • Becoming a renowned producer of high quality, traceable food.

  • Building a world-class biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing environment.

  • Developing strategies to foster, grow and attract knowledge professionals and entrepreneurs to gain the wide-ranging benefits of a modern knowledge economy.


Potential impact in Maine

New jobs by 2025:

Traded jobs: 2,500-4,200

Indirect jobs: 6,000-10,080

Total jobs: 8,500—14,280

Additional net exports by 2025:

Global trends

  • Agriculture is the world’s largest industry
  • Growing traceable food movement is creating a rising demand for food products to be locally sourced and responsibly cultivated
  • Consumers are willing to pay more for foods traced to regions with a strong branding of quality (E.g. Maine lobster, Maine wild blueberries)
  • There is a nascent diversification of supply chains away from the water scarce American West and Southwest

Maine's advantages

  • Maine has a low projected water stress (World Resources Institute)
  • Increasing value of agricultural products in the state, the potential to build on existing market leading crops (potatoes, wild blueberries and chicken eggs) and diversity into new crops
  • Recognition and demand for Maine’s authentic, high-quality, locally-produced food is building. Portland highlighted as a top food destination by Bon Appetit, Zagat and CNN Money.
  • Maine has seen a substantial growth in the number of young farmers – the number of farmers aged 34 and younger grew by nearly 40 percent from 2007-2012.
  • Maine has seen an increase in 1,326 agricultural jobs from 2007-2012, during which there was a decline in jobs across almost all other industries


Potential impact in Maine

New jobs by 2025:

Traded jobs: 2,000-6,000

Indirect jobs: 3,800-11,400

Total jobs: 5,80017,400

Additional net exports by 2025:

Global trends

  • Global commercial fisheries are static or in decline, with some stocks under threat due to overexploitation, pollution, invasive species and climate change
    • Demand for fish protein expected to increase by ~25% by 2030 due to population growth, rapid economic development in developing countries and healthier diets in developed countries
    • US fish consumption has risen by 23% since 1990, and the US imports almost 90% of select fish products, most of which are farm raised
    • Growing traceable food movement is creating a rising demand for food products to be locally sourced and responsibly cultivated

Maine's advantages

  • Heritage of high quality fish production, with concentration of labor in fish-related industries
  • Robust coastlines (top 5 state by miles of shoreline: ~3500) and nutrient rich, clean, and cold waters could support diverse species
  • Strong research institutions focused on marine space
  • Leading product providers in the aquaculture supply chain
  • Nascent activity in mollusks and algae, with established production in salmon (#1 in US)


Potential impact in Maine

New jobs by 2025:

Traded jobs: 600-1,700

Indirect jobs: 3,720-10,540

Total jobs: 4,32012,240

Additional net exports by 2025:

Global trends

  • Moving manufacturing closer to idea generation – select industries which garner innovation from production processes are moving/keeping production close to home
  • There has been 10% annual growth in pharmaceutical contract research and manufacturing from 2005 – 2011
  • Pharmaceutical companies are seeking to be more flexible in R & D, and manufacturing closer to their R & D locations
  • A third of Massachusetts R & D spend in 2012 (about $4 billion) was in pharmaceuticals and medicine, and MA pharmaceuticals were the largest recipient of Venture Capital funding from 2010 – 2014

Maine's advantages

  • Proximity to strong biopharmaceutical cluster and R&D in Massachusetts
  • Strong Maine sources of related R&D and production of inputs to R&D (mice production and genomics research at the Jackson Laboratory and IDEXX and pharmaceutical research, Kennebec River Biosciences)
  • Favorable regulatory environment at intersection of animal health and biopharmaceuticals

Signature Industries Cross Cutting Enabler Focus – Knowledge Worker

The signature industries were chosen based on:

High job creation potential in a traded, high-export sector

Strong direct and indirect value (e.g., net exports, multiplier effect on suppliers)

Reasonable resources required, including infrastructure and capital requirements

Attainable policy changes required

Reasonable expectation for Maine to compete nationally and internationally

The selection process included:

A robust research review of Maine’s competitive advantages and disadvantages

In-depth analysis of nine global and national trends with potential for strong job creation

A competitive and feasibility analysis for each of ten potential focus industries

The engagement of 200 stakeholders in Maine

We plan to coordinate with these sectors to:

Set and measure progress toward bold job growth and export goals over 10 years

Coordinate and accelerate workforce development and entrepreneurship in the sectors

Build and fund execution of comprehensive 10 year sector growth implementation plans

Provide professional staff and sector leaders to help drive the plans with sector coordination