Technology transfer — the
process of turning research-based ideas into real products — is one of
the University of Maine's major contributions to economic development.
Faculty research in marine sciences, engineering, psychology and other
fields leads to new technologies with the potential to start new
businesses or give a greater competitive edge to existing industries.
Through hands-on learning opportunities in research and
entrepreneurship, our students are prepared to apply their technological
expertise in the knowledge-based economy.
In Maine, the university has an effective structure to support
technology transfer, including the patenting and licensing of research.
A case in point: last year, UMaine created six start-up companies — four
of them founded by UMaine graduate students.
This type of work is also done in the Advanced Engineered Wood
Composites (AEWC) Center, directed by Professor of Civil Engineering
Habib Dagher. AEWC is a globally recognized leader in wood composites,
conducting research leading to commercial development of the next
generation of cost-effective, high-performance, wood and nonwood
With the help of the 2003 Maine Jobs Bond, the center is expanding this
spring. To date, AEWC research has resulted in numerous patents and
patents-pending. Students work side by side with AEWC engineers and
scientists, taking roles in world-class research and development
The initiatives are all part of Professor Dagher's vision for the AEWC
Center and its potential for technology transfer. At UMaine, we have
recognized his outstanding achievements in this area. Earlier this year,
the New England Board of Higher Education recognized them as well.
Habib is among the recipients of the prestigious 2004 New England Higher
Education Merit Awards, given to a person or program from each New
England state that has demonstrated innovative work and shown
exceptional leadership in behalf of higher education and the advancement
of educational opportunity.
In recognizing Habib's work, Maine State Sen. and NEBHE delegate Mary
Cathcart noted that it "epitomizes the economic and civic contribution
of America's land-grant universities." Through technology transfer,
Habib Dagher and many UMaine faculty members like him make knowledge the
state's most valuable and most renewable resource.
Peter S. Hoff
UMaine Today Magazine
Department of University Relations
5761 Howard A. Keyo Public Affairs Building
Phone: (207) 581-3744 | Fax: (207) 581-3776