Bigelow Laboratory, of East Boothbay, Maine, has broken ground on a new center for ocean education and innovation. The 25,000-square-foot, $30 million laboratory addition “will revolutionize the institute’s education and solutions-focused work for the benefit of people, ecosystems, and marine businesses in Maine and beyond,” according to the lab.
“This new center for ocean education and innovation will help expand and enhance Bigelow’s research, as well as inspire the next generation of ocean scientists,” said U.S. Senator Susan Collins.
The expansion includes dedicated teaching laboratories and classrooms that will enable more students to get hands-on training with cutting-edge techniques. A multipurpose, 300-seat forum will serve as a hub for international scientific collaboration and community education.
The new center also includes laboratories for green business innovation and four new research groups, while newly endowed funds will provide seed grants for exploring promising, early-stage ideas.
Bill Burgess, a member of the Bigelow Board of Trustees, said these resources will “enhance the physical and intellectual foundation of the lab and expand the institute’s role as a nexus of marine science activity.”
Construction and future maintenance of the new facilities are being supported by an $8 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation, more than $9 million from individual and institutional donors, and a $12 million federal grant through the National Institute of Standards and Technology, secured by Maine congressional leaders. The new center is slated for completion in 2025.
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