Report Highlights Lab's Economic Impact on Maine


Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences contributed $23.7 million to Maine’s economy during 2018, according to a new, independent evaluation. The economic impact report states that the research grants and philanthropic investment the institute attracts circulate throughout Maine and help sustain local jobs.

“Maine is a fantastic place to live and work,” said Deborah Bronk, president and CEO of Bigelow Laboratory. “It’s an honor to make a positive impact on our local community and state, as we work around the world to understand the ocean’s mysteries and unlock its hidden opportunities.”

The economic impact report was written by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine. It quantifies the ways that the Laboratory contributes to Maine’s economy – through supporting its employees, purchasing goods and services, and attracting visitors to the region. In addition to the estimated $23.7 million in economic output, the report found that Bigelow Laboratory’s contribution supports of 169 full- and part-time jobs and generates $11.6 million in labor income.

During 2018, the Laboratory’s education and training programs attracted over 2,000 visitors. They traveled to its state-of-the art campus in East Boothbay to attend professional development courses and workshops, as well as public outreach events like the annual open house and Café Sci series of summer talks.

“We are thrilled to be able to share our cutting-edge science with Mainers and visitors from across the country and around the world,” Bronk said. “This community support makes our work – and our state – stronger.”

Bigelow Laboratory’s primary research focus is on the microscopic ocean life that drives the health of the planet and the marine economy. Through its research in the Gulf of Maine and throughout the world’s oceans, the nonprofit institute seeks to advance understanding of the ocean, how its changing, and how it can be used to help all life on the planet thrive.

The Laboratory also partners with scientific and educational institutes across the state, including Colby College and the University of New England. Every summer, the National Science Foundation-funded summer Research Experience for Undergraduates program draws students from across the nation who take up residence in East Boothbay.

“We are pleased to know that our economic impact, in addition to our science, has a substantial and positive influence on our local community and the rest of Maine,” Bronk said. “We are in an exciting time of expansion and innovation, and we look forward to continuing to grow our impact in science and the state.”