GO Lab Awarded State Technology Grant
GO Lab is a Maine-based R&D company that develops advanced building products for the high performance construction market. A partnership of chemist and materials engineer Joshua Henry and GO Logic co-founder Matthew O’Malia, GO Lab is currently working to establish the first North American production of wood fiber building insulation.
Available for decades in Europe, wood fiber insulation is a direct replacement for fiberglass and foam insulations, but with far lower environmental cost and greatly superior carbon performance. Its primary manufacturing input, a softwood lumber mill byproduct, is plentiful in Maine, especially since the steep decline in the state’s paper industry over the past decade. Those factors led us to target production here in our home state, and that initiative just got a $750,000 boost.
The funding comes in the form of a grant from Maine Technology Institute’s Emerging Technology Challenge for Maine’s Forest Resources program, a competitive grant program established in December of 2018. The grant represents a significant step toward our goal of purchasing and retrofitting the former UPM paper mill, in Madison, to manufacture renewable, recyclable, nontoxic building insulation from sustainably grown Maine wood fiber.
This a major vote of confidence, and from an important player in Maine’s advanced technology sector. Maine Technology Institute (MTI) is a private non-profit organization created and funded by the state of Maine to grow and diversify its economy and create high-quality jobs. In 2018, MTI invested $57 million in Maine companies, with an estimated economic impact of $1.4 billion and 5,350 new jobs over the next three years.
We are fortunate to live and work in a state—especially a largely rural state—that supports technological innovation as a means to build a thriving economy, create good jobs, and protect and restore the environment. GO Lab will play its part by reviving the now-shuttered Madison plant, employing 100 workers, and turning 180,000 tons of softwood sawmill residuals annually into a product with to potential to significantly improve the way buildings are made—here in Maine and across the country.