PORTLAND, Maine — Actor Patrick Dempsey and The Jackson Laboratory will be co-recipients of the 2014 Maine Creative Industries Award, the Maine Center for Creativity announced Friday.

Although the biennial awards are only being handed out for the second time, the honor has quickly gained prestige in part because of the profile of its winners. Acclaimed actress Glenn Close, along with her husband and IDEXX Laboratories founder David Shaw, took home the inaugural 2012 award.

The Maine Creative Industries Award is described by the center as the “first of its kind in the country” to honor those who have made great contributions to both the arts and economy.

Harpswell native Dempsey, who is perhaps best known nationally for playing neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd on the hit ABC show “Grey’s Anatomy,” is being lauded in part for founding the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in Lewiston six years ago.

The Jackson Laboratory, based in Bar Harbor and headed by CEO Edison Liu, is being honored for its ongoing work seeking what a Friday news release called “precise genomic solutions for cancer and other genetic diseases.” The laboratory employs more than 1,500 people and is world-renowned for its genetics research.

The Maine Creative Industries Awards will be given out Nov. 15 in a gala event in Portland.

“These exemplary honorees showcase Maine’s creativity in separate ways — Mr. Dempsey as a product of our rich performing arts community, which led to his success and ability to found the Dempsey Center — and The Jackson Laboratory as an example of a world-class research and development industry,” said Jean Maginnis, founder and executive director of the Maine Center for Creativity, in a statement. “Their common accomplishment is their imaginative approach to bringing comfort, care and the pursuit of a cure to cancer patients in Maine and beyond.

“This blend of artistic, scientific and economic endeavor is exactly what the Maine Center for Creativity works to showcase and encourage,” she continued.

Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.