ORONO — The University of Maine Foster Center for Innovation is seeking Maine students and Maine companies to participate in the 2022 Innovate for Maine Fellows internship program. Applications are now open.

Innovate for Maine connects the best and brightest Maine college students with Maine’s most exciting growing companies for paid, meaningful, hands-on internship experiences. The program is looking for both student fellows to join the 2022 cohort and a variety of for-profit companies developing innovative products, services or processes to host them.

Emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship, Innovate for Maine prepares student fellows to collaborate with companies on innovation projects that accelerate company growth. Innovation projects can include work on new products or services, process improvements, market research, prototyping, sales forecasting and more.

“Over the past two years, Maine businesses have faced incredible adversity,” says Renee Kelly, UMaine assistant vice president for innovation and economic development. “Finding talented employees is even more challenging now. Innovate for Maine introduces companies to new talent and helps students see their future opportunities in Maine’s workforce.”

Eligible students include those enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs at any college or university in Maine, as well as Maine residents enrolled in degree programs at colleges or universities outside of the state. 

Host companies can range in size from small startups to major corporations. Fellows can work full time or part time during the summer, with the possibility of continuing part time during the academic year. 

Trained innovation experts guide and mentor both the fellow and the company for the duration of the internship. UMaine recruits, screens, matches, hires and trains fellows to work on projects for companies selected to participate in the program.

Since Innovate for Maine Fellows was established in 2012, student participants have gained exposure to innovative Maine companies and built strong networks that help them find opportunities to stay in Maine. A recent survey of Innovate for Maine Fellows alumni revealed that 70 percent of respondents were living in Maine and another 10% currently live outside of Maine, but plan to return as their careers progress. Nearly 20 percent of program alumni have started their own companies.

To apply or learn more about Innovate for Maine Fellows, visit the program website.

The application deadline for both students and companies is March 7.