FirstLight Brunswick Data Center, Composites Engineering Research Lab, and Priority Real Estate Group Recognized for Business Innovation at MRRA’s 2017 Annual Dinner
FREEPORT, Maine – The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA), the organization managing the transition of the former Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB) from military to civilian use, is honoring three Brunswick Landing companies for innovative business practices at the MRRA annual meeting and dinner held at the Hilton Garden Inn today.
FirstLight Brunswick Data Center was named the most innovative business in the larger company category (10 employees, or more), while the Composites Engineering Research Lab was honored as most innovative micro business. Priority Real Estate Group of Topsham was named Developer of the Year, marking the first time the award has been given.
“We’re delighted to see such exciting innovation continue at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park,” MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque said. “We’re living up to our name — Maine’s Center for Innovation with innovators like FirstLight, CERL and Priority Group helping to lead the way.”
FirstLight Brunswick Data Center
FirstLight acquired Oxford Networks last year, and rebranded to FirstLight earlier this spring. FirstLight operates 12 data centers/colocation facilities, including one at Brunswick Landing. The Brunswick Data Center is in a highly secure, 52,513-square-foot former Navy operations and tactical support center (Building 87). After a $6 million expansion in 2014 that quadrupled capacity in the building, FirstLight now operates one of the largest data centers in Northern New England.
FirstLight continues to seek innovative solutions to grow its business. FirstLight recently teamed up with fellow Brunswick Landing business STARC Systems on an innovative project to create small, secure spaces inside the data center using STARC’s temporary containment wall technology. The “data center within a data center” project led MRRA to recognize FirstLight as a leading innovator for 2017. See accompanying video.
As FirstLight Data Center Operations Manager John Coray noted, “In order to have innovation, you have to have the right environment and the right team. FirstLight has found both with MRRA (Brunswick Landing) and our friends at STARC.”
Composites Engineering Research Lab (CERL)
The Composites Engineering Research Lab (CERL) was started by the Maine Composites Alliance (MCA) as a support mechanism for Maine industry and began operations in 2011 at Southern Maine Community College’s Brunswick Landing campus. CERL outgrew its initial lab space at SMCC and moved to TechPlace in 2015.
CERL, both a full-service analytical laboratory and a prototype manufacturing center, continues to expand its services and capabilities. Industries served include: wind / hydrokinetics, marine, aerospace, and semi-conductor assembly. All these industries utilize polymer reinforced systems which is the basis for the definition of composites.
“We focus on helping our customers solve problems to maximize their success, whether that requires us to help in project development, product development, or process development, in addition to our full range analytical lab capabilities” Andrew Schoenberg, CERL Director said.
CERL has worked with a number of Brunswick Landing companies including STARC Systems, SteriZign, Mölnlycke Health Care, Brunswick Aviation Services, SMCC, and BluShift Aerospace and dozens more in the region.
This year, CERL released its first commercial product called MITS (Mobile Infusion Technology System). This innovative system was developed over the course of several years as a method of improving the consistency, and shortening the product/process development cycle time for Vacuum Infused products. Some of the first tables went to the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado. CERL will be introducing this system at the Composites and Advance Materials Expo (CAMX) next month in Orlando, FL.
CERL and MCA greatly appreciate being recognized by MRRA for this 2017 Innovator Award. TechPlace has proven to be a wonderful technology incubator and CERL welcomes the opportunities to help these companies be successful.
Priority Real Estate Group
The Priority Real Estate Group, founded in 1998 by President and CEO James Howard, a Topsham native, has been among Brunswick Landing’s most active investors and developers since the redevelopment project began six years ago.
Priority currently has more than 120,000 SF under lease and has redeveloped five former Navy buildings. Priority has also built two new buildings — Sunray Animal Clinic (opened early 2016) and Rusty Lantern Market (opened early 2017). A third 12,000 SF medical building is under construction on Bath Road. Plans are in the works for even more construction along Admiral Fitch Ave.
Over the past few years, Priority has purchased Former Navy buildings 11, 31, 55, and 583 from MRRA and has tenants in each of them, including Wayfair, Pathways, Midcoast Veterans Council, and Skordo. Priority is also leasing Building 29 from MRRA with an option to purchase. North East Mobile Health Services is leasing the building from Priority.
Additionally, the company has developed dozens of other commercial properties around Southern Maine adding to its extensive real estate portfolio.
“Priority Group is honored to be recognized by MRRA for our contribution and investment at Brunswick Landing,” James Howard said.