Aquaculture Business Incubator

Do you want to grow shellfish or seaweed in Maine?
Are you looking for space to test ideas?

Business incubator space is available at the Darling Marine Center to new and experienced aquaculture producers looking to refine and improve current methods. It serves as integrated space for research, demonstration, and education in shellfish and seaweed farming.

Located on the Damariscotta River estuary, with flowing seawater laboratories and intertidal and subtidal aquaculture leases, the DMC is an ideal place to develop and improve your aquaculture business.

picture of razor clamsThe DMC hosts several aquaculture startups in business incubator space coordinated by the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center (MAIC). The business incubator offers laboratory and flowing seawater infrastructure as well as technical expertise. New businesses are encouraged to contact MAIC (phone and email below) to learn more about the facilities and to explore whether there is a good fit.

With a year-round research community at the DMC and both MAIC and Maine Sea Grant staff on site, incubator clients have all the resources needed to develop new growing methods and value-added products. For example:

The Darling Marine Center has facilities for businesses:

  • Shellfish hatchery production facilities for larval care, setting, and post settlement and juvenile rearing.
  • Algal production facilities.
  • Experimental aquaculture leases with space to grow shellfish and seaweed.
  • Flowing seawater, laboratories, small boats, and marine library
  • More information about our aquaculture facilities and lease sites can be found here.

Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center (MAIC) coordinates business incubator space and provides:

  • Assistance with business planning and entrepreneurship training.
  • Grants for equipment and business development.
  • Technical support and training.

Maine Sea Grant offers expertise in:

  • Collaborative research.
  • Technical support and training in the areas of site selection, equipment requirements, animal husbandry, permitting and licensing, biosecurity, and product marketing.
  • Networking with producers, service providers, and professional resources.

For inquiries on the Research/Demonstration Aquaculture Leases at the DMC, contact Dana Morse, Maine Sea Grant Extension Associate, at 207.563.8186 or

For inquiries regarding the Aquaculture Business Incubator or lab-based aquaculture research at the DMC, contact Chris Davis, Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, at 207.832.1075 or

UMaine’s Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI) is an additional resource. Contact the director, Deborah Bouchard, at 207.581.2767 or