New Portland tech institute touts 3-year plan to attract 1,000 graduate students

Eufemia Didonato

The Roux Institute, a new graduate school and research center in Portland, outlined its three-year plan on Tuesday to attract 1,000 students and create 200 cooperative learning slots at Maine companies.

The institute, started last January and named after donors David Roux, a wealthy technology investor and a Lewiston native, and his wife Barbara, aims to help relieve the state’s critical workforce shortage and help businesses retain talented workers. Teaching is initially focused on life science and medicine, engineering and data visualization, all incorporating elements of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The Roux family is investing $100 million in the institute, which is a branch campus of Boston-based Northeastern University. Last October the Harold Alfond Foundation kicked in another $100 million, $63 million of which will be used for scholarships over the next decade. The remaining funds will be used to subsidize cooperative programs in which students spend between four and six months at a local company getting experience with paid work.

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