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Russian Company Considering UMaine Bridge Technology for 2014 Olympics

19 November 2010

The University of Maines AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center and private company Advanced Infrastructure Technologies (AIT) are talking with a Russian company about using UMaines Bridge-in-a-Backpack technology for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The Bridge-in-a-Backpack, an innovative inflatable composite-concrete arch bridge, was developed at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center to reduce construction time and costs, increase lifespan, reduce maintenance costs and reduce the carbon footprint of bridge construction. Six bridges have already been built in Maine using the centers technology and more are planned across the country.

Advanced Infrastructure Technologies, founded by Bangor native Svoboda, is an Orono-based firm that has raised private financing and licensed the UMaine bridge technology. AIT hired engineers in Maine to design the bridges, and is manufacturing these bridges in partnership with the Kenway Corporation of Augusta.

AIT is pleased and excited to welcome our guests from Russia, Svoboda says. It has been the goal of AIT to not only advance this Maine technology throughout the United States but to share this innovative and transformative technology globally. We continue to work closely with the USDOT, Federal Highway, state departments of transportation, counties and municipalities throughout the states and we are making inroads with our product. The response to this product has been at times almost overwhelming with calls and emails from around the U.S. as well as countries from almost every continent. This potential relationship with Russia fits perfectly in our marketing plan for Technologies Bridging Nations starting in the U.S. then bridging to other nations.

As part of the potential deal with Russia, AIT would provide design and engineering expertise, manufacture the elements of the bridges in Maine in partnership with other Maine companies, and export the bridge kits to Russia for construction at the Winter Olympics sites.

This would provide a wonderful opportunity for creating Maine jobs, and a historic opportunity to contribute to the success of the Winter Olympic games, Dagher says. We are honoured that Noviy Proekt is considering a UMaine-developed technology for the Winter Olympics construction.






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