GO Lab, Inc. will be one of two Maine recipients of U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovation grants in 2019. The Belfast-based building products corporation and the University of Maine each will receive $250,000 to support environmentally sustainable innovation and help expand markets for Maine’s forest products.

GO Lab, an offshoot of the architecture firm GO Logic, is in the process of buying the former Madison Paper mill, where it plans to manufacture insulation from wood fiber. Josh Henry of GO Lab told The Free Press the plan is to make use of the supply chain of wood chips that once fed the paper mill to make an environmentally safe and sustainable version of the popular construction material. Wood fiber insulation is manufactured in Europe but isn’t currently manufactured in the U.S., he said.

In April, GO Lab was awarded a $750,000 grant for the mill conversion from Maine Technology Institute as part of its Emerging Technology Challenge for Maine’s Forest Resources.

The $1 million total, while impressive, is only a small fraction of what the company will need to bring the new product to market. Henry estimated the start-up cost of the project at more than $50 million.

The University of Maine will use its U.S. Forest Service grant to finalize plans and engineering for a biomass heat and power system for its Orono campus.