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Maryland Budget Includes 66% Increase for Stem Cell Research

April 16, 2007

As the 2007 legislative session in Maryland came to a close last week, Gov. Martin O'Malley celebrated an important victory for the future of life sciences with a $10 million increase for stem cell research and the creation of a life sciences advisory board. Gov. O'Malley requested the 66 percent increase during his Jan. 31 State of the State Address (see the Feb. 19, 2007 issue of the Digest).

The General Assembly approved the fiscal year 2008 budget last week, designating $30.5 million to the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). Included in this amount is $25 million for the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, a $10 million increase over FY 2007. Earlier this year, the Maryland Stem Cell Commission reported that an increase of this amount was imperative in order to fund two proposals released under the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006 (see the Jan. 29, 2007 issue of the Digest). The balance of funds in the TEDCO budget is mainly for the organization's investment programs - including the Maryland Technology Transfer program, the University Technology Development Fund and Incubator Support - according to budget documents.

Another success for Gov. O'Malley was the passage of SB 104 last month, establishing the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board. The 15-member board is charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan for the state's life sciences industry. Board members are expected to make recommendations to address critical needs in the life sciences and promote collaboration and coordination among state higher education research institutions. Under the act, the board must include the Secretary of Business and Economic Development, a representative of TEDCO, and 13 others representing higher education, business leaders from the biotechnology industry and a member of the general public. The act provides no additional funding for the board, instead relying on existing budgeted resources.

Budget information is available from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development at: http://www.choosemaryland.org/index.html


For more information on the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board, visit the the governor's press office at: http://www.gov.state.md.us/pressreleases/070403.html