Maryland Budget Supports BIO 2020 Initiative

April 28, 2010

Maryland legislators recently passed the FY11 budget, allocating $10.4 million for stem cell research and $8 million for tax credits for biotechnology companies. Many of the appropriations follow closely in line with Gov. Martin O'Malley's recommendations, which aim to support the Maryland BIO 2020 initiative, a statewide plan investing in biotechnology over 10 years.

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) will receive $15.85 million in FY11, $115,000 more than the FY10 appropriation. Although $12.4 million is allocated for the Stem Cell Research Fund, $2 million is earmarked for the Maryland Biotechnology Investment Tax Credit Reserve Fund within the Department of Business and Economic Development.

Created to spur investment in Maryland biotech companies, the Biotechnology Investment Tax Credit Reserve Fund also will receive $6 million from the general fund for a total $8 million in FY11, a $2 million increase from last year.

TEDCO also will receive $3.45 million to administer its technology development, transfer and commercialization programs, a slight increase from the FY10 adjusted appropriation of $3.4 million.

Lawmakers approved $3.8 million for the Maryland Biotechnology Center, which was created in 2009 as one of the first initiatives under BIO 2020. The center administers programs and provides resources to integrate entrepreneurial strategies to stimulate the transformation of scientific discovery and intellectual assets into capital formation and business development.

The capital budget approved by lawmakers includes funding for two projects in support of the BIO 2020 initiative. Montgomery College will receive $16 million for construction of the Germantown Bioscience Education Center and $5 million was approved for the East Baltimore Biotechnology Park.

In another victory for the state's high-tech sector, Gov. O'Malley signed SB 64, a measure extending the R&D tax credit until 2021.

Hoping to cap tuition hikes in higher education, the legislature passed a bill making the Higher Education Investment Fund a permanent and embedded trust. Drawing from corporate tax revenues, the fund was created as a dedicated revenue stream for higher education in 2007, and was scheduled to sunset at the end of this fiscal year.

The enrolled version of the FY11 operating budget bill is available at: http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/bills/sb/sb0140e.pdf. The enrolled capital budget bill is available at: http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/bills/sb/sb0142e.pdf.

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