• Join your peers at SSTI's 2024 Annual Conference!

    Join us December 10-12 in Arizona to connect with and learn from your peers working around the country to strengthen their regional innovation economies. Visit ssticonference.org for more information and to register today.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

Maryland moving on innovation initiatives to grow state economy

March 02, 2023

In his budget proposal, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore proposed $10 million in funding for a new program that would provide grants of up to $2 million to defray specified costs associated with an eligible innovation infrastructure project; the projects are intended to support innovation in eligible technology sectors including advanced manufacturing; aerospace; agriculture; artificial intelligence; biotechnology; blue technology; cybersecurity; defense; energy and sustainability; life sciences; quantum; and sensor and robotics. The governor also proposed $1 million in new funding for the creation of the Maryland Equitech Growth Fund, which would use multiple investment vehicles including direct investments, grants, and loans leveraged with private capital to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and to meet the goals of promoting equitable economic development in Maryland’s advanced technology sectors.

The new initiatives fit recommendations from a recent study for TEDCO (Maryland Technology Development Corporation) that outlines the steps to grow the innovation economy in the state. The Maryland Innovation Competitiveness Study, a legislatively-mandated study, called for the creation of an Equitech Growth Fund and a new commission that would be focused on growing a diverse tech sector. The study found that Maryland’s overall economic growth rate is slowing and if it continues, could negatively affect job opportunities and the fiscal health of the state. The study targeted a high-tech employment growth of 3% to 4% per year and called for “a comprehensive strategy to spur stronger high-tech industry and innovation-led growth, make the needed investment to execute that growth, engage industry and diverse communities, and act quickly to remain competitive with other states in attracting and retaining industry and talent.”

The governor’s budget proposal would increase TEDCO’s funding from general revenue funds to $54.5 million in FY 2024 from the approved $38.8 million in FY 2023.

Legislation that mirrors the governor’s budget proposals has been introduced. HB0552, the Innovation Economy Infrastructure Act of 2023, would establish a grant pilot program and fund that would use state dollars for grants to businesses, local governments, non-profits, and academic institutions for infrastructure and technology programs. HB0548 would create a Maryland Community Venture Investment Fund that would increase access to banking and o serve as a source of capital for loans to (or investments in) small businesses in low- to moderate-income communities.

Marylandinnovation, legislation, state budget, technology, funding