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Maryland Outlines New TBED Road Map

January 23, 2004

Three I's neatly sum up the 22 recommendations recently released by Maryland Governor Robert Erlich's Commission on Development of Advanced Technology Business — Investment, Innovation, and Image. The year-long study looked at the state's existing physical, financial and intellectual infrastructures to support the state's research and technology sectors, making specific recommendations in three groupings to foster continued growth.

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) figures prominently in many of the recommendations, and, in partnership with the Department of Business and Economic Development, the research universities and the state's regional technology councils could play an even more significant role in the state's technology strategy if the plan is fully implemented.

Recognizing the need for a strong commitment in the governor's office and private-public leadership for the design and implementation of the state's tech-based economic development (TBED) investments, the plan addresses several key elements for successful TBED:

I. Make Maryland More Competitive

  • Increase state pension funds investment in private equity;
  • Raise investment by Maryland banks in Small Business Investment Companies;
  • Restore and increase funding for investment financing programs, including the Maryland Technology Development Corporation;
  • Encourage foundations in Maryland to invest in technology companies;
  • Use state tax incentives to affirm the message that Maryland welcomes and encourages advanced technology investments;
  • Survey chief executive officers on regulatory process; and,
  • Invest in the Business/Technology Case Management Program.

II. Harness Maryland's R&D Assets

  • Establish a permanent State Chief Technology Officer;
  • Increase utilization and effectiveness of Maryland Technology Councils;
  • Encourage entrepreneurial initiatives and technology transfer;
  • Support the state’s incubator network with capital and operating funds for best practices;
  • Allow state higher education institutions greater leeway under state personnel and procurement rules to encourage attraction of research funding;
  • Increase state funding for academic research;
  • Encourage Maryland research consortia to compete for large federal funding opportunities;
  • Create alternative financing vehicles to create more laboratory space at Maryland’s universities; and,
  • Promote increased coordination at University and college tech transfer offices.

III. Market Maryland

  • Leverage the Office of the Governor to encourage and sustain Maryland’s advanced technology enterprises;
  • Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to “brand” Maryland as a leading home for technology business and innovation;
  • Create a central database of Maryland academic and federal laboratory technology resources;
  • Pursue targeted international investment in Maryland;
  • Create an Executive Job Corps; and,
  • Create a Governor’s Science Advisory Board.

Informally called the Pappas Commission after the group's chair, George Pappas, the Commission on Development of Advanced Technology Business includes 21 governor-appointed representatives of Maryland's academic, investment and industrial communities. Staff leadership and assistance was provided by the Maryland Department of Economic Development.

The report is available at: http://www.choosemaryland.org/pressroom/index.asp