MD Approves Budget, University Unification Plan to Boost Baltimore Innovation Economy

April 14, 2016

Maryland legislators recently approved a $42.3 billion fiscal year 2017 spending bill that incorporates many of the funding levels included in Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal. Gov. Hogan made education a main focus of his proposal, and the final bill would hold university tuition increases to no more than 2 percent. In addition, legislators formalized the growing strategic partnership between University of Maryland campuses in Baltimore and College Park. The unification is intended to bolster the state’s research profile, and drive high-tech industries in the Baltimore region.

Funding for the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) total $26.8 million, up from $18.9 million in FY 2016.

TEDCO manages the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, which is set to receive a $9.1 million appropriation in FY 2017. Other life sciences initiatives, outside TEDCO, include the Office of BioHealth ($1.7 million) and the Maryland Biotechnology Investment Tax Credit Reserve Fund ($12 million). Maryland also offers a number of cybersecurity-related programs, including TEDCO’s Cybersecurity Investment Fund ($900,000), the Office of Cybersecurity and Aerospace ($1.4 million) and the CyberMaryland Investment Incentive Tax Credit Program ($2 million).

TEDCO’s appropriation also includes $4.8 million for the Maryland Innovation Initiative and $4.7 million for Technology Development, Transfer and Commercialization.  The agency’s Enterprise Investment Fund and Challenge Programs are slated to receive $6 million in special funds, with another $1.3 million for administration.

Department of Commerce appropriations include $1.1 million for the Office of Strategic Industries and Entrepreneurship, and $500,000 for the E-Nnovation Initiative. Both will receive additional special funds.

Read the operating budget (SB0190) and capital budget (SB0191).

Earlier this month, Gov. Hogan announced that he would allow a package of bills to become law without his signature, including legislation (SB1052) to create a strategic partnership between the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland (UM) campus at College Park. The union is intended to attract businesses and research grants to Baltimore, according to the Washington Post. UM College Park, despite being the flagship campus of the state university system, lacks affiliated law and medical schools, both of which are housed at UM Baltimore.

Over the next three years, the legislation will provide $3 million a year for the Center for Maryland Advanced Ventures in Baltimore and $10 million for the University of Maryland Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Development in College Park to bring new technologies to market and grow the Baltimore region innovation economy.

 

Marylandstate budget, higher ed