SSTI Digest

Geography: Maryland

NIH Proposes New Therapeutic Development Center

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking input from the public and NIH staff on the proposed creation of a new center that would support translational science and consolidate several existing translational research programs. The National Center for Advancing Translations Sciences (NCATS) would support the development of therapeutics and clinical care from basic research discoveries. Charged with streamlining NIH's structure, the Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) recommended establishing NCATS to house a number of NIH programs that could collaborate to decrease the risks involved in private drug and therapeutic development projects. Skeptics at a recent SMRB meeting expressed concern that the restructuring might endanger current NIH programs.

TBED People

TBED People
Anne Barth has been named the executive director of TechConnect West Virginia.

TBED People

The Tennessee Biotechnology Association has changed their name to Life Science Tennessee.

TBED People

Craig Dye was named director of the Mtech VentureAccelerator Program, a fast-track, early admission program tied to Mtech's Technology Advancement Program.

TBED People and Jobs

JDG Associates, Executive Search Consultants, has been retained by the suburban Maryland-based National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to recruit two key leaders:

Maryland Governor Proposes $100 Million for Startup Companies

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley recently announced a new effort to direct $100 million to public and private venture capital investors. The InvestMaryland program would offer insurance companies tax credits to generate the funds, which would either be invested directly in startup companies or in private venture firms. Governor O'Malley's current proposal would provide $50 million to the Maryland Venture Fund and the other $50 million to venture capital firms. The state's Department of Business and Economic Development plans to work with legislators, businesses and universities to draft a bill for next year's legislative session.

TBED People

Jeff Blodgett, Vice President of Research, at the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. is retiring.

Maryland Budget Supports BIO 2020 Initiative

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.

NIST Competition: $25M for Manufacturing Research Projects

A competition for high-risk, high-reward research funding recently was announced under the Technology Innovation Program (TIP). The goal is to improve critical manufacturing processes that reduce costs, save time, increase quality or reduce waste to dramatically improve the competitiveness of process-based industries, including the biomanufacturing sector, which produces vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals. To fund the program in its first year, $25 million may be available for up to 25 projects. The deadline to apply is July 15. Proposals are sought in three areas, which are described in greater detail at:

TBED People

Bryan Allinson has joined Ohio University as director of technology transfer.

MD Stem Cell Research Yields Positive Results, but Best is Yet to Come

Grants made for stem cell research projects in 2008 through the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation yielded a return of nearly $3 million to state and local governments and supported more than 500 high-paying jobs, finds a recent impact report. A total $38 million was awarded to researches in 2007 and 2008 following the passage of the Maryland Stem Cell Act of 2006 and Gov. Martin O'Malley's $1.3 billion BIO 2020 Initiative in 2008, which includes $20 million per year for stem cell research. The study concludes that returns are expected to multiply over time because of the cumulative aspect of scientific knowledge and fast pace of industry expansion. Read the impact report:

TBED People

Sandy Baruah has been selected to become the president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, effective March 15.