The Port of Baltimore is a hub for exporting in Maryland.
A growing number of products and services are traveling the world through Maryland’s borders, and several programs are available to help continue that trend.
In 2012, Maryland’s exports reached a record $11.8 billion. It was one of few states to increase its number of goods and services launched into the international market. Still, according to Deputy Secretary Bob Walker of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, just 3 percent of Maryland companies are involved in exporting.
“You can imagine, if we were to adjust that needle to 4 percent, how many more dollars we could bring into this economy, how many more jobs we would create and how many more companies could improve their bottom line through revenue and sales and so forth,” Walker said.
Registration for the Celebration of International Trade has reached 70 percent and will remain open online until the day of the event. Admission, including breakfast and lunch, is free for government employees and $99 for others.
The world market is a “surprisingly small place,” according to Carl Livesay, chairman of the DEC.
“Businesses perceive that there are overwhelming barriers to exporting goods and services, and that’s just not the case. It is confusing and it can be cumbersome, but if you align yourself with businesses and people who have traveled that path before, they will help light the way,” he said.
The region benefits from transportation systems that easily support trade, including the top-ranking Port of Baltimore and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Livesay also described the area as a “hotbed and innovation and technology.”
“There’s no other area in the country that is better suited, better qualified or has access to stronger resources than we do here in Maryland,” he said.
Ultimately, as more companies in Maryland and Washington, D.C. trade internationally, the more the overall economy will grow and the national trade balance will improve. He said, ”We do not seek to help companies import foreign goods or services into the United States. To put it bluntly, this is about creating permanent, sustainable jobs right here in Maryland.”
“We’ve had some forward thinking people who have attracted some great businesses to our county. We were always known for agriculture, but we now have four industrial parks. We’ve been very successful,” Whaley said.
In recent decades, the county on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, with a population just under 33,000, has attracted major manufacturers like Solo Cup Company, Maryland Plastics, Hanover Foods, Pillsbury and Tri-Gas & Oil. Several privately owned flower farms have been incorporated into Bell Nursery’s network of growers, which supplies Home Depot stores. The number of smaller technology start-ups is also expected to grow within the expanding Caroline Technology Park. The county’s roughly 710 businesses employ 7,310 workers, according to county government reports.
The Caroline Economic Development Commission, a non-profit organization closely associated with county and state government, is currently seeking a qualified individual to continue its legacy of growth. The Director of Economic Development position recently opened and will remain active until June 7. Caroline County government is conducting the hiring process that is scheduled to be completed by July 15.
The job description emphasizes the ability to forge partnerships. It states:
The successful candidate must have the ability to market Caroline County, promote its strengths, and identify weaknesses through the development of a strategic economic development planning process. The ideal candidate must be able to develop and establish partnerships with municipal, county, regional, state, and federal organizations to identify and achieve goals and to collaborate with the Caroline County Chamber of Commerce, the MidShore Regional Council, and the Caroline County Association of Municipalities.
The position also includes assisting businesses, whether they be small businesses or major corporations, through the process of procuring tax incentives. These incentives have played a major role in preventing businesses from migrating to Virginia and North Carolina, according to Whaley.
Funded at $3 million, the Cybersecurity Investment Incentive Tax Credit provides a refundable tax credit to qualified Maryland cybersecurity companies that seek and secure capital from an in-state or out-of-state investor.
“The passage of the bill is very exciting. It’s going to reinforce the dynamic nature of what’s happening in this industry. We started out largely with government-driven activity in cybersecurity. Now we have a lot of new companies that are developing cybersecurity products for both federal government and government in general, as well as banks, utilities and retailers. And yet, venture capital investors don’t really know much about what’s happening in this community. This is really a way of increasing our profile with those investors, and that’s going to be one of the biggest benefits with this tax credit,” said Ursula S. Powidzki, Maryland DBED Assistant Secretary of Business & Enterprise Development.
Maryland DBED Secretary Dominick Murray said the legislation complements the industry’s comparative advantage in Maryland.
“Cybersecurity is one of our strengths and you always capitalize on your strengths. We have that critical mass here, including one of the most highly educated workforces, especially in math and science. We’ve got the land, air and sea covered, but now there’s this extra domain on the Internet, and Maryland will be able to participate in protecting our nation and our state,” Murray said.
The tax credit also specifically encourages out-of-state investors to contribute to Maryland cybersecurity companies. ”We don’t have all the capital here in the state of Maryland, so we’re encouraging worldwide investment,” he added.
“We want to make it easy to invest in venture funds that will in turn partner and invest our money in Maryland companies,” Murray said.
Since 2012, select Maryland companies and venture capital firms have benefitted from the program, funded by $84 million raised by the state’s first online auction of premium insurance tax credits. Legislators approved adjustments to the program during the 2013 session to ensure proper authorization of investments and allow for easier negotiations with participating venture capital firms.
Moscow, Russia and Baltimore, Maryland are separated by language, culture and nearly 6,000 miles, yet similarities emerge within each city’s concentration on the life sciences industry.
Thanks to a recently signed memorandum of understanding between Russia’s Pushchino BioTech Cluster and the BioMaryland Center, common ground between life sciences companies in Maryland and regions across Russia is expected to grow. The Pushchino district, in the suburbs of Moscow, represents Russia’s second largest in terms of academic research, with 100 laboratories and 2500 research scientists working in the field of biotechnologies and bio-pharmacology. Likewise, Maryland is home to more than 500 life sciences companies, 59 federal labs and several additional academic and research institutions.
Innovation Working Group members—led by the Russian Deputy Minister of Economy Oleg Fomichev and Special Representative for Business and Commerce of the U.S. Department of State Lorraine Hariton—gathered on April 26 to visit the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore BioPark to explore opportunities for collaboration. They were joined by leaders from the Pushchino BioTech Cluster, several representatives of Maryland and Russia biotech firms and Evgeny V. Chuprunov, the rector of Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod.
Dr. Bruce Jarrell, Chief Academic/ ResearchOfficer, Senior Vice President and Dean of the Graduate School of the University of Maryland, Baltimore; and Dr. Mary Ann Rankin, Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs, welcomed the delegation. Dr. E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, Distinguished Professor, and Dean UMD School of Medicine also spoke to the delegation during a special reception.
The program on April 26 included several presentations and tours of the BioPark facility and Maryland Forensic Medical Center.
“We are very pleased to welcome the Innovation Working Group to Maryland, and have the opportunity to showcase our world-class universities and expanding life science community, as well as share approaches to economic development,” said Dr. Judith Britz, Executive Director of the BioMaryland Center, said in a statement. “As a global bioscience leader, Maryland is looking forward to collaborating with the Pushchino BioTech Cluster to identify opportunities for partnering together on joint research and economic development initiatives.”
“We are very elated to see that one of the Innovation Working Group initiatives has come to fruition,” Svetlana Infimovskaya, Deputy Executive Director, Association of Innovative Regions of Russia, said in a statement. “Collaboration of Pushchino BioTech Cluster and BioMaryland Center will open an opportunity to join efforts in research and economic development.”
“We are proud to have the BioMaryland Center and Pushchino as partners in the U.S.-Russia Innovation Working Group,” Lorraine Hariton, Special Representative of Commercial and Business Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, said in a statement. “These types of partnerships between regions in the United States and regions in Russia exemplify the very best of the Bilateral Presidential Commission. We hope that the BioMaryland Center-Pushchino memorandum of understanding will serve as a model for other regions.”
Find highlights from program’s presentations in the above video.
“Innovation is not a solo act. History has shown that we can speed our path to discovery through collaboration and partnership,” O’Malley said in a statement. “I am pleased to announce the creation of the Maryland/Israel Development Partnership and look forward to what we will achieve when we bring together the bright minds and talented entrepreneurs in Maryland and Israel to tackle the great challenges facing our planet.”
“In Maryland, we like to believe and I think we are, leading the way in TBI and we’ve made a lot of progress, but our work is far from finished. In fact, we are much closer to the starting line than the finish line, and that’s why we’re here today to reaffirm our commitment to preventing, diagnosing and treating TBIs,” Brown said.
Andrew Colon, who was injured in an explosion while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq, spoke about his personal experience suffering from TBI. Months after the incident, he began suffering from loss of balance and hearing problems.
“I’m just one of millions. My team members suffered far worse. I feel fortunate to be here and share my story with all of you, so you understand the importance of the work that you do, and the time you are spending to understand traumatic brain injuries,” Colon said.
Andrew Colon of the U.S. Marine Corp speaks to BioMaryland on traumatic brain injury.
Featured expert panelists included:
Alan Faden, M.D., David S. Brown Professor in Trauma, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Neurosurgery, Neurology; Director, Center for Shock Trauma & Anesthesiology Research (STAR), University of Maryland School of Medicine; CSO, Kinetic Shield
Rochelle Tractenberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Georgetown University Medical School
Greg Merril, CEO, Brain Sentry
Greg Hiemenz, Ph.D., President & CEO, InnoVital Systems, Inc.
Richard Garr, CEO, NeuralStem
Joshua Chenoweth, Ph.D., Investigator, Lieber Institute for Brain Development
Bruce Jarrell, M.D., Chief Academic and Research Officer and SVP; Dean, Graduate School, University of Maryland Baltimore
Robert Stevens, M.D., Associate Professor, Division of Neurosciences Critical Care, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Vassilis Koliatsos, M.D., Professor of Pathology and Neurology; Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Johns Hopkins University Medical School
David Beylin, Ph.D., CEO, Brain Biosciences
Alastair Mackay, Principal, Maryland Venture Fund
David Smith, Head of Therapeutic Cell Solutions, Lonza Walkersville, Inc.
Bruce Jarrell, M.D., Chief Academic and Research Officer and SVP; Dean, Graduate School, University of Maryland Baltimore