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Md. International Incubator Opens with Foreign High-Tech Tenants
Story By: Neil Tickner
The new Maryland International Incubator has opened for business in College Park, adjacent to the University of Maryland campus, with seven foreign high-technology companies as tenants and others in the pipeline.
A joint project of the University of Maryland and the state Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), the Incubator is designed to spur economic growth, bring foreign investment to Maryland and ultimately create jobs in the state. The incubator is a program of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech).
It provides a one-stop gateway that helps private foreign businesses in the technology sector set up operations in Maryland. Currently, the facility offers 7,500 square feet of office space on U.S. Route 1 in College Park (8400 Baltimore Ave.).
The Incubator's anchor and largest participant involves a novel arrangement with the Chinese government. Known as the University of Maryland-China Research Park, it is a new incubation effort by the Ministry of Science and Technology to help Chinese companies expand internationally. The Ministry program is the only one of its kind in the United States and one of only five in the world.
The Incubator "will undoubtedly create jobs," said University of Maryland President C.D. Mote, Jr. today at the dedication of the China Research Park. Mote was joined by Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, DBED Secretary Christian Johansson and Maryland Secretary of State John McDonough.
"The State of Maryland already has a significant presence in the global market, but this research park is another boon to the State's efforts to enhance the economy," Mote continued. "The Park can house 10 to 25 company start ups, which will likely stay in Maryland, and further stimulate the growth of high-wage, high-knowledge jobs."
Incubator tenants get office space and a base for their development operations, proximity to talent and research facilities at the University and vital services from the facility's operator, UM's Mtech, the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute.
High-tech firms frequently seek locations close to a major research university to benefit from its expertise and talent. The Incubator encourages research collaboration in such areas as health care, environment, agriculture, energy and fire protection.
The new incubator is part of Governor O'Malley's new Maryland International Growth Strategy - a broad effort to help foreign companies expand their operations into Maryland.
"Today's grand opening of a Maryland institution devoted exclusively to attracting, supporting and addressing the unique needs of foreign-owned companies represents one of the elements of this strategy," said DBED Secretary Christian Johansson. "Maryland represents an ideal location from which foreign companies can base their forays in the world's largest market."
Six of the seven tenants in the Incubator are Chinese. The other is British. Efforts are underway to recruit additional international tenants.
The University of Maryland plays a leadership role in the state's growth as one of the premier centers for research and technology in the nation. The University is rapidly increasing its visibility and impact and is now ranked among the top 20 national public research universities by U.S. News & World Report.
The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) educates the next generation of technology entrepreneurs; help entrepreneurs create successful technology-based ventures; and connects companies with University resources to help them succeed. Founded in 1983, Mtech has had a $19.6 billion cumulative impact on the Maryland economy through its programs.
October 29, 2009