Maryland Comptroller Sends Clear Message to Biotech Industry at BioBuzz Awards Symposium

May 23, 2023

Last Thursday, BioBuzz held the third annual Awards Celebration and Industry Symposium. Attended by nearly 300 industry leaders from Maryland, Virginia, Philadelphia and North Carolina, the event included an education symposium discussing the most important topics impacting the industry – talent, investment and innovation ecosystems – as well as a celebration of last year’s awards winners.

Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman closed out the symposium portion of the program with a clear message of confidence to the Maryland life sciences community.

“We want you to be here, we want you to grow here, and we want to have your back,” shared Lierman.

Lierman is the first female, elected comptroller in the state of Maryland, and also a Baltimore city resident. She’s no stranger to the life science industry either. She shared that she had grown up in DC and Montgomery County as the daughter of an NIH lobbyist who worked to bring in more money for medical research, and even interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci for her 5th grade science project.

Now as Maryland’s elected CFO, she wants the industry to know that she understands the importance of government investment in science and technology. “Because what you do is just so important; not just to the state of Maryland but to the country and to the world,” Lierman emphasized.

“The Comptroller’s attendance and comments demonstrated her understanding of the importance of the life sciences and commitment to Maryland’s economic growth in this key sector,” shared J. Thomas Sadowski, Executive Director of Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO)

The administration recently put forth several initiatives that have the potential to create a positive impact Maryland‘s life science industry. Here are just a few recent policy initiatives moving forward under Gov. Moore’s Administration.

  • Industry 4.0 Technology Grant Program (HB 0622) established in the Department of Commerce to provide grants to certain small and medium–sized 5 manufacturing enterprises to assist those manufacturers with implementing new Industry 4.0 technology or related infrastructure for certain purposes.  The Bill was led by Delegate Lily Qi and garnered overwhelming bi-partisan support.
  • Build Our Future Grant Pilot Program and Fund (Innovation Economy Infrastructure Act of 2023) – Establishing the Build Our Future Grant Pilot Program in the Department of Commerce to provide funding for certain costs for infrastructure projects in eligible technology sectors; requiring certain grantees to provide matching funds and to demonstrate certain abilities; and requiring the Department to report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the projects funded through and the economic impact of the Program by July 1, 2026.
  • Maryland became the first state to require that animal laboratories contribute to a research fund that will be used to provide grants for scientists developing non-animal research alternatives, such as cell-based assays, organs-on-a-chip, and computer models. The Human–Relevant Research Funding and Animal Testing and Research Fund was established under the administration of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation as a special, nonlapsing fund to establish a grant and loan program to provide funding for State–funded, human–relevant animal testing alternate forms of research.

“We were honored to have Comptroller Lierman join us as a special guest at this year’s BioBuzz Awards,” shared BioBuzz CEO Chris Frew. “This annual event is meant a celebration of our life science community and it’s great to know that we have a Comptroller who understands us, and what is needed to help our community to thrive and make a greater impact on the world.”

This was the first event to be held at MAG Partners’ new Rye Street Market Center in Baltimore Peninsula.

“I found the event extremely valuable,” shared Sadowski. “Not only were we able to discuss MEDCO’s strategic capabilities in fostering life sciences and economic growth in Maryland, but we had a physical example of our work at Baltimore Peninsula.”

The Baltimore Peninsula represents the next wave of opportunity for Baltimore to continue to grow as a life sciences hub, bringing much needed and immediately available lab space available to the market. MAG Partners is now leasing space at the Rye Street Market Center which has several floors that are built to accommodate the unique needs of life science companies. With ample parking and convenient access just off I-95 on the South perimeter of the city, Baltimore Peninsula creates greater access to talent living in the DC suburbs who may not want to fight city logistics, while staying close to the innovation happening in the heart of the city at UMB and Johns Hopkins.


BioBuzz Awards and Industry Symposium Sponsors