Maryland’s innovation ecosystem thrives on collaboration

Pictured from left: Tammi Thomas, TEDCO; Judy Costello, Montgomery County Government; Brian Darmody, AURP; Mary Morris, UMB; Dr. Arti Santhanam, TEDCO.

By Tammi Thomas – Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, TEDCO
July 08, 2022, 04:05pm EDT

Maryland may be small, but it’s a leader when it comes to nurturing its university-based biology and technology ventures. An array of assets makes it a top choice for biology and technology companies: our state is No. 1 in federal research and development funding, No. 1 in health and human services funding, and No. 3 in NASA funding, according to the National Science Foundation. The state is also home to the largest health researcher (National Institutes of Health), the largest food and drug regulator (the Food and Drug Administration) and the largest buyer of medical procurement (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Woodlawn, Maryland).

TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for tech companies, partners with universities to offer entrepreneurs and emerging companies critical early-stage funding, business support and mentoring. This convergence of academia, research and economic development creates a nurturing environment that connects entrepreneurs to resources that help them stay and grow their businesses in Maryland.

Pictured from left: Arti Santhanam, Ph.D., TEDCO; Mary Morris, UMB; Brian Darmody, AURP
One critical partnership is the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII), a collaboration between the state of Maryland and five Maryland academic research institutions: Johns Hopkins University; Morgan State University; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and the University of Maryland, College Park. Pilot programs soon to be launched at Bowie State University and Frostburg University will help TEDCO extend the reach of its support.

The MII is designed to promote commercialization of research conducted in the partner universities through venture creation. TEDCO also works with the new ventures to create and deepen opportunities and connections, with the goal of helping the companies grow, thrive and stay in Maryland.

“Many of our portfolio companies at TEDCO started at a university research park. The parks play an important role in giving the entrepreneurs a home and nurturing them, as well as providing access to a density of talent and connections with commercial partners — which in turn helps them stay and grow in the state. Through the MII, we help the startups scale the entrepreneur ecosystem,” said Arti Santhanam, executive director, Maryland Innovation Initiative, TEDCO. “As they grow, they can access additional TEDCO funds and resources.”

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