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News briefs: Aquaculture, MidCap and NASA

Funds for aquaculture

Maryland’s new shellfish aquaculture financing program will accept a second round of applications between Jan. 2 and January 31, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced. The program is funded at $2.2 million. The Department of Natural Resources received 16 applications totaling more than $1.3 million during the first round, which closed on Nov. 30, leaving approximately $900,000 still available. “This second application period will allow those who were unable to meet the original deadline another opportunity to participate,” O’Malley said. The program provides affordable financing to watermen and others who are starting or expanding commercial shellfish aquaculture operations.

MidCap strikes gold

MidCap Financial LLC of Bethesda, a commercial finance company focused on middle-market health care companies, said one of its financing subsidiaries closed a $400 million credit facility from a bank group led by Wells Fargo Capital Finance. The credit line — an expansion of an existing arrangement that MidCap had in place with Wells Fargo — has a three-year term and provides financing against MidCap’s senior secured loans to health care companies. Also participating in the expanded funding package are SunTrust Bank, Goldman Sachs Bank USA and Key Equipment Finance.

Bel Air cultural boost

The Town of Bel Air in Harford County has been named the 19th designee of the state-run Arts and Entertainment Program, according to an announcement from the governor’s office. The A&E program provides tax benefits to boost arts-related economic development and create distinct areas for artists and arts enterprises in designated districts. The Bel Air district runs through Main Street, anchored by four cultural venues: Bel Air High School, Rock Field Manor, Shamrock Park and Reckord Armory. The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development administers the statewide A&E District program.

Md. firm tasked by NASA

Science Systems and Applications Inc. of Lanham has won a contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration valued at up to $425 million over five years to provide support services in Earth and planetary atmospheric science and technology to the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The new contract is an extension of work that SSAI is already undertaking for NASA at the Virginia location, according to the company.

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