Bryan P. Sears//May 18, 2017
//May 18, 2017
Gov. Larry Hogan Thursday called for an increased effort to grow and expand two technology industries in Maryland and announced the formation of a panel he said will offer recommendations for making Maryland an attractive state in which to relocate or expand.
Hogan, speaking at the state’s first Governor’s Business Summit in Baltimore, called for a comprehensive statewide economic development strategy. The program, known as Excel Maryland, would focus on growing the state’s life sciences and cybersecurity industries.
“Today’s launch of Excel Maryland will help pool the talents of all of our state agencies, our universities and our private-sector industry experts to help us create an environment in Maryland where more companies can start companies up here in Maryland and then stay here and continue to grow here in Maryland,” Hogan told the gathering of business leaders.
Hogan cited a concentration of bio-science companies and cybersecurity companies in the state. Many are drawn to the state because of the proximity to federal institutions in Washington, Bethesda and Fort Meade.
But those businesses have also been vulnerable to federal budget cuts in recent years.
In Maryland, federal contract spending makes up about 10 percent of the state’s private-sector economy.
A 2015 Moody’s report cited the state’s over-reliance on federal related spending, and economists have urged the state to diversify its economy with jobs that are less reliant on federal funding.
As part of the initiative, Hogan announced the creation of a work group of government, higher education and industry representatives. The panel is expected to make recommendations on how to grow existing businesses in the cybersecurity and life sciences sectors.
That report is due Aug. 31.
“We’re pretty impatient,” Hogan said. “We want to get things moving.”
The panel will be led by Dr. Susan Windham Bannister, founding president and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and co-chairmen Robert Caret, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, and Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University.
“We’re looking for a blueprint to strengthen our innovation economy in order to cement Maryland as not just the cyber capital of America but the cyber capital of the world and to not just be a leader in the life sciences but to compete with Massachusetts for the life sciences capital of the world,” Hogan said.i