USM Vice Chancellor PJ Hogan Explains Maryland Innovation Initiative

Posted Date: 
February 9, 2012


University System of Maryland Vice Chancellor for Government Relations PJ Hogan speaks to the Economic Development Committee about the Maryland Innovation Initiative
Vice-Chair Bill Robertson welcomed the committee and introduced University System of Maryland Vice Chancellor for Government Relations and former State Senator PJ Hogan. Hogan discussed Governor O’Malley’s proposed Maryland Innovation Initiative.
Hogan explained that the idea for the Maryland Investment Initiative was fueled by the fact that Maryland ranks first in Federal R&D Awards per capita, first in University research, and third in R&D intensity but 37th in technology transfer. In order to remedy this large gap, the Maryland Innovation Initiative seeks to change the culture to try to aggressively turn research opportunities into companies of their own.
The proposal would bring together a collaboration of the biggest research Universities in the State: University of Maryland, College Park, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, Baltimore, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Morgan State University. Each participating institution must contribute at least $250,000 annually. Maryland TEDCO will administer the program and the State is looking to fund it with an additional $5 million.
According to the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, “The initiative may (1) provide grant funding to a qualifying university, qualifying university-based entrepreneur, or other start-up entity, to promote the commercialization of technology developed in whole or in part by a qualifying university; (2) pursue grant funding for the initiative or its qualifying universities; (3) develop and implement guidelines for technology transfer; and (4) identify projects at qualifying universities that may be viable for commercialization.”
Hogan discussed the benefits of the Initiative for the State and the County. He compared it to the CIMIT model in Boston, which fosters collaboration among word-class experts in medicine. He cited an example of engineers collaborating with doctors to find a way to accurately perform a hip replacement more often. The culture of the initiative would include a component recognizing failure as an important part of the tech-transfer process.
Another component of the initiative is streamlining approval processes for state agencies looking to do business with the private sector. These components include going through state approval processes concurrently rather than consecutively. Eliminating these state regulatory barriers will help promote tech-transfer.
The Chamber has agreed to support the legislation and communicate support with members of the Montgomery County Delegation.


Tagged in:

MCCC Strategic Partners