Fiscal 2012 was a fruitful year for Maryland’s business environment—one that brought a groundbreaking state-university partnership to commercialize life sciences research, a pair of lucrative trade missions to Asia by Gov. Martin O’Malley, and national accolades for being at the forefront of innovation, according to the latest report from the state’s arm for spurring the state’s economy.
The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development's annual report, published Wednesday, touts the state as a “trailblazer in the Innovation Economy” and highlights the department’s successes in financing, tax credits and business assistance.
From July 2011 to July 2012, DBED:
- Financed more than 100 projects that helped retain 4,852 jobs and create 2,483 jobs.
- Gave out nearly $120 million in grants and loans
- Issued $8 million in biotech tax credits to 157 investors, and $6 million in R&D tax credits to 156 companies.
- Doled out another $11.3 million in grants from the Maryland State Arts Council.
Those moves helped Maryland garner the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s top ranking for entrepreneurship and innovation, and made it one of only eight states to preserve its AAA bond rating.
“We understand that in order to maintain the most supportive environment for the next generation of leaders—in medicine, information technology, aerospace, defense and cybersecurity—we must continue to innovate and adapt to this changing world,” O’Malley writes in the report.
Other highlights from the fiscal year include:
- $84 million raised for the InvestMaryland venture capital program by auctioning off insurance tax credits, the nation’s first such auction carried out online.
- Legislation that established a partnership with five Maryland universities that will help funnel research out of the lab and into the marketplace. In the InnovateMaryland initiative, the state contributed $5 million, while the five universities each put in between $100,000 and $200,000. The goal is to commercialize 40 discoveries per year.
- Maryland companies secured $145 million in investment and contracts during O’Malley’s two trade missions to Asia.
- DBED revived the special commission that focuses on expanding the state’s manufacturing sector.
- Launched an online database of more than 1,700 commercial and industrial properties.