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October 4, 1996


Baltimore, MD, November 4, 1996—Assisted by a robotic hand at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Governor Parris N. Glendening, UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski, Baltimore County Executive C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, other state representatives, guests, and tenants of the UMBC Technology Center will officially dedicate the facility on Friday, November 8, at 1 p.m. The festivities also include a luncheon exhibition of tenants' work and self-guided tours.

"The UMBC Technology Center is another giant step towards reaching our goal of making Maryland the benchmark for national economic development, and a model of success in developing public-private partnerships," says Governor Glendening. "This facility will spawn the type of private sector economic development that is the key to our efforts to move Maryland forward into the 21st century."

Before consolidating its operations in 1995, the Lockheed-Martin Corporation operated the five-building, 30 acre research facility adjacent to Interstate 95, just five minutes from BWI Airport and 10 minutes from Baltimore city. The 170,000 square-foot facility includes a conference center, clean rooms and 50,000 square feet of wet-lab space, which is difficult to find in Maryland. Through efforts of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) and the General Assembly, the State reached an agreement to purchase the facility for $9.5 million, $5 million appropriated by the General Assembly. MEDCO then leased the facility to UMBC last spring.

Since opening in April, the UMBC Technology Center has created and/or retained 115 jobs (several Lockheed-Martin researchers stayed on to start their own companies). The center has also leased 80 percent of its laboratory space to 12 incubator and emerging technology companies. More importantly, the center has strengthened UMBC's progress in establishing a system of facilities to support high technology business development. This system includes:

  • Pre-incubator, "proof of concept" laboratory space which researchers and entrepreneurs can essentially rent on a short-term basis to test an idea.

  • High-tech Business Incubator Space--Office and lab space at subsidized rates to start-up companies involved in cutting edge technology. Administrative and business support and collaboration with UMBC faculty is also provided. Example: Direct Dimensions provides rapid measurement of 3-D features into CAD systems; performs reverse engineering, and provides solutions to complex measurement problems. The company also works with Professor Uri Tasch, who will control the robotic hand at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

  • Facilities for Emerging Technology Companies--Competitively-priced office and lab space (500 SF to 20,000 SF), and research collaboration with UMBC faculty. Example: In Vitro Technologies, Inc., a graduate of UMBC's incubator program, is the leading U.S. contract laboratory dedicated to providing state-of-the-art in vitro (in test tube) testing for effects of chemicals on human organs, and for predicting human drug metabolism and absorption.

  • Research Collaborations--Joint university/industry research collaborations. Example: Anderson Materials Evaluation, Inc., which provides electron spectroscopic analyses to characterize solid materials, thin films and coatings, has worked closely with mechanical engineering professor Tim Topoleski, an expert in biomaterials.

  • Training/Education Facilities--Classrooms, teaching laboratories, seminar rooms, and auditorium for training entrepreneurs and scientists engaged in technology areas. Example: The Parenteral Drug Association (PDA), which represents 7,000 members of the pharmaceutical industry worldwide, has established its new training institute for laboratory based education and training--the only one of its kind--at the UMBC Technology Center.

  • Research Park--Designed to encompass all stages of development described above, the 300,000 square foot research park will provide space for larger companies that have affinity with UMBC's research strengths in engineering, science and technology. Groundbreaking for the park is scheduled for summer of 1997.

    "The UMBC Technology Center will allow us to expand our highly successful new business incubator program and encourage technology commercialization," says UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski. "The project complements UMBC's role in science and engineering research and will allow us to support the region and the State in economic development."

    Other dedication ceremony participants will include Tom Quinn, president of LMC Properties, Ed Fry, president of PDA, Jo Ann Argersinger, provost of UMBC, Mark Behm, vice president for administrative affairs at UMBC, and Ellen Wiggins, executive director of the UMBC Research Park.

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  • Posted by dwinds1 at October 4, 1996 12:00 AM