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July 14, 1997


Baltimore, MD-In addition to new signs hailing commuters along I-95 just south of Baltimore, the UMBC Technology Center has recently pulled in five new tenants, nearly filling the capacity of the 30 acre research and training facility. Currently, more than 200 employees of 21 companies work in the former Lockheed Martin research complex. The newest arrivals include:

CellGene Laboratory--an incubator company specializing in the commercialization of diagnostic procedures and instruments to detect the presence of: 1) fetal nucleated red blood cells in maternal blood samples, a possible alternative to amniocentesis; and 2) prostate cancer cells in the blood of prostate cancer patients.

Daum Corporation--the research and development arm of a German company which has developed a robotic hand and data glove, products which have medical and gaming applications.

Epitaxial Technologies--an incubator company specializing in the production of semiconductor wafers with electronic properties suitable for fabricating integrated circuits for wireless communications, laser and photodetectors for optic fiber telecommunications and collision avoidance.

MetaMorphix--an emerging technology firm specializing in the development of new therapeutic approaches to the repair, regeneration and replacement of human organs and tissues. Founded in 1995 as a joint venture between The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Genetics Institute of Boston, MetaMorphix's proprietary technology is based on growth and differentiation factors (GDFs), a novel family of proteins which control the formation and repair of various soft tissues and organs.

T. Rowe Price--the human resources division of this Baltimore-based investment management and advisory firm will operate a training facility.

Since opening in April of 1996, the UMBC Technology 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 for start-up companies involved in cutting edge technology. Administrative and business support and collaboration with UMBC faculty is also provided.
  • Facilities for Emerging Technology Companies--Competitively-priced office and lab space (500 SF to 20,000 SF) and research collaboration with UMBC faculty.
  • Training/Education Facilities--Classrooms, teaching laboratories, seminar rooms, and auditorium for training entrepreneurs and scientists engaged in technology areas.
  • Research Park--Designed to encompass all stages of development described above, the 350,000 square foot research park will provide space for larger companies that have affinity with UMBC's research strengths in engineering, science and technology. Initial site grading has begun and the park's infrastructure will be completed next spring.

Among the Technology Center's 21 tenants, others include Direct Dimensions, an incubator firm that provides precise measurement and reverse engineering services to manufacturing and design companies; Ashurst Technology Group, an emerging technology firm specializing in the commercialization of innovative scientific research from the former Soviet Union; and the Parenteral Drug Association, which operates a training institute for laboratory-based pharmaceutical education.

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.

Through efforts of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, the Baltimore County Department of 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.

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Posted by dwinds1 at July 14, 1997 12:00 AM