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UMD Leadership Helps State To #1 Innovation Ranking

June 28, 2012
Contacts: 

Ted Knight, 301-405-3596 or teknight@umd.edu

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A new U.S. Chamber of Commerce report names Maryland the #1 state in the nation for entrepreneurship and innovation. The annual report on 2012 Enterprising States, also ranked Maryland #1 in academic research and development and #3 in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs and in the concentration of high-tech business locations.

"We are very pleased to see the State of Maryland receive this distinction," said University of Maryland Vice President for Research and Chief Research Officer Dr. Patrick O'Shea. "This national recognition reflects the efforts of the Governor and General Assembly to promote innovation across the state, the tireless work of the state's successful businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as the University of Maryland's dedication to creating a culture of entrepreneurship among our faculty, students and alumni."

The state placed first thanks to its strong high-tech activity and academic research, as well as its advantageous location in the Washington, D.C. region. According to the report, "high concentrations of technology workers and technology companies are a sign (the state of Maryland) is excelling at translating its academic research to the private sector."

The strong research and technology development programs at the University of Maryland - the flagship campus of the University System of Maryland - are a key factor in the state's growing reputation as a successful ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship.

"This national recognition is the culmination of new state funding tools for technology commercialization, academic policy reforms, realignment of internal university resources, and entrepreneurial leadership from Governor Martin O'Malley, USM Chancellor William "Brit" Kirwan, and UMD President Wallace Loh," noted Brian Darmody, a board member of the new $84 million Maryland Venture Authority, and associate vice president for research, economic development and corporate relations.

Maryland a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Several indicators and new initiatives support the University of Maryland's standing as the nation's fastest growing center for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Earlier this spring, Governor Martin O'Malley unveiled the Maryland Innovation Initiative, a new measure passed by the General Assembly that commits $6 million to help increase the commercialization of university research. The new initiative is a collaboration between the state and five Maryland universities, including the University of Maryland, College Park and Johns Hopkins University, focused on promoting the commercialization of research and facilitating technology transfer from university labs to start-up companies.

Faculty researchers at the University of Maryland and other state universities also have new incentives to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship activities. The University System of Maryland Board of Regents recently approved a new policy to formally give credit in tenure and promotion decisions for faculty efforts and activities that result in the generation and application of intellectual property through technology transfer.

The Maryland Venture Fund is a state-funded seed and early-stage equity fund that makes direct investments in technology and life science companies and indirect investments in venture capital funds. The fund invests in technology companies in the areas of software, communications, and IT security, as well as life sciences companies in the areas of therapeutics, medical devices, and diagnostics.

The University of Maryland's Baltimore and College Park campuses are also promoting entrepreneurship and tech commercialization efforts through a new collaboration. UM Ventures is a joint effort between the technology transfer offices at the two campuses and the entrepreneurial business services programs at College Park that will promote tech transfer activities. UM Ventures, a core initiative of the new cross-campus collaboration between the two research powerhouses - called "MPowering the State" -will help stimulate discovery and new business development.

Bringing Research Innovation to Market

University of Maryland programs play an important role in helping advance entrepreneurship and innovation in the state. Over the past 25 years, University of Maryland research has produced 400 patents and licensed more than 500 technologies to industry. Currently, the university generates about 130 invention disclosures each year (about 1 every 3 days), which result in about 5 tech start-ups each year.

The university's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) has had a $25 billion impact on the state economy since 1983 by helping to educate the next generation of technology entrepreneurs, create successful technology ventures, and connect Maryland companies with university resources to help them succeed. Mtech's Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program has supported 500 Maryland companies and their MIPS-supported products have generated billions in sales and added thousands of jobs in Maryland.

The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship connects startups from regional tech councils, incubators and state-funded institutions with a network of more than 40 active, accredited angel investors and venture capitalists for early-stage capital. The Center also provides MBA and undergraduate students at the Smith School with practical experiences and opportunities to pitch their business ideas, obtain feedback from experienced entrepreneurs-in-residence and access funding.

The University of Maryland's entrepreneurship education programs, which include the Hinman CEOs living-learning program, have served as national models. U.S. News and World Report, the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine have named the University of Maryland one of the nation's top schools for entrepreneurship education.

Last spring, the University of Maryland hosted 30 Days of EnTERPreneurship, a full month of events dedicated to promoting the campus culture of innovation and entrepreneurship which included business plan competitions, invention of the year awards, and a National Academy of Engineering conference on Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The Maryland Small Business Development Center, a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and the University of Maryland, links private enterprise, government, higher education and local economic development organizations to provide assistance to Maryland's small businesses. In the last year alone, the center's staff assisted nearly 12,000 entrepreneurs, and helped businesses secure more than $37 million in loans.

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, Maryland is ranked No. 18 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report, has 32 academic programs in the U.S News Top 10 and 73 in the Top 25. The Institute of Higher Education (Jiao Tong University, Shanghai), which ranks the world's top universities based on research, puts Maryland at No. 36 in the world and No. 12 among U.S. public universities. The university has produced six Nobel laureates, seven Pulitzer Prize winners, more than 40 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The university is recognized for its diversity, with underrepresented students comprising one-third of the student population. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit www.umd.edu.