Governor Larry Hogan Announces Excel Maryland Initiative to Grow Life Sciences and Cyber Start Ups

Touts Administration’s Success Making Maryland “Open For Business” at Inaugural Governor’s Business Summit

BALTIMORE, MD (May 18, 2017) – Governor Larry Hogan today opened Maryland’s inaugural Governor’s Business Summit before a crowd of more than 700 business, education, and community leaders at the Hilton Baltimore. The day-long economic development conference hosted by the Maryland Marketing Partnership highlights the issues and industries driving Maryland’s economy, including developing workforce through innovation training, protecting businesses from cyber threats, tapping into global markets, and attracting venture capital, among other key topics.

Governor Hogan described how the administration’s commitment to making Maryland “Open for Business” has delivered positive results around the state. Since January 2015, Maryland has added nearly 100,000 jobs and has successfully recruited major new investments from companies like Amazon, Lidl, Under Armour, and Pinnacle Foods. Notable job creation wins include the announcement of Marriott’s $600 million new headquarters complex in Bethesda; the retention of McCormick’s headquarters in Baltimore County; Morgan Stanley’s 800-job expansion in Baltimore City; and $100 million in new investment by Northrop Grumman, which directly supports more than 10,000 jobs in Maryland.

“Saying we are ‘Open for Business’ isn’t just a catchy slogan on road signs – it actually defines our mission, and it’s why I ran for governor,” said Governor Hogan. “We said we were going to help our businesses grow, put more Marylanders to work, and turn our economy around, and we have been doing exactly what we said we would do. Maryland’s economy is stronger than it’s been in more than a decade.”

To build on the progress of the last two years, Governor Hogan announced that the administration is launching a new comprehensive statewide economic development strategy called Excel Maryland. The initiative will be focused on developing new collaborative strategies to accelerate growth in the life sciences and cybersecurity industries, which are already flourishing in the state.

A steering committee includes officials from the Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and the University System of Maryland, along with the Maryland Economic Development Corporation. The committee is being led by Dr. Susan Windham Bannister, the founding president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, who helped drive Massachusetts to become a leading state for life sciences employment per capita.

“With the launch of our comprehensive, statewide economic development strategy called Excel Maryland, we will focus on new collaborative strategies to accelerate growth in some of the sectors where Maryland already leads, including the life sciences and cybersecurity industries,” said Governor Hogan. “Excel Maryland will help pool the talents of our state agencies, our universities, and our private sector industry experts to help us create an environment in Maryland where more companies can start-up here, and never stop growing here.”

The initiative will culminate in a report by the end of August which will serve as a roadmap to securing Maryland’s position as the epicenter of cybersecurity and advancing Maryland’s leadership position in biohealth and life sciences.

The Excel Maryland steering committee co-chairs include Bob Caret, chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM) and Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University. Steering committee members are Dr. Bahija Jallal, executive vice president, MedImmune and AstraZeneca; Stephanie Hill, vice president and general manager, Lockheed Martin; Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi, CEO of Emergent BioSolutions and chair of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board; Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries; Ron Gula, president of Gula Tech Adventures and co-founder of Tenable Network Security; Peter Barris, managing general partner of New Enterprise Associates; Bill Niland, CEO of Harpoon Medical; Larry Letow, president and CEO of Convergence Technology Consulting; Robert Lord, CEO of Protenus; Wendy Perrow, CEO, of AsclepiX, Therapeutics, and Paul Silber, founding principal of Blu Venture Investors.

“The USM is a major contributor to the Maryland we know today, its economic vitality and its world-class standard of living,” said Chancellor Caret. “We are proud to partner with Governor Hogan and our colleagues at Johns Hopkins to realize our tremendous economic potential, as we continue to develop the best and brightest minds, leverage the transformative ideas coming out of our institutions and grow the most dynamic, inclusive and resilient economic future for Maryland.”

“As one of the nation’s leading states for university research and development, we have an enormous opportunity to help transform our state’s great assets in advanced industries into a compelling, visionary strategy that will ultimately accelerate economic development,” said President Daniels. “Through the Excel Maryland initiative, we want to create a true public-private partnership of ideas and resources that will provide a compelling vision for the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland.”

The summit also features remarks by Marriott International president and CEO Arne Sorenson; and a presentation on Maryland’s economy by Maryland Economic Development Commission Chair and CEO of Sage Policy Group, Anirban Basu and Banks Contracting Company CEO Ken Banks, who also serves on the board of the Federal Reserve. The summit will conclude with remarks from Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.

For more information about the Governor’s Business Summit, click here.

About Maryland Commerce
The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit


Media Contact:
Karen Glenn Hood
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