Maryland Commerce, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and County Partners Open Defense Technology Center

DefTech Center to focus on bringing APG technology to commercial markets

BALTIMORE, Md. — Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill joined U.S. Army officers and officials from Cecil and Harford counties for a ribbon-cutting ceremony opening the Maryland Defense Technology Commercialization Center (DefTech) in Havre de Grace, Md., this week. Participating in the ceremony were Major General Randy Taylor, commanding general of U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM); Major General Cedric Wins, commanding general of U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM); Cecil County Executive Dr. Alan McCarthy; and Harford County Executive Barry Glassman.

“Engineers and scientists at Aberdeen Proving Ground are developing cutting-edge technology that can be put to broader use, benefitting our economy and our quality of life,” said Secretary Gill. “Through the DefTech Center, Maryland will provide the resources and direction entrepreneurs need to bring this technology to the commercial marketplace. The Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment and Harford and Cecil counties played critical roles in this endeavor, and we appreciate their support.”

DefTech, part of a long-term regional effort to develop an innovation network around RDECOM, will provide resources and workspace to companies and entrepreneurs who wish to commercialize technology developed at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The center will also offer workshops on best practices in commercialization, entrepreneurship, and industry. Those interested in licensing Army intellectual property may also access mentoring assistance through DefTech. In addition, technology showcases and outreach events are also planned, to highlight technology developments and encourage technology commercialization.

“Harford County is pleased to work with the Maryland Department of Commerce and proud to be the home of this exciting new venture to commercialize technology developed at APG,” County Executive Glassman said.  “By connecting these opportunities to businesses outside the gate, DefTech will enhance support for the installation and bring good jobs to Harford County and the region.”

“Cecil County looks forward to supporting this regional DefTech initiative,” said County Executive Dr. McCarthy. “Commercializing technology from Aberdeen Proving Ground is vital to continued economic growth in northeastern Maryland.”

Maryland Commerce has entered into MOUs with RDECOM labs at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) – Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center; Edgewood Chemical Biological Center; and Army Research Lab. Each will operate technology transfer offices in the DefTech Center, strengthening the connection between the scientists and engineers on base and commercial industry.

Funded through a defense diversification grant Maryland Commerce received from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), DefTech will be staffed by a team from Axcel Innovation LLC, led by Dr. Gary Evans. Harford County provided space for the center as an in-kind match. For additional information on the DefTech Center, contact Dr. Evans, 410.638.4460, ext. 7971.


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

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