Maryland Commerce Receives Federal Grant to Expand Defense Technology Commercialization Center
New centers to be established at Fort Meade and Fort Detrick
BALTIMORE, MD (March 20, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Commerce has received a $750,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to expand the Maryland Defense Technology Commercialization (DefTech) Center, a pilot program established in 2018 to fund tech transfer activities in U.S. Department of Defense labs at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Due to the success of the pilot program, which was initially funded by the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment, Maryland Commerce applied for funding under a competitive grant program from the Economic Development Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce. The new grant expands the services of the DefTech Center program to Fort George G. Meade and Fort Detrick.
“Through the DefTech Center pilot program at Aberdeen Proving Ground, 14 entrepreneurs are already exploring ways to transfer defense technologies to the commercial market,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “Bringing this program to installations across our state taps into the outstanding talent we have here in Maryland and enables access to the cutting-edge technologies being developed on our installations.”
Like the original DefTech Center, the new centers at Fort Meade and Fort Detrick will offer an intellectual property matchmaking, mentoring and coaching, resource connections, startup support, and other services to help clients explore technology transfer opportunities. The centers will also host networking, educational, and skill-building events for entrepreneurs, covering topics such as customer discovery, market identification, intellectual property & patent law, and market-oriented product development.
“The Combat Capabilities Development Command team is proud to help the DefTech Center and Maryland succeed,” said CCDC Commander Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins. “The thousands of CCDC scientists and engineers on APG are focused on delivering capabilities that make our Soldiers safer and more effective, but they are also proud to help local entrepreneurs bring those innovations into the commercial market. We have hundreds of partnerships around the world but it’s always especially gratifying when we can take part in the success of our neighbors in Maryland.”
Federal government partners in the project include the NSA Technology Transfer Program at Fort Meade, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) Tech Transfer Office at Fort Detrick, and Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Technology Transfer Offices at APG. Other partners, each of which contributed matching funds to support the expansion of the DefTech program, include Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation, Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA), Frederick County Office of Economic Development, and City of Frederick Department of Economic Development; Army Alliance, Fort Meade Alliance, and Fort Detrick Alliance; TEDCO, which provides resources and connections to early-stage technology and life sciences companies; Altus Engineering in Darlington, Md., and startup studio Early Charm Ventures LLC in Baltimore.
“We are excited to partner with Maryland Commerce and welcome the DefTech Center to ROOT, our innovation center located in downtown Frederick,” said Helen Propheter, director of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development. “Strong collaborations with federal agencies in the region are important to identifying new technology transfer opportunities, spurring innovative company creation, and enhancing the dynamic entrepreneurial community in Frederick County.”
“Howard County is home to talented companies and entrepreneurs who will benefit from the DefTech program through their commercialization of defense-IP revolving around Fort G. Meade,” said HCEDA CEO Larry Twele. “This is another example of how the Howard County Innovation Center will be a nexus to bring together targeted programs and stakeholders which fosters business development and technology innovation. HCEDA and the Howard Tech Council look forward to participating in the expansion of DefTech into a statewide network.”
The funding will also support enhancements to the program’s website, including incorporating the Maryland Defense Patent Database, an aggregated repository for Maryland’s defense intellectual property that is available for licensing. The database currently includes approximately 1,800 patents for licensing from DoD labs in Maryland.
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 commerce.maryland.gov.