Award recognizes center’s success in converting federal R&D into jobs and new businesses

BALTIMORE, MD (September 3, 2020) – The state’s Defense Technology Commercialization (DefTech) Center has received the 2020 State & Local Economic Development Award by the Federal Lab Consortium. The recognition highlights the success that the technology transfer accelerator has had in its partnership with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) and Harford County government.

The DefTech Center – an initiative of the Maryland Department of Commerce – was founded in 2018 through a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment, in partnership with Harford County Office of Community & Economic Development and U.S. Army labs at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Originally funded for 13 months, the program aims to help local economies grow by helping entrepreneurs utilize federal lab and defense technologies or resources to develop a product for a non-federal, commercial market and/or to be utilized by the government, also known as technology transfer. DefTech is currently funded by a three year grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

“The DefTech Center provides valuable economic diversification, networking, and resource services to our local businesses. The program has eased the sharing of information with federal laboratory systems, providing a much needed service to the state of Maryland,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “Congratulations to all those involved for the tremendous recognition of this successful program.”

Maryland has more than 70 federal labs located within the state, making it a hot-bed for federal and defense technology. Because of the proximity to Washington, D.C., many counties across the state are heavily dependent on federal and defense spending to help support their local economies, however companies can utilize R&D from federal and defense labs to develop products to diversify their business and customers. The DefTech program allows businesses to remain competitive by helping them leverage the cutting-edge technology, facilities, equipment, and expertise available in Department of Defense labs located in Maryland. DefTech also works with these businesses by matching them to available federal technologies, providing connections, and educating through events and webinars based on creating commercialization plans, marketing, and product development.

“We are pleased to host the DefTech Center within the Harford Business Innovation Center,” said Barry Glassman, Harford County Executive. “It provides accessible entrepreneurial resources close to APG and in coordination with our small business services partners.”

“The Army is proud to partner with the local business community at Aberdeen Proving Ground,” said Dr. Eric L. Moore, Director of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center. “By moving technologies into the hands of local innovators, we provide tools to our warfighters faster and our communities benefit from the commercialization efforts. We all win.”

The DefTech nomination was based on the impressive gains shown during its first two years of operation. So far, the program has created or retained 170 client jobs as well as served 58 clients, created four new businesses/start ups, and raised more than $19 million in client investment capital. The program has also facilitated several agreements between the Department of Defense labs in Maryland and clients, like patent license agreements and cooperative research and development agreements.

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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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