HCEDA announces partnership with Maryland Defense Technology Commercialization Center 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) is pleased to announce it has entered into a cooperative agreement with the Maryland Department of Commerce to establish a DefTech Center in cooperation with Anne Arundel County to serve the technology community surrounding Fort Meade and the NSA. The mission of the DefTech Center is to facilitate the commercialization of Department of Defense (DoD) intellectual property (IP) and allows startups and existing small companies to access the scientific resources available at Federal Labs.

The new center will offer IP matchmaking, mentoring, resource connections, and startup-support to help clients pursue tech-transfer opportunities. The center will also host networking, educational, and skill-building events for entrepreneurs. The Howard County Innovation Center is launching a rapid prototyping center, available to DefTech clients, in 2019 with partners Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the University of Maryland which will build capacity for technology-product companies to commercialize more quickly. The Maryland Defense Patent Database currently includes approximately 1,800 patents for licensing from DoD labs in Maryland; DefTech staff and clients can use the Patent Database to search by areas of interest.

“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.”

Due to the success of the state’s 2018 pilot program with U.S. DoD labs at APG in Harford County, Maryland Commerce applied to a competitive federal grant program from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce and ultimately received $750,000 to expand the DefTech Center 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.”

Other DoD tech transfer partners in the project include the NSA Technology Transfer Office at Fort Meade, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (AMRMC) Tech Transfer Office at Fort Detrick.

Questions about the DefTech Center in Howard County should be sent to bsheavly@hceda.org

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