HCEDA Breaks Wall on Innovation Center in Columbia, Announces Partnership with MITRE Corporation

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Lawrence Twele, CEO of the HCEDA, and Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman take down the final parts of the wall during a ceremonial wall breaking for the Howard County Innovation Center.


Columbia, MD (10/24/2018) – The Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) held a ceremonial wall breaking today to kick off construction of the new Howard County Innovation Center at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive. It was also announced at the event that The MITRE Corporation has signed a MOU to support an innovative big data and software lab, called “The Viking Lab”, in the center.

“The Howard County Innovation Center is here to keep Howard County on the cutting edge and enable our community to continue growing; creating successful companies and high paying jobs,” said Lawrence Twele, CEO of the HCEDA. “For 25 years, our organization has grown and evolved with the business community in Howard County, finding new and innovative ways to provide the support they need. I am excited to see the next chapter of these services begin at the Innovation Center.”

The Center, which is scheduled to open spring 2019, will be a 50,000-sq. ft. full-service resource for local businesses and the entrepreneurship community. MITRE’s Viking Lab will be managed by Howard County based company Trimia and will occupy approximately 1,000 sq. ft. in the building. The goal of the lab is to provide private sector companies the opportunity to solve complex governmental problems. The MITRE Corporation, a private non-profit corporation, operates federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) that help government agencies address many of their critical challenges. This is MITRE’s first Viking Lab to focus on Intelligent Cities challenges and the goal is to create solutions that are of a public value and to foster technology job creation in the local area.

“The opening of this Innovation Center is our latest commitment to attracting high-tech and innovative businesses to Howard County,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “This facility will help growing businesses develop as well as allow us to take the next steps in developing the Gateway Innovation District, the county’s next great economic center.”

The Center will offer businesses a variety of tools and resources to grow. Already committed to the Center will be the incubator and entrepreneur services of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship, the Howard Tech Council, MITRE Corporation, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), SCORE, Franunhofer, Howard Community College, Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP), and the HCEDA. More resources are expected to be added leading up to the opening.

“This Center will not only have resources for startup companies and aspiring entrepreneurs. It will also foster innovation and business growth for the established companies in our community,” said Twele. “The assembly of these unique resources together under one roof will truly be an asset for the county, region and state.”

This partnership with MITRE is a unique offering for the Innovation Center and together they will present over 30 critical infrastructure industry use case studies for our partners to rally around, while also providing real time live data from public and private data sources. Working together with Howard County, and small and large companies alike, MITRE hopes to spur innovation and transfer some of the intellectual property done on behalf of the US government to local companies to help them bring viable products to market and create jobs.

“Trimia is very excited to be an active partner with HCEDA in this historic opportunity to grow the technical employment base for Howard County,” said Michael Dessaso, COO of Trimia. “We see a unique opportunity to change the public/private paradigm for how partnerships are developed in creating solutions for demanding challenges while also enhancing one of the most talented work forces in the US.”

The Center is the next step in turning the Columbia Gateway Corporate Community into Howard County’s fist Innovation District, an idea that Kittleman championed two years earlier. Through his administrations assistance the Howard County Innovation Center will become a true one stop resource supporting all types of businesses in the county.

“I have put a priority on enabling the alignment of resources to best serve our community and I am excited that the HCEDA will be leading the charge in serving our business community,” said Kittleman. “We are fortunate to have an Economic Development Authority that is dedicated to staying one step ahead of the resources of our businesses and providing them with the services they need to grow.”

Additional information about the Howard County Innovation Center can be found at www.hocoinnovationcenter.com, information about the HCEDA can be found at www.HCEDA.org, and a video of the wall breaking can be found at www.facebook.com/HoCoEDA.

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