HCEDA Signs MOU with Fraunhofer USA to Bring Center for Experimental Software Engineering to Howard County Innovation Center

Monday, July 9, 2018

Representatives from the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) and Fraunhofer USA (FhUSA), on behalf of its Center for Experimental Software Engineering (CESE), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU); providing the framework and commitment to bring innovative and excellent services to the Howard County Innovation Center.

Through this MOU, HCEDA and Fraunhofer USA’s research center CESE, agreed to create a strong partnership between them including the establishment of a Fraunhofer USA -CESE representative office at the Howard County Innovation Center. This new location will provide businesses the opportunity to tap into their existing worldwide network of resources.

During the discussion on their future partnership, the HCEDA led a business development mission in November 2017 to Europe and visited Fraunhofer USA’s parent organization, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. HCEDA officials along with Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman met in Munich at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Headquarters with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s executives.  The German organization is the leading organization for applied research in Europe. It has over 70 research institutes with a total of over 25,000 employees in Germany and 8 affiliated legally independent research organizations abroad dedicated to the advancement of applied research. One of those is Fraunhofer USA which has seven research centers in the USA.

“Having Fraunhofer USA in Howard County provides additional tools to support our local businesses and helps attract new businesses to the county,” said Kittleman. “The access they can provide to research and cutting-edge technology is unmatched and will be a tremendous resource at the Howard County Innovation Center.”

“Fraunhofer USA, though its Center for Experimental Software Engineering, is looking forward to the opportunities that the HCEDA has created through the Memorandum of Understanding.” said FhUSA Executive Vice President Thomas Schuelke.  “We are pleased to work together with such an enthusiastic entity so obviously committed to the growth and future of Howard County.”

Fraunhofer USA’s CESE is a key partner in the HCEDA’s Howard County Innovation Center. Located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, the HCEDA plans to develop the location into the epicenter of innovation to support excellence in business in Howard County and across the region to. Along with strategic partner organizations, the 50,000-sq. ft. facility will also feature a business incubator and accelerator; provide coworking space; offer business event facilities; all while leading the way to close gaps in the application of new technologies and solutions to the business community.

“I am very pleased to have Fraunhofer USA commit to opening a CESE location inside of our Innovation Center,” said HCEDA CEO Lawrence Twele. “Their presence here is not only a great asset to businesses, but also highlights the significance that this Innovation Center will have on the business community.”

This MOU is the second major accomplishment for Howard County because of the HCEDA’s 2017 Business Development Mission. In May, BTS Bioenergry, a subsidiary of the Italian company BTS Biogas, broke ground on their first US biodigestor, adding to their organizations existing portfolio of over 200 locations across Europe. The five-acre plant in Jessup will help to divert thousands of tons of food waste from the landfill, instead cleanly converting it to natural gas and natural soil amendment.

“We could not have asked for a better result from last year’s business development mission. Having two international firms agreed to set up locations here in Howard County really showcases how unique this county is in the country.”

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