<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> The Edge - Maryland Business and Economic Development Newsletter - Special Edition
I wanted to share some exciting news about the future of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. A few months ago, Governor O'Malley requested a comprehensive review of DBED to identify operational efficiencies, increase service delivery, improve program performance and ensure accountability at all levels. This newsletter provides details of the organizational, operational and programmatic changes I am implementing as a result of that review.
A new organizational framework better aligns DBED staff and resources with its core missions: growing Maryland's biotechnology industry; expanding the State's global presence; improving service to Maryland businesses; supporting tourism, film and the arts; and creating new jobs and economic opportunities for Marylanders. Click here to see our new organizational chart.
DBED was previously organized into seven major divisions, each with its own structure, operational strategy, goals and priorities. Today, those seven units have been consolidated into three, broad service delivery categories: Economic Development; Marketing and Business Development; and Tourism, Film and the Arts.
The following sections highlight how DBED's new organizational structure will remove operational barriers and refocus staff and resources on key deliverables.
Establishing Maryland as a Global Leader in Biotechnology
Scheduled to open in January 2009, the Maryland Biotechnology Center (MBC) will consolidate and coordinate a host of State, university and private-sector initiatives to better showcase and support biotechnology innovation and entrepreneurship in Maryland. Working closely with industry partners, the MBC will concentrate on efforts to create new biotechnology companies, sustain the growth of successful enterprises, and leverage Maryland's unique life sciences assets in the academic and federal sectors to advance Maryland's role as a global biotechnology leader. The Center's efforts will be guided by the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board, which Governor O'Malley established in 2007.

Numerous Center programs have been designed to assist bio entrepreneurs, fund life sciences research, develop bio curricula and provide workforce and education training grants. An aggressive marketing program, a federal life sciences task force, aggressive bio industry networking, and a bio ambassador program are also planned.  

A New Vision for International Trade and Investment

Maryland's new Office of International Trade and Investment is focused intently on creating opportunities for Maryland in strategic regions and sectors worldwide. This new team is targeting staff and resources to foreign direct investment, improving service delivery and accountability from its network of worldwide offices, and enhancing Maryland's international marketing efforts.

The office will spearhead the establishment of an International Advisory Council, selected from the private-sector for their experience in international business, to deliver input and feedback on the State's international business policies and programs. This new team will also leverage resources from other Maryland entities with a stake in international business, including the World Trade Center Institute and the Maryland-Israel Development Center, and will expand relationships with Maryland's academic institutions.
In collaboration with the University of Maryland at College Park, DBED will explore the feasibility of opening an incubator dedicated to foreign companies. In addition to providing these companies with extensive R&D capabilities, the incubator will demonstrate Maryland's commitment to attracting foreign businesses, and heighten the State's "business-friendly" image abroad. 

A New Voice for Maryland Businesses

DBED's new Business Assistance and Outreach Unit brings together several Agency efforts that are very important to Maryland's business community including business advocacy, legislative support, and public relations. This new team of bureaucracy busters is focused intently on listening to, responding to and engaging Maryland businesses.  Team members coordinate private-sector participation in and response to policy and legislative proposals that affect Maryland's business community and promote the State's business and tourism development programs through events, tradeshows and proactive media outreach.

Marketing & Business Development

While showcasing Maryland's assets and attracting new businesses to the State remains the primary mission of the Office of Marketing and Business Development, this unit has been refocused to maximize impact and return on recruitment opportunities and promotional efforts. Specialized business recruitment teams have been formed to promote Maryland by industry sector, including advanced technology, life sciences, financial services, alternative energies and science and security. These industry experts will design aggressive, industry-focused business recruitment and marketing strategies, network with industry leaders and stakeholders, and report regularly on business successes, prospects, wins and losses. This new team will also align DBED's business development efforts with Maryland's BRAC action plan.

Another key element of the plan is the formation of Market Maryland, a long-term Statewide cooperative marketing and advertising campaign that will seek to identify under utilized State assets to promote Maryland for business and tourism. Marketing specialists will work to fully utilize free advertising and display space at BWI, the Port of Baltimore, stadiums, arenas and State-owned buildings to significantly leverage and reinforce the State's advertising, marketing and branding efforts.
Centralizing and Expanding Economic Development

This new office unites DBED's field staff, small business and finance teams to improve assistance to our local economic development partners. Field staffers will work collaboratively to promote DBED's financial incentives and workforce training programs and offer "one-stop" assistance to new and expanding businesses from five regional locations Statewide. This new configuration also centralizes DBED's business support staff and expands service to entrepreneurs and small and minority businesses.
New Programs to Market Maryland's Sports Assets and Advance Heritage Tourism

Tourism, Film and the Arts recently announced three new and exciting economic development initiatives that will significantly enhance efforts to market Maryland's cultural assets. The first is the launch of the Office of Sports Marketing, a joint initiative of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and the Maryland Stadium Authority. Supporting Governor O'Malley's vision for an integrated, Statewide sports marketing initiative, this program will evaluate Maryland's sports assets, identify opportunities and develop a strategic plan to increase the number of professional, amateur, scholastic, youth and recreational sports events held in the State.

The second project is the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, a program designed to increase Maryland's preeminence as a leader in heritage tourism and historic preservation in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner.  Leading the multi-year, multi-agency planning and development, the Commission will raise over $20 million for preservation of historic sites and development of public programs and events anticipated to attract millions of visitors and create a significant and lasting economic opportunity for the State.

Lastly, the recently launched Imagine Maryland cultural planning initiative is conducting extensive stakeholder and public outreach to capitalize on the State's nationally renowned position as a leading center for the arts and artists. Working with a broad spectrum of representatives from the public and private sector, the work will identify opportunities and ideas that will strengthen the arts and creative enterprises in Maryland.
The Edge is published by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Martin O'Malley, Governor                      Anthony G Brown, Lt. Governor
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