Morgan State University was the site of celebration for Baltimore business and civic leaders who completed the first phase of the process of Baltimore to potentially become a federally designated Tech Hub.
The Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) submitted the application of the Greater Baltimore Region metropolitan statistical area to the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), which will choose 20 regions across the country for the designation of Tech Hub. This will give each region access to a portion of $10 billion in funding from the Biden Administration to stimulate the growth of tech markets that are on the rise.
The GBC is a group of 38 businesses and organizations from the Greater Baltimore region from the private sector, higher education, workforce development, and economic development.
The groups came together “across silos, across geographies to come up with one regional, coordinated application,” said Pothik Chatterjee, Chief Economic Officer for the GBC at the press conference on Thursday. Some of the organizations include Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Johns Hopkins University, UMMS, Maryland Department of Commerce, City of Baltimore, Fearless, Early Charm Ventures, and the Digital Harbor Foundation.
Mark Anthony Thomas, president and CEO of the GBC, explained that this application is part of the group’s multi-year agenda to impact the economy.
“When the Tech Hub designation application was opened, it was clear that Baltimore was the type of market, and the type of ecosystem that had amazing ideas, amazing assets and institutions, we just needed that catalytic investment,” Thomas said at the press conference.
“Today represents an evolution in who we are as an organization as the GBC. It represents an evolution in the voice that we want to bring to conversations like this one. That evolution starts with understanding who we are when we speak with a voice. That voice of a business community is a voice of a region,” said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System, and Chair of the GBC’s Board of Directors. “A region that has differential assets that we need to continually highlight…. One foundational asset that we define as differential resources and the talent that we have in that combination of higher education, health care, and the ecosystem that defines the start-up culture of this region.”
“This is a gamechanger, once in a generation type of economic development and funding opportunity that has been compared to NASA funding during the space age,” Pothik Chatterjee, chief economic officer GBC said at the press conference.
“This endeavor exemplifies the incredible strength of collaboration, with diverse sectors uniting to pave the way for lasting economic transformation,” Chatterjee said. “Many businesses and organizations across the region are already making impressive strides in the tech arena. With this submission, we find ourselves on the verge of an exciting future that benefits the Greater Baltimore Region – its businesses, economy, livelihood – in many ways.”
The bid focuses on artificial intelligence and biotechnology, and aims to increase jobs and address regional health disparities.
According to the press release, the predictive technologies market is expected to be $70 billion globally by 2030, with the potential total market opportunity for the Baltimore region estimated to be up to $4.2 billion by 2030.
“Fearless is proud to be part of the growing tech ecosystem in the region. Through our incubator, Hutch, we have been able to help create more digital services companies led by women and people of color. Greater Baltimore’s designation as a federal tech hub will be a game-changer for the region and the state in our continued efforts to drive tech commercialization, create jobs, and scale companies,” said John Foster, Chief Impact Officer, Fearless.
“If we are going to make this Maryland’s decade then we need to be at the forefront of the tech revolution and to take part in programs like the Federal Tech Hub that will help get us there,” said Governor Wes Moore. “The support that this program would bring to the Baltimore region would help us grow a more equitable economy that is full of opportunity, and quality jobs. I applaud the dozens of businesses and organizations that have put this proposal together to help us create a Maryland that leaves no one behind.”