Gov. Wes Moore speaks at Bowie State on Feb. 22, 2023. Photo by Patrick Siebert, courtesy of MD GovPics/Flickr Creative Commons.

Gov. Wes Moore on Friday announced the creation of the new Maryland Innovation Lab, which will aim to help Maryland companies thrive “by matching them with global technology companies to bring new innovations to life and spur global investment in the state,” according to state officials.

The Maryland Innovation Lab will be a partnership between the Maryland Department of Commerce, Baltimore’s World Trade Center Institute, and L Marks, specialists in corporate innovation.

“When talented people come together to solve big problems, great things can happen,” Moore said in a statement. “The Maryland Innovation Lab will help us address pressing challenges by connecting companies in our state with companies around the world willing to share their expertise. L Marks and the World Trade Center Institute know the power of partnership, and their contributions to this initiative will keep Maryland’s economy competitive and drive investment in our communities.”

The lab is an initiative of the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Global Gateway Program, which offers foreign companies a “soft landing program” that gives them the chance to test out the United States market at an affordable rate. L Marks is based in the United Kingdom, and has partners throughout Europe, Asia, and North America.

The World Trade Center Institute’s mission is to empower globally-minded business leaders from the Mid-Atlantic to drive growth and global good, focusing on six issues: global business, security and international affairs, innovation, transformational leadership, environment and sustainability, and DEI.

The Maryland Innovation Lab will begin this summer by working within Maryland’s sustainable food sector to address challenges in food packaging and logistics, supply chain, and distribution. Each new cohort convened will focus on a different industry sector.

“We are excited to work with L Marks and the World Trade Center Institute to kick off the new Maryland Innovation Lab,” said Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson. “Through this partnership, we will be able to support Maryland’s strategic industries and drive innovative solutions for our companies while also attracting new foreign investment to the state.”

L Marks will select global companies to pitch solutions to Maryland companies chosen by the World Trade Center Institute. Once matched, the companies will spend ten weeks working together on finding solutions to the challenges. At the same time, those global companies will have the chance to explore Maryland as a possible location for expansion.

Daniel Saunders. CEO of L Marks, is looking forward to the collaboration.

“We are delighted to host Governor Wes Moore in London and announce the new partnership with World Trade Center Institute,” Saunders said. “This joint initiative between L Marks and WTCI, supported by the Department of Commerce, will strengthen the business relationship between the UK and Maryland, increase industry innovation in the State of Maryland, and support and grow the local business ecosystem.”

While abroad on his first international trade mission, Moore also met with executives from Plexal, a company that also partners with government, startups, and industry to collaborate in finding solutions to societal challenges.

Plexal announced they will join the Maryland Global Gateway program as the seventh official exchange partner. Plexal has a separate agreement with DreamPort, a cyber innovation, collaboration, and prototyping facility in Howard County. Goldilock, a UK cybersecurity firm has participated in Plexal’s programs, and has also announced plans to locate at DreamPort this fall through the Maryland Global Gateway program.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *