As Prepared for Delivery
President Perman, Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Chancellor Kirwan – it’s so good to join you today in the greatest city in America! I also want to recognize Dean Reece, Dr. Regine, and everyone who made today possible. It’s great to be here at one of the preeminent public research universities in the nation, the University of Maryland, home of BioPark, a leader in advancing new discoveries and new healing.
One of my favorite things about my job is coming back to Baltimore and seeing the great progress this City continues to make – especially here on this side of Martin Luther King. Not even a decade ago, we came together here, at what was then a vacant Westside field, to break ground for BioPark. We’ve come a long way since then, and we did it together – so thank you for all you’ve done to make today possible.
The kind of innovation in healing and the life sciences that happens every day here at the BioPark is important not just for our quality of life, not just for advancing discoveries in science and healing,… but also for job creation and our ability to move forward as a State.
Over the past year, in our State we created 47,000 jobs at the ninth fastest rate in the nation. We’ve recovered nearly 80% of the jobs we lost during the recession– and that’s nearly twice as many as the nation as a whole. And our life sciences sector is critical to that progress – accounting for one-third of all job gains in Maryland over eight years. Our State is now home to more than 70,000 jobs in the life sciences industry.
Advancing Innovation in Healing
It’s been a great week for innovation here in Maryland. Last week, I was at the JHU Hospital to dedicate its new building. And we toured the Emerging Technology Center to celebrate our new tech transfer initiative, where we’re partnering with the University of Maryland’s campuses, Johns Hopkins and Morgan State University to move more of the groundbreaking research happening at our universities into the commercial marketplace, and to do it faster.
And today, we’re here to celebrate an emerging beacon of hope in the fight against cancer in our State – the Maryland Proton Treatment Center. We’re breaking ground for a state-of-the-art treatment center that will offer the most advanced form of cancer therapy available today. It’s the first treatment center of its kind in Maryland – and only the 12th of its kind in the country.
What’s more, this Center will also bring a $200 million investment to our City and State, along with hundreds of new jobs. This investment doubles the capital investment in the BioPark to over $400 million in six years, and strengthens our State’s position at the epicenter of science, health and healing.
If you look around our State at what we have in terms of the talents and creativity of our people, and where we sit at the epicenter of science, security, healing, and innovation, there is not another place anywhere in our country better poised to take advantage of the challenges that confront us and make them the job opportunities of today and tomorrow.
Our State ranks #1 in research and development per capita. The Milken Institute says we’re #2 for science and technology assets. We are among the three states best positioned in the new economy, according to the Kauffman Index. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks us as a Top 5 state for growth and a Top 7 state for innovation and entrepreneurship. Not to mention, we are home to world-class institutions of science, discovery, and higher learning like the University of Maryland, and 50 federal facilities in our backyard.
And we’re leveraging those assets to do even more. We are investing directly into Maryland’s Innovation Economy through our $1.3 billion BioMaryland initiative, the Biotech Tax Credit, the R&D Credit, and Stem Cell Research.
Because we understand that venture capital is the lifeblood of entrepreneurship and innovation, we created InvestMaryland – the largest-ever single shot of venture capital into our State’s economy. And last month, we raised $84 million to make this a reality – exceeding our goal of $70 million. In a few months, we will be making our first round of investments.
We’re a long way from winning the fight against cancer, but we’re moving forward by harnessing the healing potential of our State’s greatest asset – and that is the skills, the talents, and the imagination of our people. Thank you for your work to advance the sciences of healing, and thank you for inviting me to join you in celebration today.