Thanks very, very much. Dr. Doswell, thank you, thank you for that compelling story. My goodness, did that make you proud as a Marylander? Sometimes as Marylanders we suffer from a pathological modesty. We assume that the good things that happen here sometimes, for some reason, happen by themselves. They don’t happen by themselves. They happen because of the choices we make together. And thank you for recognizing the historic tax credit and what that did for this building. I also was thinking about the other tax credits that are so very important to all the things that we do.
It’s great to be with all of you. Dr. DeLoatch, from Morgan State University, who is a legend in the engineering world of the United States of America, and Aris Melissaratos, our former Secretary of the Maryland Department of Economic and Business Development, his successor, Christian Johansson, our current secretary. I also want to acknowledge Andrea Vernot, who has done so many good things. She’s going to be leaving State employ soon, but she’s done an outstanding job getting us all on the same page, singing off the same hymn. Another thing we Marylanders don’t like to do: we’re not only solo-preneurs, we’re solo singers. It’s hard for us to sing off the same page sometimes. It’s great to see Jay Brodie, my dear friend. Jay and I have beaten our heads against brick walls in many a noble and courageous battle. And Martha Connolly, and Mr. O’Shea from the University of Maryland and all of you here.
Dr. Doswell, again thank you for sharing the inspiring story of Juxtopia. This has been a great week for Johns Hopkins University as well, how about that? I should – To Deb Tillett and to everyone at Johns Hopkins with the Emerging Technology Center, thank you for hosting us today. We are so glad that Johns Hopkins, the University System of Maryland and Morgan State have come together in this initiative.
It’s been said that, to begin to make a change, “individuals start where they stand and … make the road by walking.” And that’s what the entrepreneurs in this place have been doing. They’ve been making new roads – new roads in science and technology, innovating every day, making real the promise of innovation, and advancing discoveries that hold the promise to reform and really revolutionize the way we “feed, fuel, and heal” this increasingly interconnected world of ours … and in so doing, creating jobs, and expanding opportunity.
All progress depends on jobs. There is no progress without jobs. My friend Paul Hawken said, we’re the only species on the planet without full employment. And in our State, every person is needed. All of this matters – all of our progress depends on job creation. In our State, fortunately, we have all of the assets we need to harness the promise of an Innovation Economy. Every now and again, I sit down with governors from other states, and I would not trade places with one of them. When you look at the assets that we have in an Innovation Economy, on a per capita, on a pound for pound, on a straight up basis, there are many states that would like to say, “We are a leader in biotechnology.” But none of them has Johns Hopkins. None of them has NIH. None of them has University of Maryland, Morgan State – all four of those. I mean, we are a powerhouse, we have all the assets that we need.
Get this: over the last year, our State created 47,000 new jobs. Now that is the best year of new job creation that we have been able to achieve since the recession hit. If you look at the jobs we’ve recovered since the recession and all of those job losses, we’ve now recovered about 80 percent of the jobs we lost. Nationally, it’s about 39 percent of the jobs we’ve lost. We now rank 9th among 50 states in the rate of new job creation. Why is that? It’s because of places like this. It’s because of innovation. It’s because of collaboration. It’s because of creativity.
The emerging technology center companies have created 1,800 Maryland jobs since 1999. And 100 percent of the graduates from the ETC – by graduates, we mean companies – have chosen to remain in Maryland in order to grow their businesses.
Maryland is at the epicenter of science, security, healing, and innovation. Our State ranks #1 in research and development per capita. Our State is ranked by the Milken Institute #2 for science and technology. We are among the three states best positioned in the new economy, according to the Kauffman New Economy Index. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks us #5 for growth and one of the top seven states for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Now for all of those accolades, and all of those objective measures outside the office or desk of Andrea Vernot or Christian, or any of the rest of us who have the responsibility of reminding one another of our strengths, for all of those assets, unfortunately, we have traditionally lagged behind many, many other states when it comes to commercializing those ideas. Moving them out of the labs and into the economic mainstream so that we can create companies. Last year, we ranked 37th for entrepreneurial activity in the Kauffman New Economy Index.
What’s wrong with this picture? #1 in research, 37th in commercialization? We can do better. We must do better. In 2011, with the hard work of many of you in this hallway here, we moved up from that 37th to 20th. But that still means we’ve got 19 places to go. Because as Marylanders, with the assets we have, we should not be satisfied with being #1 in research and being 20th in innovation and commercialization. We should be #1 in both.
So today we’re happy to announce, that among the many good things – not withstanding an incomplete budget – among the many good things the General Assembly completed was the Maryland Innovation Initiative. The General Assembly passed the Maryland Innovation Initiative, which is a historic partnership between Johns Hopkins, Morgan State University, and the University of Maryland’s campuses, and your State government to move more of our groundbreaking research that’s happening at our universities and research institutions into the commercial marketplace, and to do it faster.
We’re joined by our Chief Innovation Officer for the State of Maryland, the first person to ever have that title, Bryan Sivak, who has worked with many of the stakeholders in this process, and Christian Johansson was recounting to me a conversation he had with Ron Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins. He said, “Look, Christian. What we’ve done on Invest Maryland is really important, but I need a smaller amount of dollars in order to water those tiniest of seeds that are still in the labs so that we can have a proof of concept.” And Christian and Aris Melissaratos are both nodding their heads affirmatively because this is part of the continuum. Jay Steinmetz knows from his own successful business and its growth and development.
I mean, they all start as tiny little seeds, and then there’s a continuum of growth in order to get to a point where you have companies like Martek. Get this, Martek began its life at the University of Maryland. It grew into one of our most successful life science companies. Martek, in fact, traveled with us to India where we blessed and signed a deal in India together. Martek has figured out a way, with their innovation, to take vital proteins, DHA, right from algae, so you don’t have to suck all the menhaden out of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, and reduce them to fish oil. It’s a dietary supplement, but they found a sustainable way to create and recreate it without doing damage to the ecosystem in the process. And in India, there happen to be a lot of vegetarians. In fact, there happen to be a lot of everybody in India. And so they signed the big deal over there. Martek sold for more than $1 billion in 2010. They are part of the leading edge of our engagement in a global economy, where capital will find good ideas if we can just get them off the launching pad and out of the labs.
Companies like Moodlerooms. I called up the other day, when I saw this purchase. You all have heard of Blackboard? I think they’re headquartered in DC – we hope to get them to move about two miles north. But anyway, Moodlerooms is a graduate of the ETC incubator. Martin Knott, on the ground floor of that company, they grew from two employees to more than 100 by the time it was sold to Blackboard Inc. just last month.
Companies like Juxtopia, and Dr. Doswell and your story – a success story, success stories in the making. They are growing. They are happening. But we need to do a better job of getting them out of the labs and getting them through that critical first early stage.
So through these past years, we’ve done a number of good things together – all part of harnessing the assets of our Innovation Economy. A few years back, we set the BioMaryland Initiative – a $1.3 billion vision for where we can take our biotech industry. While other states are falling back, saying they can no longer afford to make investments like this, we’re moving forward. We’re checking the box. We still have to back and rescue that biotech tax credit from the jaws of General Assembly incompletedness, but the biotech tax credit, the R&D tax credit, the stem cell research – I mean, these are not frills that were on that Doomsday budget. All of those things were cut. But all of those things are important. Because there’s nothing more important than a job, and the most important job we create is the next one. And in our State, every time we create one of these jobs in the Innovation Economy, it creates two more jobs in the service industry and all of the other jobs that go into those highly skilled positions.
And because we understand that venture capital is the lifeblood of entrepreneurship, last year – alone, I think, among the 50 states – we’re not the first State to do this, but in these tough times, I think the only State to do this – we passed InvestMaryland. And what InvestMaryland created in the law was the ability for the large entities that know they’re going to have tax liabilities – large insurance companies – to forward pay at a slight discount their tax bill. And then we take those dollars, put them in a venture fund for those companies that have managed to incubate out of one stage and into that next. But this initiative – the Innovate Maryland Initiative – now we’re rebranding it, we just call it “Innovate Maryland” for all of the initiatives now. Innovate Maryland. Say it with me people, “Innovate Maryland.” And within Innovate Maryland are all of these other initiatives. The moving 40 ideas out of the labs every year that we kick off today, the InvestMaryland Initiative, the Biotech.
The better future that we seek will dawn first here in our State, if we choose to make it so. But the future’s not a gift – it’s an achievement. It’s an achievement that brilliant science, the innovative technology, the remarkable discoveries – and let me add one other thing not in my notes, but obvious in my eyes: and that is the diversity of this place we call Maryland. Look around this room. Look at this. I mean, you have people here of every hue and color, and every culture from all over God’s beautifully diverse planet coming together in this land of the free and the home of the brave, to make a better day. To make a new day. That is an asset that very few other places in the world have, but we have it. We need to cherish it. We need to harness it. We need to recognize it.
I’ll leave you with one last quote from one of my heroes, Teilhard de Chardin. He said that “There is an absolute direction to growth. And life moves in that direction. And life is not mistaken – about its road, or about its destination.” Let’s move forward. Thanks a lot.