Announcement of the Bio 2020 Initiative
June 16, 2008
So, anyway, those are the nine steps that we’re taking and wanted to announce now, on the cusp of Bio in San Diego, where so many people are working to promote the good work, the healing, the research that all of you are doing every day.
This work is not done. There will no doubt be other recommendations coming out of the Life Sciences Advisory Board. To refine these initiatives, maybe to suggest to others, and to build upon the significant progress we’ve made for our bioscience industry in the past 16 months and, really, in a larger sense, that we’ve made for decades and decades. Because of Marylanders who believe that we can, in fact, make our tomorrows better than our todays.
With the help of so many of you who are with us today, we have been able to accomplish really important things in life sciences in Maryland in a very short period of time. Working together we created the Life Sciences Advisory Board to draw upon our State's best and brightest in order to secure Maryland’s global leadership in the life sciences. And from their hard work and dedication, frankly, which is ongoing, many of these initiatives have come.
Working together, we fought to continue our State's Biotechnology Investment Tax Credit, which in only two years, as I said, has leveraged $24 million for growing Maryland biotech companies. It’s a credit that is working. Take for example, BioMaker Strategies -- it’s a cancer diagnostics company in Baltimore which raised more than $600,000 as a direct result of investments from this incentive program. BioMaker is now one of the first commercial tenants in the biopark.
Working together, we nearly doubled the State funding for nanotechnology, stem cell research in it’s two years has been 20 -- I’m sorry $43 million and we are not done yet. In the past two years of the fund, Hopkins has received 60 grants, totaling $26 million.
Working together with our city and federal partners, we've made investments approaching $100 million in those 20 blocks north of us, those 80 acres near and dear to my heart, and I know that Dr. Brody isn’t here, but please pass on to him, he’s been a terrific president and the courage, the guts, the imagination that he demonstrated in joining forces with the City, with State backing also, is really something that is going to have a lasting and positive effect for many years.
We’ve made similar investments, by the way, in the UMB Biopark, UMBC's research park, and many other hubs of innovation throughout our State.
Working together we’ve created the AP to 20 Council@, so that education from pre-kindergarten all the way through college, community college, and afterwards, is of relevance and in alignment, so that we can fill the jobs that our bioscience economy demands.
And, in addition, we’ve invested $2.7 billion in our four year public colleges and universities, which is an increase of $585 million versus what was done in the comparable two years of the prior administration. And we’ve made together, as all of these things have done, a record $5.3 billion investment in K-12 education.
Now, folks, those things are not flash in the pan investments. Quite to the contrary. They are a continuation of the actions taken through many, many generations of work in this incredibly strong, incredibly diverse, incredibly forward looking State that all of us are proud to call our home -- Maryland, one of the strongest States in the union.
And we seek to build upon those accomplishments and implement this Bio 2020 vision. We possess a strong collection of assets in our State which gives us a competitive advantage, the likes of which no other State has. When you consider that no other State has this concentration of skills, of talents, of great institutions, it is fair to say -- and this is not hyperbole -- that when it comes to bioscience economy, there are very few, if any, places like Maryland on the face of the plant.
Think about it. We have one of the top three bioscience clusters in the country, second in per capita terms, with 30,000 skilled workers contributing to our State’s economy. We have the highest percentage of doctoral scientists and engineers in the country, the highest percentage of professional and technical workers, more doctoral scientists in the biosciences in our one Maryland than in any other state, and three of the top six biomedical scientists in the world conduct their research right here in Baltimore, the greatest city in America. (Applause.)
And there is more. There’s more. Forbes Magazine says that Maryland has one of the top three most highly skilled workforces in the United States. And why is that? Because Education Week Magazine says we also have one of the top three public school systems of any State in the United States.
We have some of the world’s leading federal academic institutions of science and discovery, nearly $15 billion in federal research and development monies flowing into these institutions -- a large percentage of which are directed to life sciences.
Our State currently has 19 technology incubators which would be the envy of many countries, let alone all that in one State.
And last but not least, we house all the major federal research and regulatory agencies that are so critically important for the development of new drugs and new therapies, including the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Food & Drug Administration, the USDA Agricultural Research Services, the National Integrated Biodefense Campus at Fort Detrick,. And, folks, that’s just the short list.
We are growing. Even in the face of a really tough economy, Maryland is growing. And Maryland is in a stronger position than most. In the past year, our rate of job growth is four times that of the national job growth. Our unemployment rate is 26 percent below what the national unemployment rate is. In the first quarter of this year, exports from the Port of Baltimore were up 32 percent compared to the same quarter last year. These are tough times, but it’s hard for anyone looking at those facts to disagree that we are in a stronger position that most and we should not squander it.
I leave you with some words that Robert Kennedy once said which is that, "The future is not a gift, it is an achievement@ and that Athe essential challenge of the present@ is to bring about that brighter future.
My friends, we can, through the decisions we make in the here and now, the investments we make today, usher in a new era of technological advance and scientific achievement -- all while strengthening our State’s economic future and expanding opportunity.
And so it is within our grasp to secure our place not only as the home of the human genome, but as the preeminent leader in the advancement of the science of personalized medicine, the dignity of the individual.
At the end of the day our greatness as a State and as a people, I think, will be determined by how we meet the essential challenge of the present, how we invest in each other, how we invest in our potential, how we invest in our skills, how we invest in our capabilities for healing this fragile and ever smaller world of ours.
For our greatness as a people really isn’t about how many smart bombs we can drop on our enemies halfway around the world, it’s rather as Dr. Jeffrey Sachs would say, about how many smart, compassionate, healing hands, how many life-saving sciences and cures we can extend to the most fragile of our neighbors all around the globe. How we can unleash, as Dr. Sachs says, the Aweapons of mass salvation.@ That’s an aspiration that’s truly worthy of a great people and that’s who we are. And that’s who we’re going to continue to be with your open hearts, with your open minds and with your hard work towards that brighter tomorrow.
Thank you all very, very much. (Applause.)