Archives For June 2011

System designed to expedite review system for priority area development projects in State

by Christine Hansen

The Maryland Made Easy Website was launched today - and the Fast Track component expedites the approval process for high priority development areas.

Standing inside the 125,000 square foot bakery plant of Bakery Express/Ms Desserts in Halethorpe, officials today unveiled a new permitting system that streamlines the review process and allows businesses to more easily obtain permits for development projects.  The new system – dubbed ‘Fast Track’ by officials – is part of the Maryland Made Easy initiative that Governor O’Malley unveiled in January.

“For 41 years, Charles Burman has been waking up early and keeping the doors open to make sure that places like 7-11 have the baked goods that people eat every day,” Governor O’Malley said.

“And when Charlie moved into his new facility, it took the approval of a number of business licenses and permits in order to make it happen.  This Fast Track program will help businesses, like Charlie’s, get those permits and licenses under an expedited review process so that we can help our Maryland businesses grow and create jobs.”

Charles Burman, owner of Bakery Express/Ms Desserts, has been in business in Maryland since 1970. He moved his facilities to Halethorpe in 2008.

The Maryland Made Easy program was designed to help cut red tape in government, creating a more centralized system for business licenses and permits.  Since January, state agencies have worked together to implement the initiative, outlining key components that would make it easier to do business in Maryland.

Three major components of the ‘Easy’ plan include: ‘Fast Track’ – a new system that would streamline and expedite issuance of multiple state permits to projects in designated development zones; Central Business Licensing – an online one-stop shop containing the various license applications to start a business in Maryland; and State Highway Administration Permits – a new system that makes it easier for businesses to obtain permits for development projects.

Details of the Maryland Made Easy plan and the major components were unveiled today on a new website: easy.maryland.gov.

Governor O’Malley signed an Executive Order today establishing the ‘Fast Track’ expedited review process.  Projects considered for the Fast Track review process are those that fall into priority areas such as the Protected Forest Area, Transit-Oriented Development, Enterprise Zones and Critical Areas. Once a company meets eligibility requirements, they are then “scored” and submitted to the Governor’s Smart Growth Coordinating Council who will identify the necessary agencies and key permits and guide the applicant through the expedited process.

Charles Burman, owner of Bakery Express, said with the help of Baltimore County and the State, the process to move his facility to its current location was smooth.  The company moved in 2008, and is located within a Maryland designated Enterprise Zone.

“The County and the State really made sure our move was as smooth as possible, and we made sure to keep them apprised of our development to ensure that everything was done cooperatively,” Burman said.

Founded in 1970, Bakery Express was previously located on Georgetown Road in southwest Baltimore.  In 2002, they acquired Ms Desserts, which had a bakery plant located on Rolling Road in Woodlawn.  As the company expanded and outgrew its 30,000 square foot production plants, Burman decided to consolidate both locations. In 2008, the company moved to its current Halethorpe location, which was formerly a canning company and then was turned into a lumber yard.  Burman turned the 14-acre parcel location, just a few miles from the beltway and Interstate 95, into his 150,000 square foot bakery and production plant.

Barbara Berry, Assistant Manager at Bakery Express, shows off some baked goods to visitors.

Bakery Express currently has 265 employees, and produces donuts and fresh bakery products for over 1,000 7-Eleven stores along the East Coast. It produces 150,000 bakery items a day. The company was also featured on CBS’s Undercover Boss.

Video by Zoe Pagonis

Governor O’Malley joined leaders in Maryland’s bioscience industry in showcasing Maryland’s strengths at the 2011 BIO International convention held in Washington, DC this week.

Maryland’s life sciences industry employs 160,030 people — 71,600 directly – and accounts for 6.5% of the state’s GDP, roughly $17.6 billion in economic activity, supporting $500 million in income and sales taxes annually.

by Christine Hansen

Maryland’s life sciences industry employs 160,030 people -- 71,600 directly – and accounts for 6.5% of the state’s GDP, roughly $17.6 billion in economic activity, according to a report conducted by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Maryland’s life sciences industry employs 160,030 people — 71,600 directly – and accounts for 6.5% of the state’s GDP, roughly $17.6 billion in economic activity, supporting $500 million in income and sales taxes annually, according to a report conducted by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

The report, released today by Governor Martin O’Malley at the 2011 BIO International Convention in Washington, DC, measured the job growth fueled primarily by research and development in private, federal and academic facilities and found that one out of every three jobs created in Maryland between 2002 and 2010 were in the life sciences.

“Especially interesting is that growth in the life sciences sector far surpassed that of the economy as a whole. Given the 2007-2009 recession, total employment has been level over the decade,” DBED State Economist Nancy McCrea said.

The report defines life sciences as “how knowledge of life – from microbes to plants and animals to humans – can be applied broadly to improving human and animal health, the quality of food, and the protection of the environment, like biofuels.”

“The life sciences sector was one of three sectors – along with education and health care – that saw increases over the decade. In fact, jobs in research, testing and medical laboratories increased by 43% and jobs in drugs and pharmaceuticals increased 27%,” McCrea said.

Maryland’s three life science sectors – private industries, federal facilities and academic institutions – represent an integrated cluster of research activity and employment totaling 71,618 jobs in 2010.

“I have been in Maryland for almost 30 years working in various areas of the bioscience arena and find that Maryland has become a much more collaborative state,” Dr. Claire Fraser-Liggett of the Institute for Genome Sciences said.

“Thirty years ago, you were either part of the academic sector, in industry, or part of the federal government, and there was very little cross talk.  One of the biggest changes I have seen is that we have to come realize that as we have been able to do more, and the biological questions have become larger, we need to tackle these as a large team effort.  Maryland really has taken a leadership position in bringing all these different groups together to do great science,” she said.

There are approximately 500 core life sciences companies in Maryland, engaged in pharmaceutical discovery, research tools development, medical diagnostics and device development, as well as contract research and manufacturing organizations.  Some of these core companies, including Seguro Surgical, WellDoc, PathSensors, Inc., A&G Pharmaceutical, Lonza, MedImmune, Plant Sensory Systems, LLC, Key Technologies, JMEA, and DSM, were present at this year’s Bio convention and showcased their products in the Maryland pavilion.

Since 2002, Maryland private life sciences have added jobs much faster than the state.  The life sciences sector accounted for over one-third of all of Maryland’s job gains during 2002-2010.  Maryland’s concentration of private life sciences establishments is the 5th largest in the country, and Maryland’s concentration of private life sciences employment is the 9th largest in the country, the report states. The report also noted that there are over 1,700 private sector establishments in the state directly employing life scientists.

“Maryland provides a perfect environment to foster success in the bioscience arena,” said Bahija Jallal, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research & Development at MedImmune.  “There is a great spirit of collaboration between the public and private sectors, which benefits patients by helping drive therapeutic advancements.  MedImmune’s 2,500 employees in Maryland are fortunate to be a part this thriving life sciences community.”

The State’s analysis found that research and discovery drove both job and wage growth between 2002 and 2010.  Seventy-four percent of Maryland’s life sciences jobs are focused on research, testing, and medical laboratories and almost 20% in drugs and pharmaceuticals.   R&D is widely acknowledged as the engine that fuels job growth across the all three sectors and offers Maryland the greatest opportunity for commercializing promising research into life saving products.

Major federal departments, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are essential for promoting, funding and supporting Maryland’s life sciences.  The report states, “the government’s own laboratories conduct much of the nation’s most significant life sciences research in Maryland, while administering programs that furnish additional training and experience to young researchers.”

“We often fail to include federal jobs in the discussion of traditional biotech activity, but the jobs at federal labs and agencies are similarly high-skilled and contribute to knowledge of life-saving and enhancing science,” McCrea said.

The relationship between the federal facilities and Maryland life sciences businesses is estimated to result in the second largest Maryland life sciences group with 29,777 jobs.

The third sector that contributes to Maryland’s successful life sciences industry is Maryland’s academic institutions.  These institutions conduct research studies that further the innovation of the life sciences field.

In 2009, the report notes, Maryland colleges and universities conducted $1.45 billion in life sciences research and development. It is estimated that $1.45 billion in life sciences research at universities and college supports approximately 8,240 jobs and $694 million in salaries and wages. And in 2009, the Johns Hopkins University alone received $738 million for life sciences R&D, with $516 million for medical sciences and $197 million for biological sciences.

According to the report, the overall economic impact of the life science industry in Maryland, Maryland bioscience supported an estimated total of 160,030 jobs, $9.6 billion in wages and salaries and $500 million in tax revenues. The total job impact represents 6.5% of all Maryland jobs and 7.6% of all Maryland wages.

by Camila Clark

One of Maryland tourism's 15 pavilion partners meets with a prospect on the AIBTM tradeshow floor.

The world’s meeting and events industry gathered in Baltimore June 21-23 for AIBTM, the Americas Meetings & Events Exhibition. This is the first time a show of this magnitude has been held in the United States. Baltimore joins Barcelona, Abu Dhabi, Beijing and Melbourne, Australia as the host city of one of Reed Travel Exhibitions’ global hosted buyer shows.

AIBTM is changing the way meetings & events tradeshows are done in the United States due to their signature appointment-driven hosted buyer program. Reed pre-qualifies top-level meeting & events buyers who then receive complimentary travel and/or accommodations for committing to attend pre-scheduled appointments with exhibitors.

According to preliminary AIBTM data, more than 700 exhibitors in 183 exhibit spaces filled the Baltimore Convention Center for the opportunity to meet one-on-one with these highly qualified prospects. Thirty Baltimore and Maryland travel partners exhibited in a joint 50-by-45 foot Baltimore-Maryland Pavilion, which commanded a major presence on the tradeshow floor.

“AIBTM is a game changer for Baltimore and Maryland,” said Margot Amelia, executive director of the Maryland Office of Tourism.  “The fact that we have been able to host thousands of meeting and incentive planners and showcase all of the wonderful offerings here in the city and state is invaluable. We look forward to hosting them again in 2012 and 2013.”

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown toured the tradeshow floor with a group of Maryland tourism officials on Thursday. The contingent saw exhibit booths from Madrid, Austria, London, Boston, Charlotte,  New York City and Philadelphia en route to the large display area hosted by Visit Baltimore and the Maryland Office of Tourism.

Lt. Governor Anthony Brown with the Maryland tourism partners exhibiting in the joint Baltimore-Maryland tradeshow pavilion.

Maryland Pavilion Partners reported positive results from their appointments with travel planners.

At the Ocean City Convention Center station, Kim Mueller commented that she was impressed with the quality of the buyers. “They were coming to buy, not just chat.” She had booked two conferences the day before – one for 3,000 to 5,000 people, the other for 1,000 to 3,000.

Amanda Fenstermaker, from Dorchester County’s tourism office, reported that she had spoken to buyers from the Washington, D.C., area who were interested in booking at Cambridge’s Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. “It’s a world-class resort that has everything,” she said. She also mentioned interest in locations that relate to the Harriet Tubman story. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway runs through several of Maryland’s Eastern Shore counties.

Catherine Carroll, representing Charles County, said Southern Maryland’s Civil War and War of 1812 history resonated with buyers. She had spoken to a German buyer who was interested in arranging meeting events along the John Wilkes Booth escape route, and another buyer from China.

AIBTM in Baltimore was co-hosted by Visit Baltimore and the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development’s Office of Tourism.

by Christine Hansen and Leah Michaels

On Tuesday, June 28 at the 2011 Bio International Convention in Washington, DC, Governor Martin O’Malley will host a panel discussion with four women who have established successful careers in the life science industry in Maryland.  Panelists include Dr. Claire Fraser-Liggett, Professor of Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology at the Institute for Genome Sciences; Debra Bowes, President and CEO of TDP Bio, Inc and President of Women in Bio; Maura O. Kahn, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for Noxilizer, Inc., and Dr. Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President of Research and Development for MedImmune.

Maryland has long been a place where women have paved the way for advancements in industries like health care and biotechnology, information technology, defense and manufacturing.  With the highest percentage of women owned firms in the nation – more than 172,000 – the state ranks eighth in the percentage of women who own businesses in the professional, scientific and technical services sector – including biotech.

MDBizMedia spoke with each of these pioneers to learn about their experiences in the life sciences and explores how Maryland has shaped their career success.

A Cycling Tour of Maryland

MDbizMedia —  June 22, 2011 — 1 Comment

Governor launches statewide Cycle Maryland initiative

by Christine Hansen

The Governor and cyclists enjoy a bike ride along the Cross Island Trail on the Eastern Shore.

To encourage physical fitness and bicycle tourism of the State, Governor O’Malley, on Saturday, June 18, kicked off the “Cycle Maryland” initiative during a bike ride on the Eastern Shore. The Governor joined Queen Anne’s County officials and cycling enthusiasts on a bike ride along the Cross Island Trail.

The Governor said that bicycling was a great way to enjoy Maryland’s natural resources, while also improving well-being.  The Governor also unveiled an interactive map of bike trails across the state to help people plan their trips.  Bicyclists can choose their routes based on “levels of comfort” on state roadways, and points of interest.

Bike Maryland Executive Director Carol Silldorff joined the Governor in supporting biking in Maryland.

“We promote bicycling because planning and public health research all indicate that the best places to bike are the best places to live,” said Silldorff. “We know that bike friendly places allow people of all ages, races and economic backgrounds to enjoy healthy recreational opportunities and to travel via bicycle to and from destinations in their communities.”

According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation’s 2006 report “The Active Outdoor Recreation Economy”, bicycling nationwide (described as both paved-road and off-road biking) has 60 million participants, supports 1,135,000 jobs, and generates $17.7 billion in State and Federal taxes.

 

 

By Leah Michaels

Jack Yeh, President and CEO of JMEA Corporation showcases their Edison ACL Screw Set


To preview the 2011 Bio International Convention, which is held in Washington, DC from June 27 through 30, MDBizMedia spoke with bio companies across Maryland, showcasing Maryland’s strengths in the bioscience industry.  Because of Maryland’s close proximity and strong ties to Washington, D.C., Maryland has a hand in co-hosting the Bio International Convention and will have a prominent BioMaryland Pavilion. MdbizMedia recently sat down with Jack Yeh, President and CEO of JMEA Corporation.

JMEA is a medical device corporation that specializes in medical implants and is based in Rockville, Maryland. JMEA was founded by Yeh, an information technology executive, and by Dr. Mohit Bhatnagar, an orthopedic surgeon and inventor.

“We have two parts of our business. The first part of our business is to produce high quality products at a cost effective price. The second part of our business is to really develop products around our intellectual property. Today we have fourteen issued patents, fifteen patents pending, and about ten international applications,” explains Yeh.

JMEA have medical device products pending in spine, sports medicine, knee arthroplasty and bone fixation technology areas. Their first product on the market is the EdisonTM ACL Screw Set. The EdisonTM ACL Screw Set consists of an ergonomically designed sterilization case that holds a cannulated hex driver, guide wires, and interference screws and is used during ACL and PCL knee surgery. The EdisonTM ACL Interference Screw has an anatraumatic thread that is specifically designed for graft protection with tapered tip threads that provide easier initiation. It also has a double-helix thread that provides more rapid advancement during surgery. The low profile rounded head of the screw reduces trauma to the graft. The screws are offered in a variety of sizes, diameters, and lengths. The EdisonTM ACL Screw Set has been approved by the FDA. All of JMEA Corporation’s products are 100% designed, manufactured, and packaged in the USA.

by Christine Hansen and Leah Michaels

Vial of NCI's monoclonal antibody cancer therapy for pediatric neuroblastoma.

To preview the 2011 Bio International Convention, which is held in Washington, DC from June 27 through 30, MDBizMedia spoke with bio companies across Maryland, showcasing Maryland’s strengths in the bioscience industry.  Because of Maryland’s close proximity and strong ties to Washington, D.C., Maryland has a hand in co-hosting the Bio International Convention and will have a prominent BioMaryland Pavilion. MDBizMedia recently sat down with Dr. Malcolm Smith, Associate Branch Chief of Pediatrics in the Division of Cancer Treatment & Diagnosis Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program at the National Cancer Institute.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is a unique national resource, offering a wide range of advanced technologies that create therapies for cancer and AIDS.  As part of the National Institutes of Health – the $31 billion budget federal health megaplex – NCI focuses on translational research – research that is more targeted and patient-centric.

NCI is responsible for cutting-edge research and has developed therapies for ovarian, skin and liver cancers, among many discoveries.  NCI is also the only supplier of the ch14.18 pediatric neuroblastoma (a sympathetic nervous system cancer) drug for children in North America affected by this disease.

“Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer in a solid tumor in children and occurs in approximately 7% of children with cancer and causes 10% of all deaths that occur in children with cancer,” Dr. Smith said.

NCI has developed a monoclonal antibody: bioengineered proteins that bind to specific cancer cells and help bring the body’s normal immune system to attack the cancer cells.  Patients who received the monoclonal antibody treatment in addition to isotretinoin and chemotherapy have shown a 66% increase in survival following treatment without relapse.  Children who only received the isotretinoin and chemotherapy treatment showed a 46% increase in survival following treatment without relapse.

Through a competitive process, NCI selected United Therapeutics, a Silver Spring-based company, to make the treatment commercially available to more children with neuroblastoma.

by Christine Hansen

To preview the 2011 Bio International Convention, which is held in Washington, DC from June 27 through 30, MDBizMedia spoke with bio companies across Maryland, showcasing Maryland’s strengths in the bioscience industry.  Because of Maryland’s close proximity and strong ties to Washington, D.C., Maryland has a hand in co-hosting the Bio International Convention and will have a prominent BioMaryland Pavilion. MDBizMedia recently sat down with Anand Iyer, President and Chief Operating Officer of Welldoc, Inc., based in Baltimore, Md.

“Welldoc was born out of the clinical frustration of an endocrinologist.  With all the tools to help people manage their diabetes, she found that she couldn’t make a difference when her patients were on their own.  So there was an ‘aha’ moment,” Iyer said.

And so, in 2005 Welldoc was created to help bridge the gap between patient and provider.  Nowadays, Iyer said, everyone has a cell phone.  So Welldoc was created on that notion to engage the patient, using whatever device is convenient to them.  Doctors have less paperwork and patients no longer have to rely on paper and pencil to manage their diabetes.

“The cell phone acts as a virtual coach,” Iyer said. “The technology helps the patients achieve outcomes when they are away and doctors can focus on the patients that need immediate attention.”

While Welldoc provides a cell phone application program to the patient, they went a step further to ensure that the program showed clinical efficacy and wasn’t just another cell phone “app.”  The company conducted a number of clinical studies to show it works and produces clinical results. In August 2010, the company received FDA approval.  Today, it’s the worlds only cell phone based clinical interventional solution.

“It’s more than an app – it’s a platform of integrated services,” he said.

Festival screens 108 films this week

by Gerald Levin

The AFI Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival presents 108 films, made in 52 countries, in this year's festival.

About five years ago – at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – Ray Barry overheard a conversation. “I remember it like it was yesterday,” he says. “One person was asking another: ‘Are you going to Silver Spring for Silverdocs this year?’”

For Barry, director and chief executive officer of the AFI Silver Theatre and Culture Center in Silver Spring, it was confirmation of the emerging success of Silverdocs – an event that Variety calls “Nonfiction Nirvana.”

The ninth annual AFI (American Film Institute)-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival runs June 20-26. Barry estimates that a third of the 30,000 patrons expected to attend have been to the festival in previous years. The festival runs concurrently with the five-day International Documentary Conference, which draws 1,200 filmmakers, educators, broadcasters, business leaders, distributors, private and public media, and funders from established and emerging media markets.

This year the festival presents 108 films – made in 52 countries – and features three world, three U.S. and seven East Coast premieres. “We received just over 2,000 submissions,” Barry says.

Sky Sitney, director of Silverdocs, says the festival line-up offers “a number of strong films exploring issues of law and order, a subject that has always figured prominently, but this year speaks to a more pronounced focus on eroding civil liberties, false imprisonment, entrapment and exploration into some of our nation’s most high-profile legal dramas.”

Highlights of the 2011 Silverdocs include:

  • The Charles Guggenheim Symposium (Thursday, June 23 ) salutes Chris Hegedus and D.A.Pennebaker for their collective body of work over the past 50-plus years, which has included Don’t Look Back, The War Room, Al Franken: God Spoke and Kings of Pastry. Sen. Al Franken introduces the program.
  • A free outdoor screening (Thursday, June 23) of Monterey Pop – a documentary of the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival that occurred in June 1967. The festival featured Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Who, the Byrds, Hugh Masekela and Ravi Shankar. This was the event at which Hendrix burned his guitar and Pete Townsend destroyed his on stage.
  • Campfire Stories (Friday, June 24) features  documentary filmmakers and their subjects discussing “the best scenes they never shot” in a live presentation around the campfire.
  • Revenge of the Electric Car (Saturday, June 25) is the closing-night feature. The film spotlights four entrepreneurs who are “dedicated to creating a fast, furious and clean electric car that doesn’t require a single drop of foreign oil,” according to a Silverdocs synopsis.

Revenge of the Electric Car is the closing-night feature.

Silverdocs debuted in 2003, the year AFI completed its renovation of the Silver Theatre. During the late 1990s, Barry led AFI’s effort to restore the Silver Theatre (which opened in 1938) and create a new film-exhibition facility.

Montgomery County had acquired the Silver Theatre in 1996 following a long struggle by the Art Deco Society of Washington to save the theater from demolition. Two years later, the county reached an agreement with AFI to take over the property and restore it.

A $20-million renovation project that lasted five years transformed the Silver Theatre into a three-theater complex. The main theater (in the same space as the original) now has 400 seats. Two additional screening rooms with stadium-style seating – one that accommodates 70 viewers and another that seats 200 – were constructed as part of a 32,000-square-foot addition that also includes exhibition and meeting space.

Today, the AFI Silver Theatre is an anchor of the Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District – established in 2002 as one of the first four A&E districts in the state.

 

By Leah Michaels

DBED Secretary Christian Johansson talks with MDBizMedia on his views on his experiences, and the cultures in China, Korea and Vietnam.

by Zoe Pagonis

Governor O’Malley and a delegation of 68 business, higher education and public leaders embarked on a 10-day economic development and jobs mission to Asia. The mission resulted in an immediate $85 million in direct investment into Maryland and is expected to continue to yield positive economic benefits for Maryland going forward.