GAITHERSBURG, MD (December 18, 2003) - Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. today announced that the State of Maryland signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The MoU is designed to increase technology transfer initiatives between the institute and the State's small businesses and universities. The signing took place today during a ceremony at NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
"This agreement opens yet another door for small businesses to learn about the technologies being created in the federal labs located in our state," said Governor Ehrlich. "In order to position Maryland as a technology leader, we must maximize the resources we have available in order for technology companies to grow and thrive."
Dr. Arden Bement Jr., Director of NIST said, "We are proud of the strong ties between NIST and the State of Maryland," said Bement. "This agreement fortifies the link and paves the way for future cooperative ventures that will advance America's leadership in science and technology."
NIST, an agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration with a 2003 budget of $864 million, has the unique mission to develop and promote measurement, standards, and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade, and improve the quality of life. NIST develops technologies, measurement methods and standards that help U.S. companies compete in the global marketplace. Congress created NIST in 1901 at the start of the industrial revolution to provide the measurement and standards needed to resolve and prevent disputes over trade and to encourage standardization. Today NIST has 3,000 employees at two locations: a 578-acre site in Gaithersburg, Md., and a 208-acre campus in Boulder, Colo. The agency continues to develop measurements and standards needed by industry, and also develops technologies that help our nation remain prosperous.
The MoU defines that the relationship between NIST and Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) will focus on mutually beneficial links by identifying activities that will leverage the capabilities and resources of NIST, Maryland technology-oriented small businesses and leading institutions of higher education. NIST will identify technologies that are available for licensing as well as provide guidance and support on procedures for submitting a license application.
Aris Melissaratos, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) said, "The State of Maryland understands the importance of federal laboratories to its technology growth. TEDCO is DBED's specialized technology transfer arm and is working on behalf of the agency to support its overall technology development goals."
This agreement is part of the Federal Lab Partnership Program (FLPP). The program is designed to increase the collaboration between Maryland companies and federal research laboratories by matching the labs' capabilities and technical skills with companies/entrepreneurs to help them develop technology-based products and services. Along with the FLPP, TEDCO has several funding programs available to aid the growth of the high tech industry within the state of Maryland.
To view the MOU, click here. (pdf format)
Shareese DeLeaver, Henry Falwell, Governor's Press Office, (410) 974-2316, MD RELAY: (800) 735-2258
Tori Leonard, Maryland DBED, (410) 767-6317
AnnMarie Lisowski, Maryland TEDCO, (410) 902-5051