Archives For Energy & Sustainability

The second annual InvestMaryland Challenge is in full swing. If your business is in need of a jump start, check out this site for more information about the national business competition. The Challenge offers applicants free admission to networking events, social media promotion, scoring and feedback from judges, exposure to venture capital firms and angel investors and the chance to compete for more than $600,000 in prizes. Winners of the Life Sciences, IT, Cybersecurity and General Industry categories will each win $100,000 awards. Others will take home smaller grants, incubator space, consulting services and other cash and in-kind prizes. Applications are due by Dec. 6.

Judges include a distinguished lineup of industry leaders and experts in a variety of fields. Meet a selection of judges below.

Meet The Judges:



Robb Doub joined New Markets Venture Partners in 2003. Robb is the lead administrative partner and serves as a board director for eCoast Sales Solutions and Appfluent Technology, and is lead partner or board observer for K2 Global, Kroll Bond Ratings, Navtrak, Three Stage Media, CSA Medical and TidalTV. He also serves on the board of Egeen International and the Conflicts Advisory Board of the off-shore hedge funds.


Daphne Dufresne joined RLJ Equity Partners from Parish Capital Advisors, where she was a Venture Partner managing the direct investment and co-investment program. Formerly, Ms. Dufresne was a Principal at Weston Presidio Capital with $3.4 billion of assets under management. She also served as Associate Director in the Bank of Scotland’s Structured Finance Group. Ms. Dufresne received her B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


Christy Williams Wyskiel is an entrepreneur and investor with 20 years of experience focused on the life sciences and healthcare industries. Previously, Christy was Managing Director at Maverick Capital, an equity hedge fund with $12 billion under management. She co-founded GrayBug, an ophthalmic drug-delivery company. In 2012, Christy joined the Johns Hopkins Alliance, a board charged with evaluating the commercial viability of research projects at JHU.


Frederick J. Ferrer has over three decades of experience in the National Security, Intelligence Community (IC), Homeland Defense and Cyber. Mr. Ferrer holds a Master’s of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University and serves in a number of leadership capacities, including the Maryland Commission on Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence; National STEM Consortium Advisory Committee; and Chesapeake Regional Tech Council.


As the Executive Director and President of the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore, Ms. Tillett is responsible for management of budgetary, administrative, programmatic functions and strategic planning. Prior to joining ETC, Ms. Tillett served as president and co-founder of Immersive 3D, LLC, a technology start-up providing web-based 3D computer gaming solutions for K-20 education and offering contract-based technology services.

See the full list of judges and submit your application on

Maryland government agencies have a history of funding worker training projects, but never before has training been made so widely available across an entire industry.

Under the direction of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Maryland Workforce Training Initiative is now offering an unprecedented opportunity for business leaders to form partnerships and offer the type of training needed to significantly increase worker productivity.

The first step is filling out an EARN Maryland Planning Grant application, which first became available on Oct. 15 and must be submitted by Nov. 12, 2013. Lead applicants will apply for $25,000 to fund the creation of a Strategic Industry Partnership Workforce Training Plan. There is no limit to the number of these grants the state will issue.

Between November 2013 and April 2014, the funding will assist the lead applicant in forming a partnership with fellow key players in their industry. Many will take advantage of professional membership organizations that already join business leaders together according to their shared interests. Through conferences, meetings and training sessions, they will determine the type of training needed most among workers in their industry and submit their requests for training programs.

By May 2014, DLLR will award implementation grants for approved Strategic Industry Partnership Workforce Training Plans.

The lead applicant for the initial $25,000 planning grant can fall into any of the following categories:

• Employer
• Nonprofit organization
• Two- and four-year institution of higher education
• Local Workforce Board
• Industry association
• Labor union
• Local government
• Local or regional economic development entity

While the initiative is the first of its kind in Maryland, similar programs have succeeded in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and have already assisted workers in industries including aerospace, healthcare and clean energy. More information on their best practices is available through DLLR.

Those seeking more information should consider watching webinars on the program through DLLR’s website or attending a statewide Pre-Proposal Conference at 1 p.m. on October 18 at the Anne Arundel Community College, Robert E. Kauffman Theater, 101 College Parkway, Arnold, MD 21012.

Rachel King

Rachel King, co-founder and CEO of GlycoMimetics in Gaithersburg, has been named chair of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board.

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 5, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that Rachel King, co-founder and CEO of GlycoMimetics in Gaithersburg, has been named chair of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board (LSAB). King will replace chair H. Thomas Watkins, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Human Genome Sciences, Inc., who has served on the Board since Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly created it in 2007. As chair, Watkins led the Board through a strategic planning process that, working closely with Governor O’Malley, resulted in BioMaryland 2020, a 10-year, $1.3 billion strategy for moving Maryland’s life sciences industry forward.

“I want to commend Tom for leading the effort to develop a comprehensive plan that has helped position Maryland as a global leader in the life sciences. To date, we have invested more than $600 million in initiatives that create jobs and expand opportunity for decades to come,” said Governor O’Malley. “We are equally fortunate to have someone of Rachel’s caliber as our new chair, as well as a board comprised of some of the State’s most skilled and talented scientists, educators and business professionals to help us grow our Innovation Economy.”

“It was an honor to serve as Board chair and work with many dedicated colleagues and industry leaders to maximize Maryland’s tremendous life sciences assets and build a roadmap for the industry’s future,” said Watkins. “I also want to thank Governor O’Malley for his vision for the life sciences in Maryland and for his continued support, which has resulted in making our State one of the top science and technology states in the country.”

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Wind turbines are expanding in Maryland.

Wind turbines are expanding in Maryland.

A wind energy project, approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission, could bring up to 24 wind turbines to a mountainous area in Frostburg, the Associated Press reports.

Fourmile Wind Energy LLC, of Annapolis-based Synergics, is leading the project, which is planned for Fourmile Ridge and the western slope of Big Savage Mountain, according to the article.

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Finalists in the general industry category of the InvestMaryland Challenge represent some of the most innovative start-ups in Maryland and beyond.

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Maryland farmer

Maryland farmers are especially at risk for costly legal battles.

Maryland’s farming industry employs roughly 350,000 people. Among them, few have law degrees and even fewer may be fully aware of their options when facing a lawsuit.

In an effort to protect the state’s farmers from costly legal debacles, academics are planning a study to determine which services or clinics would be most beneficial to farmers seeking legal guidance, The Associated Press reports.

Funding for the study was approved by the state legislature in 2012, in response to a suit against Maryland chicken farmers by Waterkeeper Alliance, which alleged water contamination. A judge eventually ruled in favor of the farmers, the article stated.

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Maryland solar power

Marylanders are outpacing most Americans with solar installations.

Marylanders are taking advantage of sunny days and saving on their electric bills.

The state ranked eighth among markets for solar installation, based on a recent study released by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the Star Democrat reported.

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Cash may not grown on trees, but a pair of University of Maryland alums just got thousands of dollars out of their innovative vegetable gardens.

Earth Starter LLC was named winner of the Cupid’s Cup Business & Innovation Showcase and Competition, sponsored by the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. Under Armour founder Kevin Plank announced the final winner on April 5.

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Maryland offshore wind energy

Business leaders are invited to a forum on Maryland offshore wind energy.

Passage of the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 has opened the door for hundreds of employment, subcontracting, joint venture and strategic alliance opportunities for Maryland businesses.

The Business Coalition for Maryland Offshore Wind will highlight these opportunities during the “Offshore Wind = Onshore Jobs: A Supply Chain Forum,” between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on April 4, at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park in Baltimore.

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Maryland is a top green state

Maryland ranked among the nation’s greenest states in 2011.

By Jim Palma, Senior Manager, Research and Information, Department of Business and Economic Development

Maryland’s workforce was more “green” than all but five other states and the nation’s capital in 2011, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The second annual (and final) Green Goods and Services Survey, which measured jobs in green services and goods production, found almost 92,000 Maryland workers held such jobs. Green jobs accounted for 3.7 percent of all jobs in the state. With an 18.3 percent growth rate from 2010, Maryland also had the largest percentage increase in green jobs of any state in the nation, including the District of Columbia.

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The recently passed Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act, which will likely result in a wind farm near Ocean City, provides $10 million to assist minority firms in gaining contracts. It also paves the way for clean energy programs at historically black colleges, the Baltimore Business Journal reports.

According to the article:

The funding will help businesses gear up to handle a variety of work related to the wind farm, including manufacturing components for wind turbines, transporting freight and providing engineering and other professional services, said [Vernon] Wade, CEO of Wade Enterprises Inc., an information technology company based in Ft. Washington …

The legislation also includes the creation of a Clean Energy Program Task Force to recommend whether Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore should establish programs that would grant a degree or certificate in clean energy.

Find the BBJ’s complete report here.

Turkish Governor of Trabzon

Turkish representatives, including Dr. Recep Kizilcik, governor of Trabzon, visited the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development.

Known for its ancient castles and seaside mosques, the Turkish city of Trabzon is looking to raise its profile on a new  front—biotechnology.

For inspiration on expanding the Trabzon region’s high-tech and environmental-based industry, a foreign delegation arrived in Baltimore on Tuesday to meet with the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development.

“Turkey is a country interested in innovation, especially in the area of biotechnology. We want to benefit from the experience and the technology of the institutions and universities located in Maryland,” said Dr. Recep Kizilcik, the governor of Trabzon.

“It’s our plan to create sister city projects between us and Maryland, so we’re happy to share this experience,” he added.

The Turkish delegation launched its week-long visit with meetings with Maryland DBED and commercial and academic biotechnology industry leaders. The visit was arranged by the international marketing firm Abundances.

Onur Unal, manager of the Bioentrepreneurial Resources Program within the Maryland Biotechnology Center, described a robust Turkish economy.

“The Turkish economy is fairly big, and began experiencing rapid growth about 15 years ago. They’ve always been an ally of the United States and they’re very stable … now it appears they are trying to create programs similar to Maryland in plant biology-based science,” Unal said.

Industry growth in Turkey could further strengthen the nation’s trade relationship with Maryland, according to Carey Esslinger, Maryland DBED regional manager over Europe, Russia, FSU, Latin America and the Balkans.

Turkey ranks as Maryland’s 27th largest trading partner. Maryland exported over $98 million in products to Turkey in 2012, the bulk of those products including waste and scrap, computers and electronics, transportation equipment and fabricated metals, Esslinger said.

Turkish delegation

Robert Walker, deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, accepted small gifts on behalf of the state of Maryland from the Turkish delegation.

Turkish delegation

Members of the Turkish delegation kicked off their week-long tour of Maryland at the Department of Business & Economic Development.