Archives For Innovation & Tech

Marlin Steel Wire Products has been located in Baltimore since 1999.

Marlin Steel Wire Products has been located in Baltimore since 1999.

With assistance from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), Baltimore-based Marlin Steel Wire Products has made a major equipment upgrade, DBED Secretary Dominick Murray announced Wednesday.

Marlin Steel has a history of adapting its manufacturing technology to meet market demands. When the company first moved to Baltimore in 1999, it largely produced wire baskets for bagel shops. The company later expanded into wire hooks and shelves and now services customers including Toyota, AstraZeneca, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

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With help from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), Rockville-based Triumfant plans to further develop its innovative cybersecurity services. The company has earned a $750,000 Maryland Venture Fund (MVF) investment, using InvestMaryland program funds, DBED announced Wednesday.

Triumfant is a leading provider of advanced threat detection for large commercial enterprises and government entities. The company uses mathematical theory, patented analytics and precision remediation capabilities to protect against next-generation malware attacks. Their technology stops breaches before they become full-scale attacks, and automatically repairs the machine and all collateral damage within minutes of the attack.

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Baltimore-based NV3 designs and manufactures mobile phone charging kiosks.

Baltimore-based NV3 designs and manufactures mobile phone charging kiosks.

Mobile phones are more popular than ever, with vendors projected to ship 500 million more mobile phones in 2016 than in 2014, according to the International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. But how will these mobile phones of the future get recharged?

A Maryland startup seeking to address that need is Baltimore-based NV3, which designs and manufactures mobile phone charging kiosks.

The company sells an array of charging ports, from a portable desktop display to solar-powered models. Most of its kiosks include a light-emitting diode (LED) screen that can be used for advertising and marketing messages, making them popular at tradeshows, festivals and conventions. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the University of Maryland Medical Center, college libraries and corporate lobbies are among locations already using NV3 systems. The company has also developed a mobile charging trailer with more than 70 charging ports that could be deployed quickly to help people displaced after a natural disaster.

NV3 stresses the clean and efficient power of its units. Many charging ports continually feed electricity and power equally into any phone attached to it, which may cause certain devices to overheat or degrade. NV3 takes a different approach. Its charging ports adapt to every device, feeding just the amount of power necessary to safely charge the device.

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Two high-growth Maryland companies found so much success through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED)’s Maryland Venture Fund (MVF), they have qualified for another round of follow-on InvestMaryland funding, Governor Martin O’Malley and DBED announced Tuesday.

KoolSpan, which develops hardware-based mobile security encryption, earned $400,000, while BrainScope, which is revolutionizing traumatic brain injury assessment, received $300,000 in funding from the State.

According to KoolSpan CEO Gregg Smith, rapid growth in consumer demand is driving his company to more than double its workforce. The company caters to companies and government agencies looking to protect data and voice communications against theft over network-connected devices. It’s TrustChip product can be found in more than 50 countries and powers Samsung’s S1 mobile and voice security and also AT&T’s encryption platform. KoolSpan has earned a total of $700,000 in MVF funding.

“This investment from MVF is a testament to the growth that we are experiencing globally in the mobile security market, and the demand for mobile hardware security solutions from an increasingly large pool of customers seeking the best data protection available,” Smith said. “We grew over 1000 percent last year and expect to continue on an accelerated growth path, moving from our current 45 employees to around 100 by year end. To put that number in perspective, just two years ago we had 8 employees.”

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The Chesapeake Regional Tech Council recently hosted “Mapping the Maryland EdTech Landscape.”

How do you build an industry that barely existed two years ago?

That was the challenge before about several dozen people involved in education, technology and economic development who gathered recently for a forum put on by the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council titled “Mapping the Maryland EdTech Landscape.”

Maryland, and Baltimore specifically, have become a hotbed in recent years for startup companies developing “apps” to help with teaching, learning and school administration. The people involved in the industry foresee a day when edtech could employ thousands here as technology makes deeper inroads into classrooms and homes. And people in a position to take big bets on that prospect are taking notice: Nationally, nearly $740 million in venture capital was invested in education-related companies last year and the first quarter of this year outpaced that all-time record, according to Pitchbook. Ask “why here?” and people involved point to a collaborative technology community and a history of successful education companies such as Sylvan Learning, Laureate International Universities and Prometric testing.

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High school students participate in the 2013 Maryland Cyber Challenge.

Students participate in the 2013 Maryland Cyber Challenge.

Maryland’s reputation for excellence in cybersecurity will be showcased to the world this fall in Baltimore.

Scheduled October 29-30 at the Baltimore Convention Center, the fourth annual CyberMaryland Conference promises to bring together the innovators, educators, companies and resources developing cyber defense in Maryland, Governor Martin O’Malley announced on Thursday. The conference’s main sponsor is the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

“Here in Maryland, our investments in our 21st century digital infrastructure have helped strengthen the security of our nation, address emergent cybersecurity challenges, and pave the way to create more jobs,” Governor O’Malley said. “CyberMaryland 2014 brings together entrepreneurs and established leaders in cybersecurity and information assurance, colleges and universities, and our partners in federal, state and local government to showcase Maryland as the nation’s epicenter of cybersecurity.”

Why should you consider registering? Here are ten reasons.

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Out of the roughly 2 million Americans suffering from degenerative heart disease, only about 50,000 of them receive life-saving mitral valve surgery. This is primarily because the most common treatment, an open-heart procedure, can last between three and six hours and is extremely complex and high-risk.

Maryland-based Harpoon Medical plans to revolutionize that process with a new device that could reduce the procedure to just 60 minutes. Using their device, a patient’s chest would remain closed and the heart would continue beating during the procedure. It would cut recovery time from weeks to days and reduce risk factors significantly.

CEO Bill Niland chose Maryland as the company’s launching pad and base for continued research, development and marketing.

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The Easton Aphena Pharma Solutions location specializes in liquid and topical manufacturing and packaging.

The Aphena Pharma Solutions location in Easton specializes in liquid and topical manufacturing and packaging.

Maryland’s manufacturing industry has found allies on the State’s Eastern Shore. A unique partnership between State, county and local government in the region will assist a pharmaceutical manufacturer and others, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) announced Tuesday.

Aphena Pharma Solutions is slated to receive a $134,000 State grant on the condition that it retains a minimum of 100 jobs in its location in the Town of Easton for at least five years. The Town is also providing a $13,400 matching grant for the company, and both the Town and Talbot County Council have agreed to abolish the Town’s personal property tax for all qualifying manufacturers. Salisbury PewterJasco USA and Chesapeake Publishing, among other Easton manufacturers, are also expected to take advantage of personal property tax savings.

“By working with our partners in Talbot County and the Town of Easton, as well the leadership of Aphena Pharma Solutions, we are preserving highly-skilled jobs and ensuring that this company will continue to grow and invest in Maryland,” said DBED Secretary Dominick Murray. “I applaud the County and Town for working with Aphena to develop a creative solution that not only spurs economic development, but helps grow manufacturing in Maryland.” Continue Reading…

Ted Olsen is president of PathSensors in Baltimore, Maryland.

Ted Olsen is president of PathSensors in Baltimore, Maryland.

Ted Olsen can be very passionate when describing the mission of his Baltimore-based life sciences company, which is developing systems to rapidly detect biological threats in the air, plants and food. But the president of PathSensors is also fervent about the importance of having a strong biotech community to help nurture a small company like his, as he has discovered in Maryland, and in particular at the University of Maryland BioPark in West Baltimore.

“I never would have dreamed there would have been this kind of collaboration, the number of speakers that have come through the BioPark … government delegations from China and Korea that have led to conversations with us,” he said.

Maryland has one of the stronger biotech clusters in the country. On a per capita basis, it is second in academic bioscience research spending, fifth in bio venture capital investment and eighth in bioscience patents, according to Battelle, a private, nonprofit applied science and technology development company. It also ranks seventh for pharmaceutical job growth since 2007. Life sciences were responsible for one-third of Maryland’s job growth between 2002 and 2010.

Olsen’s company is developing systems to speed, simplify and improve the process of detecting biological threats such as the anthrax attacks that followed Sept. 11, 2001 and food-borne illnesses such as salmonella and E. coli. PathSensors licenses technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Lincoln Laboratory. Its system employs genetically engineered biosensors that replicate the glow from a jellyfish to signal a dangerous substance more rapidly than traditional means. Analysis that might have required four days can be cut to less than a day.

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Hours after online registration opened for Maryland’s Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit on Tuesday, more than 100 investors had applied.

Applicants are seeking a portion of the $12 million available in FY 2015 through the program. Funding is distributed as a refundable tax credit equal to 50 percent of an investment in Qualified Maryland Biotechnology Companies, certified by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).

“The Biotechnology Tax Credit is one of our most effective tools for helping Maryland biotech companies attract new investors and bring their innovative medical devices and diagnostics to the commercial marketplace,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Increasing funding for the credit is critical as we continue to nurture a healthy Innovation Economy in Maryland.”

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The BioMaryland Center and the Medicen Paris Region have agreed to co-fund a new biotechnology project.

Two potentially life-saving technologies, developed 4,000 miles apart, will soon join together thanks to a partnership of the BioMaryland Center and the Medicen Paris Region. The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) announced the international project on Wednesday, from the BIO International Conference 2014 in San Diego.

The new collaborative effort is expected to result in the further development and commercialization of a bacterial detection device.

Opticul Diagnostics, based in Rockville, Maryland, is developing bacterial detection without the use of reagents to produce chemical reactions. Diafir, based in Rennes, France, produces a complementary product that eliminates the need for culture of the organism prior to detection. Its diagnostic solutions are based on infrared sensors to produce a more rapid, minimally invasive approach to detect infections, track metabolic diseases and identify tumors.

“We are excited as this funding will help Opticul move to the point of care space and facilitate our connection with Diafir,” Gallya Gannot, president and founder of Opticul, said in a statement.

“This funding is a great opportunity for Diafir to expand technologically and to penetrate to the medical point of care with a powerful bacterial identification device. Teaming with Opticul Diagnostics will result in a faster development and a superior technology,” Hugues Tariel, president and chief executive officer of Diafir, said in a statement.

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One third of the job growth in Maryland during the last decade has been in the life sciences industry.

One third of the job growth in Maryland during the last decade has been in the life sciences industry.

Did you know that the life sciences industry accounts for one-third of Maryland’s job growth over the last decade?

Currently in the State, over 500 life sciences companies employ over 34,000 people at an average compensation of $91,000 per year. Additional Marylanders are employed by the State’s 59 federal labs and numerous academic and research institutions, according to the BioMaryland Center within the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

What’s spurring this rapid growth? It’s about much more than market forces.

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