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Defense and government contracting giant Northrop Grumman is making a bet on young start-ups by supporting a business accelerator for healthcare-related ventures.

The Falls Church-based company partnered with Johns Hopkins University, Rockville-based nonprofit BioHealth Innovation, which helps bioscience research projects in Maryland find funding, and Philadelphia venture capital firm DreamIt Ventures to start the new accelerator, to be based in Baltimore. DreamIt has operated similar programs for start-ups across other industries in several cities nationwide.