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The efforts to develop a Covid-19 vaccine accelerated the already strong demand for life sciences real estate in Maryland, and tenants now want lab space faster than developers can build it. 

The market's vacancy rate has fallen so low that life sciences companies often can't find space that meets their time-sensitive needs, experts say, leading them to look to other markets. 

Image: Courtesy of Matan Cos. A rendering of one of Matan Cos.' Progress Labs buildings on the I-270 corridor.

Carten Cordell

In 1976, an Atari engineer named Ron Wayne took a 10% ownership stake in a new technology startup created by a pair of fellow co-workers, meant to serve as the tiebreaker in the ambitious triumvirate.

The enterprise showed early potential, but Wayne became concerned that should the young venture flounder, he would be personally liable for the company’s debts as well. So, he cashed out his 10% stake for $2,300. 

 

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This episode is the first of a new podcast series, where we will visit with different leaders striving to grow economic development in their areas or regions of interest. We will be discussing new initiatives, new models, the interest and investment in Technology Parks, Incubators and Accelerators as well as other creative economic development platforms being implemented throughout the country within public and private initiatives.

 

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As states ease COVID restrictions, more and more people post their vaccine selfies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates its mask guidance. It’s beginning to feel like the country is getting back to normal and, in many ways, we are. But the truth is that what we do now in this moment will determine whether we’ve learned the right lessons from the last year of a pandemic that’s cost the world more than 3 million lives.

 

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Are you a biohealth start-up in Maryland, DC or Virginia seeking feedback on your biohealth business idea, pitch deck, or commercialization plan? Schedule your feedback session with BHI EIRs on one of the following dates. Pre-registration is required; Sign up here tinyurl.com/EIRfeedback

For questions/more information, contact BHI.

 

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June 3, 2021 (Washington, D.C.)— The once-in-a-generation pandemic highlighted both the region’s continued lag in economic competitiveness and the absence of a cohesive and coordinated economic development strategy. The Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) initiative, launched by Connected DMV, has released the first regional cross-sector blueprint to advance economic opportunity and social equity in Greater Washington, the culmination of a year of work by the REDS Steering Committee.

Image: https://www.connecteddmv.org

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Startups can’t stay in the early stage forever. While a young company can benefit from the early momentum of pitch wins and resources found in a community, it eventually must figure out its business model, and ultimately scale.

Hearing leading local investors describe Baltimore’s startup community at a Baltimore Innovation Week 2021 panel discussion dubbed “Strengthening Baltimore as a Hub for Innovation,” this reporter was left with the impression that the ecosystem as a whole feels a bit like a startup.

Image: Photo by Flicker user Phil! Gold

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In diverse cities like the District of Columbia, health inequities are driven by systemic racial and socioeconomic disparities.[1] Underserved communities, including neighborhoods where most residents are people of color or where income disparities exist, are unjustly burdened with disproportionate comorbidities, negative health outcomes and obstacles to accessing care. [2]

According to a recent Health Equity Report by the District of Columbia Department of Health, the District’s mortality rate caused by leading diseases such as chronic heart disease, cancer, and diabetes outranked the United States’ rate in 2015.[3] These rates were even higher in the District’s Black and Hispanic residents compared to its White residents.[2]

 

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In 2007, there were five times as many men as women in officer roles at Genentech, and female directors (the level preceding officers) were leaving at twice the rate as their male counterparts. To achieve equitable representation among men and women in leadership positions and stem the flow of departing talent, we rethought and revised our recruiting, professional development, and succession planning processes. Today, because of those efforts and a top-down commitment to change, men and women are nearly equally represented among our overall employee population and in officer and director roles.

 

Courtesy of Weller Development Co.
A previous rendering of Port Covington; developers now see a future in constructing a life sciences hub.

A Maryland mega-development, initially pitched as a home for Under Armour, may now become a biotech cluster, according to developers.

The $5.5B Port Covington development on Baltimore’s waterfront has had several iterations; home to the athletic clothing firm, a cybersecurity center and then a development on pause during the coronavirus pandemic. But in an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Steven Siegel, a partner with Weller Development Co., suggested life sciences may be part of the company’s focus going forward. 

Image: Courtesy of Weller Development Co. - A previous rendering of Port Covington; developers now see a future in constructing a life sciences hub.

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority CEO Victor Hoskins is leading Connected DMV's efforts to build regional cooperation.
JOANNE S. LAWTON

The entire D.C. region is poised to work together on economic development efforts to reverse its widening gap between the rich and the poor, according to a group of government, business and academic leaders — but the hard part will be actually making all of the region’s localities play nice together.

Connected DMV, an organization of public and private sector officials assembled as the Covid-19 crisis unfolded, is out with its first stab at crafting a “regional economic development strategy,” released first to the Washington Business Journal on Thursday. As helmed by Fairfax County economic development head Victor Hoskins, the report makes some familiar arguments about the need for regional collaboration and lays out some discrete areas where officials can actually work together.

Image: Fairfax County Economic Development Authority CEO Victor Hoskins is leading Connected DMV's efforts to build regional cooperation. JOANNE S. LAWTON

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today unveiled a new type of public-private partnership that enables investments using venture capital practices. Through the BARDA Ventures program, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, is launching a partnership with the nonprofit organization Global Health Investment Corporation (GHIC) to accelerate development and commercialization of technologies and medical products needed to respond to or prevent public health emergencies, such as pandemics, and other health security threats.

 

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As the first buildings at Port Covington begin to rise, the project’s developers have a vision for the mini-city sprouting on a South Baltimore peninsula as the nation’s next big biotech hub.

The waterfront neighborhood of apartments, offices, stores and parks now under construction could rival life sciences cores such as Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Mission Bay in San Francisco, members of the development team say.

 

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BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), is a Montgomery County innovation intermediary that translates market-relevant research into commercial success by bringing together management, funding, and markets. BHI is seeking two experienced life science professionals with product development and investment experience to join the BHI team to serve as a part-time Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

These positions will report to and work closely with our lead at the NIH Small business Education and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) Office to support academic and small business innovators in their efforts to validate the potential health impacts of promising scientific discoveries and advance them into healthcare products that improve patient care and enhance health.

Click here to download the full job description.