Montgomery County, the University System of Maryland and Montgomery College have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create the “Montgomery/Maryland Life Sciences Education and Innovation Partnership” to facilitate collaboration among industry and the academic partners on cutting-edge research. The partnership will allow students from across Maryland to have opportunities to gain work experience and conduct translational research with Montgomery County’s industry leaders.
It is envisioned that the Montgomery/Maryland Life Sciences Education and Innovation Partnership will guide the future of post-pandemic education, leveraging existing assets to create an economic development powerhouse for Maryland in life and regulatory sciences.
The kickoff meeting and MOU signing ceremony was held at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Rockville. It was attended by the presidents of the University of Maryland College Park, the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Bowie State University. Other attendees included the heads of research from the University of Maryland and UMBC; industry leaders from AstraZeneca, IBM, S3, American Gene Technologies and Quality Biological; Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich; former Montgomery County Executive and USM Regent Ike Leggett; members of the Montgomery County Council and other academic, government and industry leaders.
“Montgomery County’s bio and life sciences industry have been critical to every person on our planet over the last year as they helped research, produce, and manufacture the vaccines that have been the most effective weapon against the COVID-19 virus,” said County Executive Elrich. “The last 15 months have demonstrated that these companies and their employees are vital to our global security, and we must continue to invest in their success. As a County, it is imperative that we grow and provide this industry workers with the skills and talent they need to succeed. I am very appreciative of all the hard work and collaboration that has occurred to create this MOU between the County, the University System of Maryland, and Montgomery College that will be a gamechanger for our students and our bio and life sciences partners.”
Montgomery County, the University System of Maryland and Montgomery College consistently have been leaders in the evolution of the life and regulatory sciences sectors regionally, nationally and internationally. The global COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the role.
Key commitments of the partnership include:
- Partners will share best practices and resources for training and education to employers in Montgomery County and throughout the region.
- Partners will collaborate to enhance career path awareness and inform development if curriculum and programmatic offering to support industry’s workforce needs.
- Partners will establish physical presence of world-class, postgraduate research programming that will focus on future aspects, needs, and opportunities fueled by the life sciences industry to ensure that Maryland and the County remain a premier location for biotech industry advancement.
- The proposed center of excellence will provide the opportunity for co-location, collaboration, and synergy among industry, academia, Federal and nonprofit research organizations within Montgomery County.
- Montgomery/Maryland Life Sciences Education and Innovation Partners will work with Montgomery County Public Schools to enhance STEM programs and further expand the pipeline of local talent.
- Partners will ensure the location of any new facilities or innovation related infrastructure complements current assets in the County or the State, thereby leveraging and enhancing Maryland strategic advantage.