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O’Malley Highlights How Biotechnology Benefits The Economy

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — New technologies being developed in the University of Maryland biopark are making a difference to the state’s economy.

Pat Warren reports on some of the progress.

Governor Martin O’Malley credits Maryland’s biopark with creating jobs and saving lives.

An option to standard X-ray radiation is coming to the University of Maryland biopark.

“There will be people coming from all over to receive this really targeted precision cancer treatment,” O’Malley said.

A $200 million proton therapy center is under construction at the biopark, which currently has 30 companies employing 550 people.

“Those are real jobs filled with real people doing really important things and none of this happened by chance, didn’t happen by wishing it were so. It happened because we chose to make it so,” he said.

Maryland is home to the nation’s second highest concentration of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) employees and has one of the fastest STEM job growth rates in the country. Governor O’Malley says he’s focused on preparing more Marylanders for those jobs.

“Only about 10 or 11 years ago, this biopark, these blocks were pretty desolate, vacant, hopeless looking places with tumbleweeds virtually going through them and now we see building after building,” he said.

Those buildings include path sensors, a bioscience technology that detects infectious microorganisms and noxilizer, a sterilization technology for medical devices and hospitals. The state has increased both the biotech tax credit and the research and development tax credit this year as the governor seeks to protect the state’s competitive edge.

“Not only protect our competitive advantage in life science and biotech but actually accelerate that advantage,” O’Malley says.

He expects STEM jobs to grow at twice the rate of other jobs.

The state committed to a $1.3 billion investment over several years.

The Maryland Proton Treatment Center is expected to begin treating patients in 2015.

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