Tag: economic development

Maryland Workforce Outlook Forum

A lot of the work my colleagues and I do at the Division of Innovation and Applied Research revolve around workforce development. Whether that’s analyzing the economic impacts of arts and entertainment districts; highlighting university-community partnerships that improve our region; providing continuing education that address skills gaps in the workforce; or growing businesses at TU Incubator, we are focused on improving the quality of life and the economic vitality of Maryland. Maryland Workforce Outlook Forum In a couple weeks, Towson University will bring together leaders from around the state in business, workforce, and education for the Maryland Workforce Outlook...

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Baltimore, One Year Later

Just over a year has passed since Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody and the unrest that ensued (my blog about the unrest can be found here). Just over a year has passed since the protests arose, since public transit shut down, since a pharmacy and an under-construction senior center burned, since a State of Emergency was declared and the National Guard arrived, since Baltimore City residents fell asleep to the sounds of helicopters flying overhead to remind them of the curfew, since the Orioles played a fan-less game at Camden Yards. The unrest brought many of Baltimore...

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Making An Impact: Innovation at Towson University

For the past two years, the Division of Innovation and Applied Research published an annual report that outlined the impacts we were having across the state. This year, we took a broader view and included the big things that are happening across the entirety of Towson University. We looked at the teaching, research, and partnerships that are making an impact on the quality of life and economic competitiveness of our state. Making An Impact The Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Applied Research 2015 Report, Making An Impact, highlights the work our faculty, staff, and students have accomplished in collaboration with partners...

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Economic Development Leadership Insights

For more than 35 years, I have served communities and businesses by leading in various economic development roles. Along the way I have gained a great deal of knowledge working with colleagues and community members, each of whom has a distinct viewpoint. Here I share some insights and advice for economic developers serving today and into the future. 1. Stay Motivated in the Purpose of Economic Development The great thing about economic development is that you’re always working toward something much bigger than yourself. Understanding this is important for keeping us motivated during the difficult times inherent in our profession. For example, we are often asked to uproot our families and move somewhere else. Sometimes this is due to greater opportunities opening up elsewhere; other times, it’s due to changes beyond one’s control. We are also vulnerable to politics. Changes in political leadership often lead to changes in economic development leadership. Whatever the case, making a move often involves asking those we love to make life changes in support of the work we do. Our profession also involves dealing with setbacks that range from seeing a company go out of business to dealing with changes in the economic climate. We must remember that economic development success happens in waves over years, where you can look back and see some enduring value of your contributions despite the bumps in the...

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Rebuilding Baltimore

As a resident of Baltimore City, I would be remiss to not discuss the difficulties that my city has faced over the past month. The wrongful arrest (as described by the State’s Attorney General’s indictment of the six Baltimore City police officers involved) and eventual death of Freddie Gray brought a week of peaceful protests that, following Gray’s funeral on Monday, April 27, unfortunately sparked destructive rioting. By the end of that violent night, as I sat speechless watching news reports of neighborhoods mere blocks from my apartment, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had instituted a citywide curfew and Governor Larry...

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Snake Eyes: Casino Growth and Declining Gambling Revenues

Later this month, a fifth casino will open its doors in Maryland, and in about two years, a sixth casino will open its doors. My question is this: Is there a sufficient consumer base to support this growth, or are the new casinos cannibalizing revenues in Maryland and the surrounding states in the region (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, District of Columbia, and Virginia)? About thirty years ago, two states—New Jersey and Nevada—had casinos. For New Jersey, Atlantic City was the gambling destination for the East Coast; Las Vegas was the gambling destination for everywhere else....

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Guest Post: Health Technology is Gaining Traction in Maryland

At the Division of Innovation and Applied Research, we’ve long recognized the potential for Maryland to be a leader in establishing business opportunities where IT marries other industries, whether its counterpart is education, construction, or health care. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the winner, Rehabtics, and runner-up, Tutela Bedside Technologies, of TU Incubator’s 2014 Business Plan Competition; both are Maryland-based start-ups innovating in health technology. In recent months, we can’t help but notice the increasing buzz of health technology and questions on whether Maryland has what it takes to nurture an industry that improves patient care while increasing ROI for providers. RESI staff attended the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA)’s Summer Conference on Maryland’s health technology industry, and we were blown away by the complex and innovative nature of this emerging industry. Evident from discussion at MEDA’s conference, Maryland has an opportunity to be a leader in nurturing health technology, because Maryland is one of few east coast states with the necessary infrastructure in place. The conference kicked off with three overarching themes: health care access, quality, and affordability through technological innovations. The exact definition of health technology remains elusive, but MEDA provided a definition for one sub-sector, mobile health. Mobile health is defined by MEDA as “the use of wired or wireless technology to improve health and care delivery.” Within mobile health, there are so-called wearables...

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Exporting the Inner Harbor: Baltimore’s Influence in Wales

Having lived in Wales for the past nine years, I am a recent transplant to the Towson area. As is the case with many people who have recently moved, I often explain my current location and my previous location by referencing the largest city in each respective area—Baltimore and Cardiff. The interesting thing about these two cities is their interconnected history, which I have become quite familiar with over the last year. Despite their size difference, the similarities between these two cities have been recognized by travelers, bloggers, and academics for years. As a result, for my first blog...

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Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) 2014 Annual Conference Recap

This past week, I attended my ninth Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) annual conference. Each time I attend, I come away feeling smarter and better networked into the community of economic development. This year’s conference theme, “Research to Revenue: Harnessing Maryland’s Intellectual Capital for Economic Growth,” was very timely and interesting. The panels and speakers ranged from venture capitalists to entrepreneurs to practitioners. Conference Overview One of the key takeaways from the conference speakers and panels was that conventional thinking and practices will get the same outcomes. If everyone is doing the same thing, nothing will change. The opening keynote speaker challenged the way economic development practitioners view technology transfer projects. The closing keynote, a venture capitalist, suggested that economic development may have added success if states or localities invest in start-up companies outside the region and, if successful, then bring them to the state or locality to permanently set up shop. My Presentation I had the opportunity to present our work on the National Establishment Time Series (NETS) data. These data have 45 unique attributes for each company such as number of employees and sales from 1990 through 2012. Moreover, all the data are geocoded, a feature that enables us to analyze business trends at the sub-county level. We hoped that this availability of data and our analytical and mapping expertise would enable local economic development organizations to...

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Dyan Brasington to Serve on International Economic Development Council Board

Dyan Brasington to Serve as Chairman of Performance Oversight and Monitoring Committee for the International Economic Development Council The Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) has re-elected Dyan Brasington, CEcD, FM, HLM, Vice President for Innovation and Applied Research at Towson University in Towson, MD, as Chairman of the Performance Oversight and Monitoring Committee. Appointments were announced at IEDC’s 2013 Annual Conference, which was held October 6–9 in Philadelphia, PA. “As the world’s leading economic development organization for professionals in the field of economic development, IEDC’s work has become vital to reviving the current economic...

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