Greater Baltimore Region Aims For Federal Tech Hub Status, Unlocking Billions In Funding
BALTIMORE COUNTY - The greater Baltimore region is vying to become a federally recognized tech hub, unlocking billions in funding and breathing new life into the local economy.
Spearheaded by the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC), a consortium of 35 members is preparing a bid to join the federal Tech Hubs Program, a new initiative from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).
The federal Tech Hubs Program aims to expand access to funding for high-tech ventures - fostering innovation beyond the traditional tech centers of Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston.
The Baltimore Sun reports that if successful, the city and its seven surrounding counties could receive an estimated $500 million in federal funding over the next five years. GBC officials say this investment could yield an economic impact of $3.2 billion and generate 52,000 jobs by 2030.
Funding for new federally recognized tech hubs comes from the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, a $10 billion economic development initiative. The initiative's overarching goal is to invigorate technology-based manufacturing and commercialization in regions poised to gain global competitiveness and job creation within the decade.
In an interview with WEAA-FM, Greater Baltimore Committee President and CEO Gabe Ortiz said the Baltimore region is already positioned for economic growth in the coming years.
"We already have the underpinnings of a really strong emerging Tech Hub in Baltimore," Ortiz said. "Baltimore currently ranks number 14 in America for top Tech Talent."
Baltimore's economic potential is evident - CBRE's recent Tech Talent Report ranked the city 17th among the United States and Canada's top 50 tech talent markets.
Technical.ly reports that Baltimore plans to leverage AI and machine learning for health applications, as well as its diverse talent pool in the tech hub application.
"Our technology focus area is the intersection of AI and biotech, given the strength of our assets and growth potential of this market combined with Baltimore's diverse tech talent," GBC's chief economic officer, Pothik Chatterjee, told the tech news service. "We estimate the region could receive up to $500 million in funding to support the expansion of our tech ecosystem, creating at least 52,000 jobs and $3.2 billion in economic impact by 2030."
Funding unlocked by a federal tech hub designation would also facilitate the creation of a talent pipeline for high-tech jobs. The consortium already includes renowned institutions known for biotech and AI research, including Towson University, Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, University of Maryland Medical Center, and many more.
"Morgan State University has the same talent that you see at the New York City Schools, but they don't necessarily have an organization that can say here is $25 to $100 million to get your students into the careers of the future," Ortiz added.
The final decision on the federal Tech Hubs will be announced in September by the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration. Successful applicants will advance to the program's second phase, where funding is allocated for specific projects.
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