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Advancing Technology, With Economic Development the Core

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Economic development is at the core of the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council’s (CRTC) mission “to energize and propel the advancement of technologies with the exchange of ideas, expertise and business and partnership opportunities.”

Where economic development is concerned, partnership is the name of the game for the CRTC and, as a regional organization, it is proud to partner with multiple organizations to drive opportunities for growing tech companies throughout the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore metro region.

The partnerships we look forward to growing in 2015 include the new Health Tech Forum Group, which is being developed in partnership with the Chesapeake Innovation Center (CIC). Its mission is to provide an opportunity to bring health technologists and entrepreneurs together with health providers and decision-makers so they can accomplish various goals. They include the following.

  • Educate each group on its respective challenges and ID potential solutions
  • Educate technologists on procurement processes, funding sources (grant and otherwise), to make it easier for the providers to get the solutions they need
  • Network for potential sales and for potential partnerships

This initiative began with monthly meetings over the summer in 2014, culminating in a company spotlight event in December featuring presentations from 10 companies to 40-plus attendees.

In 2015, this group will offer a diverse program of events based on common needs and shared challenges while exploring the best ways to unite the health technology community in the Baltimore-Washington region.

The InvestMaryland Challenge

The InvestMaryland Challenge is an international seed and early-stage business competition hosted by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) and Inc. magazine. The event will award $400,000 in grants and a host of business services to companies in the life sciences and high tech industries.

Grants are provided by DBED’s Maryland Venture Fund and BioMaryland Center. All categories are open to Maryland, U.S. and international companies, which also have the opportunity to receive direct investments from venture capital firms and angel investors.

CyberWorks

CyberWorks is an industry-led, workforce development program that is designed to help Maryland companies fill their cybersecurity needs with qualified candidates while simultaneously helping individuals start careers and improve Maryland’s economy.

CyberWorks helps to fill the critical gap between education and gaining experience in the field of cybersecurity through a two-week sprint of foundational cyber mindset exposure and a three- to 12-month apprenticeship-like experience with participating companies. Businesses and partners see this as a new approach to building a pipeline from within to fill the critical shortage of cyberworkers.

The CRTC is a proud partner of CyberWorks, serving as a promotional partner and connector to participating businesses and potential candidates.

These are just a few of the partnerships that drive the ongoing economic development activities of the CRTC. Seven additional ongoing interest-based groups offer a host of added member-driven economic development activity.

The challenge of 2015 will be driving regional collaboration and partnership by transcending geographical boundaries, as well as public and private agendas, to achieve the region’s incredible potential.

To really succeed with any of these initiatives, we will need to leverage the strength of the entire region.

Kris Shock is executive director of the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council. She can be contacted at 410-630-8200 and kris@chesapeaketech.org.