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Historic Agreement Between Anne Arundel, Annapolis City Officials

Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides and Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Bob Hannon, and members of both the city and county council recently created a new partnership.

Schuh and Pantelides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that utilizes input from both city and county transition teams and focuses on creating a better way to coordinate economic development efforts.

“The city stands to benefit greatly from this collaboration with the county by realizing our recruitment and retention goals through data collection, technical assistance and funding solutions,” Pantelides said. “Our goal was to understand how we can best serve the city and county businesses, while working with already established business associations, the [Annapolis and Anne Arundel County] Chamber of Commerce, and the [Annapolis and Anne Arundel County] Conference and Visitors Bureau. This partnership helps us accomplish our goal.”

The MOU outlines significant resource sharing and recognizes the city’s creation of an Economic Development Division within the Department of Planning and Zoning and the hiring of Hollis Minor as the city’s economic development manager. Prior to accepting the position, Minor worked as a business consultant for the Maryland Small Business Development Center.

Groundbreaking Held for Chrysalis at Merriweather Park

On the morning of Sept. 12, a groundbreaking ceremony that was attended by numerous local dignitaries was held to mark the start of the first phase of the Inner Arbor Trust’s Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods, the Chrysalis.

The amphitheater, which will be located just down the hill from Merriweather Post Pavilion’s office and V.I.P. parking lot, will be 52.5 feet tall, 108 feet wide and 57 feet deep (which is as large as the stage at adjacent Merriweather Post Pavilion). It is slated for completion in summer 2016, “about where the purple stage is set up during Wine in the Woods,” said Michael McCall, president and CEO of the Inner Arbor Trust, in an August interview with The Business Monthly.

Most recently, a 3-D model of the Chrysalis had been in wind tunnel for testing in London, after which a metal fabricator interpreted the ensuing information to construct its canopy. The Chrysalis is designed to suspend 42,000 pounds of theatrical gear — which is the approximate weight of nine Ford Explorers.

“Our agreements with I.M.A. (It’s My Amphitheatre, a division of I.M.P.) [last] March and the Howard Hughes Corp in May crystallized the agreements we had to build the park,” said McCall, adding that the first phase of the project will include new restrooms that Merriweather will build on the Symphony Woods side of the property line. They will be used during events at the pavilion and will be available otherwise to the public.

Microsoft Supports USNA’s Cyber Studies Building With $1M Gift

Microsoft has made a $1 million gift to the United States Naval Academy (USNA)Foundation to support the USNA’s Center for Cyber Security Studies (CCSS) building. While the federal government has directed $120 million for construction of the building, expected to be completed in 2018, additional funding is required to fully outfit its laboratories, classrooms, meeting spaces and other features.

“The Naval Academy’s Center for Cyber Security Studies has emerged as a key element of the Naval Academy’s preparation of our next generation of Navy and Marine Corps officers,” said Byron Marchant, president and CEO of the Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation. “Developing the resources necessary to achieve the CCSS’s ambitious mission requires a public-private partnership. We are delighted to welcome Microsoft as a major supporter in this vital academy initiative.”

The CCSS strives to educate all midshipmen in areas of cyberdefense and -warfare, facilitate the sharing of expertise and perspectives, provide a streamlined means of identifying priorities, enhance interdisciplinary cyber research, disseminate information and shape a common framework for cyber-related efforts.

The planned building, expected to be the last major academic structure built on the academy’s yard, is a five-story, 206,000-square-foot facility that will feature the academy’s only Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (or SCIF) space that will allow for the discussion and management of classified materials.

Howard County Launches PALS Partnership With UMD

Howard County has partnered with the University of Maryland (UMD) in a community collaboration for the university’s campus-wide action learning program, The Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS). More than 500 graduate and undergraduate students from 16 programs will work in Howard County as part of the year-long effort. Columbia Association is also a member of the partnership.

“I am excited by this opportunity to use some of the smartest and brightest students in our state to research and analyze best practices for sustainability,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman. “The studies conducted should provide us with an arsenal of information that will assist us in our decision making as we work toward building a more economically, environmentally and agriculturally sustainable community. We are developing a model that other communities will likely follow.”

Developed by the university’s National Center for Smart Growth, PALS pairs faculty expertise with student ingenuity to tackle sustainability issues facing Maryland communities. PALS partners with one or two communities each academic year, matching customized coursework with the specific challenges described by the partner community.

For more information on the PALS partnership between the University of Maryland, Howard County Government and Columbia Association, go to http://go.umd.edu/4hi.

Temporary Closure of Runway 10-28 Scheduled at BWI Marshall Airport

As part of a multi-year series of airfield improvements, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport closed one of its primary runways, 10-28, on Aug. 30. It will be closed until late fall 2015 in order to complete pavement work, taxiway improvements and installation of new navigational equipment.

The scheduled work is the final major phase of construction associated with the overall BWI Marshall airfield program. Since 2010, the airport has carried out a number of major airfield construction projects, including Runway Safety Area improvements mandated by Congress. RSAs are the surfaces surrounding airport runways that provide important safety margins for arriving and departing aircraft.

The construction work is not expected to affect airline operations. Runway 15R-33L, BWI Marshall’s other major commercial runway, will remain open and available during the airfield work. During construction, local residents may notice a change in airline flight patterns.

The approximately $350 million overall airfield program includes runway pavement reconstruction, as well as grading, airfield lighting improvements, taxiway upgrades, installation of new navigational aids and other projects.

After Facilities Study, Schuh Continues Quest for New Schools

A study that includes recommendations for building a Crofton high school, which would end many years of transporting the community’s students between South River High School, in Edgewater, and Arundel High School, in Gambrills, was praised by Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh.

Building the new Crofton school was on a list that also recommended building several other schools in the county, including two new ones to replace Old Mill High School, as well as replacements for Edgewater, Tyler Heights, Richard Henry Lee, Quarterfield and Hillsmere elementary schools.

The study, from Tallahassee, Fla.-based MGT of America, was released in early September and illustrated the need for smaller, neighborhood high schools, said Schuh in a statement.

“I am determined to restore the funding for a Crofton high school through the board of education’s Capital Budget, and am committed to the priority order set forth in the superintendent’s proposed capital budget,” Schuh said. “With a supportive [county] council and council leadership, we can ensure that, in three years, parents and students from Crofton will be attending a back-to-school night at the new Crofton High School.”

Winvale Cybersecurity Division, Dark Web ID, Partners With CIC

The Chesapeake Innovation Center (CIC) has announced that Winvale’s Cybersecurity Division, Dark Web ID, has joined as a new resident company.

“Working with the CIC ties in directly with our strategy to focus on our expanded cybersecurity services offerings as our membership provides access to key advisers and thought leaders in and around the intelligence community and the surrounding counties of Anne Arundel, Howard and Montgomery,” said Kevin Lancaster, Winvale’s chief executive officer.

Winvale, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., developed Dark Web ID to address the significant gap in the marketplace when it comes to monitoring for compromised credentials being traded on the Dark Web for exploitive purposes. The platform alerts users when their organization’s breached e-mail accounts and IP addresses are published and exposed on the Dark Web in real time so that focused countermeasures can be taken to protect sensitive information.

To date, Dark Web ID has identified nearly 400 million compromised records from more than 82% of commercial and government organizations in the U.S.

Inovalon, UMD Launch Two Major Health Care Industry Research Studies

Bowie-based Inovalon, a technology company providing advanced, cloud-based data analytics and data-driven intervention platforms to the health care industry, will partner with The Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business Collaborative on research efforts that will focus on how digital solutions can be more effectively deployed to address outcomes such as patient safety and efficiency in health care delivery.

The Inovalon research team will collaborate with researchers at CHIDS to use advanced analytics in an effort to better understand and reduce “churning,” the involuntary movement of covered members from one health plan or coverage system to another. The study will examine factors associated with churn to better understand when and why consumers leave an insurance plan over time.

“Member churn is becoming a growing issue for plans operating in the Commercial Accountable Care Act (ACA) marketplace. The problem not only makes programs more costly to administer, but also interrupts the continuity of coverage and care,” said Christie Teigland, Ph.D., senior director of statistical research at Inovalon. “With a deeper understanding of churn — including the ability to predict which members are most likely to leave — individual plans can develop better strategies to mitigate the impact, better project costs and create targeted marketing campaigns aimed at improving member retention.”

The second collaborative research project will examine Medicare Advantage (MA) plan performance. Inovalon will work with CHIDS to identify which MA insurance plans are more likely to improve in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Five Star Rating system. The first-of-its-kind analysis will explore how patients benefit from plans that achieve higher ratings and examine how members respond to ratings while making enrollment decisions. In addition, the analysis will identify factors that can help plans efficiently close gaps in care and improve star ratings.

KEYW Sells Its First Key Radar Product

Hanover-based KEYW Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of KEYW Holding Corp., has sold its first KeyRadar product as part of $11 million in new, competitively-selected awards.

KeyRadar is a multi-mission, multi-mode system built on KEYW’s next-generation, software-defined radio/radar architecture. It combines multiple bands with processing and target detection/recognition software to find concealed targets in the most challenging operational environments. Furthermore, it enables users to rapidly field new capabilities to operational systems, significantly lowering total life cycle costs.

This product sale to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is part of a $6.7 million program to integrate KeyRadar into an MQ-9 unmanned aerial system pod and demonstrate its unique capabilities for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and targeting applications.

Separately, KEYW also was awarded a $4.4 million contract by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to develop a next-generation multi-INT, plug-and-play pod that enables the Air Force to rapidly reconfigure sensor suites in the field. The Agile Manufacturing for ISR (AM-ISR) program also will develop novel manufacturing techniques to reduce the cost and time to field new sensor systems using aircraft pods.