Step 6: Spur Job Creation: Out of the Lab & into the Market
Within the past year, the County’s One-Stop Careers Center (centers that help the unemployed find new jobs and training) – has experienced a 75% increase in individuals seeking services, and 35% increase in individuals holding graduate and professional degrees. The system is under tremendous pressure.24
Prince George’s companies have to lead in bringing innovative new products to the marketplace based on the research done at institutions in our area.
There are over 40 research centers in Maryland, including a significant presence of federal labs and prominent university institutes. NASA, USDA, Census Bureau, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) are a few that have major presence in Prince George’s County.
Transferring more research & technology from federal labs and research institutions to small businesses in Prince George’s County can build strong innovation-led job creation.
Prince George’s companies have to utilize existing programs that provide vital seed/up-front funding and specialized technical assistance to new businesses that want to research and develop a new idea or process that could, in a few years, result in that company or a new company selling products around the world.25
Research-Led Job Creation: A Regional Example
Research from Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program (MIPS) at the (University of Maryland)has contributed to commercial products that have generated more than $12.1 billion in revenue, added jobs to the region, and contributed to key corporate successes in Maryland, such as Martek Biosciences' infant formula additives (Columbia), Hughes Network Systems' HughesNetO, (Germantown) MedImmune Inc.'s Synagis (R) (, and Black & Decker's Bullet(R) Speed Tip Masonry Drill Bit (Towson).26
The 2008 MIPS projects were projected to create 1,230 new jobs. Future sales projections for commercial products created by 2008-funded projects were $5.07 billion.
Research-Led Job Creation: Other Possibilities
Prince George’s County has about 26 food manufacturing firms - the second highest number in the region, and a $30 million payroll – the largest in the region.27
With the increasing demand for locally grown and organically produced food, Prince George’s County is well position to expand the food manufacturing industry, and at the same time preserve the county’s remaining farm lands.
The county can further build the food manufacturing industry by taking full advantage of county’s agricultural research and development assets. The Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) -- the nation’s premier agricultural research facility, the UMD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and its attendant research facilities in Prince George’s County as well as additional federal laboratories with life science and agriculturally relevant research activities such as the Goddard Space Flight Center.
Biofuels…The global, national and statewide focus on alternative energy production is an opportunity to build a program to support alternative energy crops and distributed energy production in Prince George’s County, which could be beneficial to maintaining the county’s farm lands and for developing a more green economy.
24 Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation, Budget Response, 2009
25 For example, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides up to $850,000 in early-stage research and development (R&D) funding directly to small technology companies (or individual entrepreneurs who form a company). The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR ) program provides up to $850,000 in early-stage R&D funding directly to small companies working cooperatively with researchers at universities and other research institutions.
26 MIPS Announces 28 Research Projects to Help Maryland Companies Develop Commercial Products. Projects Worth $5.2 Million (March 5, 2007). http://www.mtech.umd.edu/news/press_releases/mips_r39_release.html
27MNCPPC, Prince George’s County Strategic Program for Agricultural Development.