During a June 28 breakfast with life sciences leaders, hosted by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, University of Maryland President Jay A. Perman, MD, said he is "very excited" by the promise of accelerated University collaboration with Asia after the 10-day economic development mission that he, the governor, and other Maryland leaders made to South Korea and China last month.
The state inked deals with Chinese companies and educational institutions worth more than $45 million on the trip.
Perman said the University of Maryland "has some big follow-up opportunities" as a result of his meeting with officials at China Medical City, South Korea's Ewha Womans University, and other strategic stops. Following his visit to South Korea, the University of Maryland president signed a memorandum of understanding to develop research partnerships with the Seoul Business Agency.
Perman is shown here (picture right) with Marco Chacon, PhD, president and CEO of Paragon Bioservices, Inc., in Baltimore and H. Thomas Watkins, MBA, president and CEO of Human Genome Sciences, Inc. in Rockville, Md.
Also at the breakfast, held during the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) international conference in Washington, D.C., Perman said he is very encouraged by the Maryland jobs report showing that life sciences is one of the state's strongest and most stable industries, accounting for 6.5 percent of Maryland's gross domestic product and generating one-third of all job gains between 2002 and 2010.
The report found that Maryland has more than 1,700 life sciences establishments in the private sector-the fifth highest concentration in the nation. In total, bioscience supported more than 71,600 jobs at federal agencies, higher education institutions, and in the private sector. Workers in the life sciences industry earned, on average, $91,000-76 percent more than the average Maryland wage earner.
"Not only is scientific research becoming an increasingly vital economic driver in Maryland, but additionally our state is becoming internationally recognized for disease research and therapies," says Claire Fraser-Liggett, PhD, professor and director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine Institute for Genome Sciences. "Our research is improving the quality of life locally and globally, and Maryland's commitment to biotechnology is attracting new scientific talent to our state, which will catalyze future economic growth."
Says O'Malley, "Maryland's life sciences industry continues to be one of our strongest economic drivers, creating high-paying jobs even in tough times and helping to feed, fuel, and heal our planet with lifesaving discoveries," says O'Malley. "These findings confirm that our state excels at innovation, research and discovery. Together, we can unlock our future potential, while offering moral leadership in an increasingly connected world."