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Letters to the UMB Community
University of Maryland Strategic Partnership
On Oct. 1, the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act of 2016 became law in Maryland. This law builds on the tremendous success of MPowering the State, formalizing the partnership established in 2012 between the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP).
The mission of our partnership remains the same: to generate collaborative academic and research programs and to accelerate economy-boosting university activities by focusing on technology and tech commercialization. But now, with even stronger state investment in our alliance, we're opening up new and exciting opportunities to engineer breakthroughs in technology fields and to prepare the students who will lead them.
For instance, the University of Maryland Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Development, to be located in College Park, will advance education and research in neuroscience, virtual and augmented reality, biomedical devices, data analytics, and cybersecurity. Meanwhile, the Center for Maryland Advanced Ventures in Baltimore will help faculty and students in these and other fields move their discoveries out of the lab and into the marketplace, where they can revolutionize human health, national security, global sustainability, and so much more. The law also provides key funding to encourage university startups—from anywhere in the state—to locate in Baltimore City.
The Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance is another example of the power of our expanding partnership. The center will be a signature component of the conversion of the storied Cole Field House in College Park into a national model for the integration of athletics, academics, and research. The center will combine strong programs in neuroscience—at both UMB and UMCP—with the physicians, engineers, and imaging experts who can solve persistent problems related to traumatic brain injury, which harms millions of people each year and about which we still have so much to learn.
Our partnership is already making a real and significant difference in people's lives. Just last spring, we launched the SAFE Center for Human Trafficking Survivors, one of only a few university-based programs in the U.S. to combine comprehensive services for trafficking survivors with research and advocacy aimed at ending this horrific crime.
The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership retains two presidents and two distinct campuses in Baltimore and College Park. Each of us is, as always, responsible for the administration and leadership of our respective campuses. Meanwhile, a Steering Council, made of up leaders from both institutions, will continue to manage the programs and operations of the partnership and evaluate potential new areas for administrative and academic collaboration.
Together, we will pursue programs and initiatives that leverage our complementary academic and research strengths, because this integration is how we'll achieve levels of innovation and service to our community that far surpass what we could do on our own.
We're excited to find still more opportunities to amplify our impact for the people of this state and to position Maryland for national leadership on the issues that matter most.
Jay A. Perman, MD
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Wallace D. Loh, PhD
University of Maryland, College Park