Biotech Joins Maryland To India

    October 20, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Government agencies from Maryland and India have taken a step toward collaborating on technology issues, like biotech.

Where there is overlap, there is potential for benefiting from collaboration.
India’s Ministry of Science and Technology and Maryland’s Department of Business and Economic Development think enough of the potential that they have signed a memorandum of understanding about it, Washington Business Journal reported.

The agreement covers overlap in certain industries like biotech and information technology. Maryland has been working on the initiative since a February visit by trade officials to India. Future efforts could lead to closer partnerships.

The report cited a Maryland official who sees biotech as a key part of possible deals:

“Maryland and India are leaders in many of the same key industries, especially with India now shifting its focus to biotechnology,” says Chris Foster, deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

“This is an important step toward developing stronger, more effective cooperation between our two scientific communities, as well as having the potential for increased trade and investment opportunities between Maryland and Indian companies.”

Maryland figured prominently in the race to sequence the human genome, as the National Institute of Health’s Human Genome Project and Rockville, MD-based Celera accomplished that in 2000. The state considers itself the “genome BioCapital” and refers to its concentration of gene-based therapeutic companies as DNA Alley.

Some areas of technology would probably be off limits. Defense contractors like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman all have facilities in Maryland. The state also boasts a lower cost of doing business than locations like Silicon Valley; that may not matter much to India, where low costs of software development have made global stars out of companies like Wipro.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.