BALTIMORE — Baltimore City has been named a “Tech Hub” as part of a highly competitive federal program to expand manufacturing across the country, making the city legible for a slice of hundreds of millions of dollars in funding.
The Greater Baltimore Committeea consortium that applied for the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program. Baltimore is one of 31 designees announced Monday, picked from nearly 400 applicants.
The consortium is made up of businesses, colleges and universities, as well as local governments. Together they pitched a plan focused on the intersection of AI and biotechnology. aimed at improving health outcomes by developing new medicines and therapies.
The program was authorized at $10 billion and the EDA, which administers the program, already has $500 million for its first round of awards.
“This is exciting news for Baltimore,” said Latoya Staten, Director of Impact at Fearless, one of the businesses involved in putting together the Baltimore region’s bid to receive the tech hub designation. “The tech hub designation is going to be able to bring lots of economic impact and jobs.”
With the designation, the Baltimore consortium will now have to compete for implementation funding in Phase 2, when the EDA will invest between $50-$75 million in each of five to 10 Hubs.
“We are just telling the country and the world what we already know,” Staten said. “Baltimore is here, we are a tech hub and we are ahead of the game.”
The Maryland Congressional Delegation lobbied last month for Baltimore to be named a hub. The delegation comprises U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume and David Trone, all Democrats.
“The CHIPS and Science Act jumpstarted the return of manufacturing across the United States and its Regional Tech Hub program will do the same for high-tech industries and the incredible entrepreneurs across the Baltimore region,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement Monday. “This is about creating new jobs and emerging industries for the long term. We strongly pushed for the Baltimore Tech Hub application in a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo because we know well the local resources and cutting-edge opportunities that can be leveraged to advance the region’s technological capabilities.”