Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels today signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. The MOU reflects Montgomery County’s and Johns Hopkins’ shared objectives and vision of advancing the biosciences industry, higher education and workforce development within the county. The Memorandum also establishes the importance of forging long-lasting collaborative relationships among private industry, higher education institutions and government interests within the biosciences industry.
“This MOU allows us to benefit from Johns Hopkins University’s knowledge, prestige, programs and relationships to ensure robust science and job creation within an innovation community and furthers strategic moves Montgomery County has made over the past 30 years to support and grow our local bioscience community, including designating over 300 acres to create the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center and then donating land to JHU for its Montgomery County Campus,” said Leggett. “Today, we are laying the foundation for a long-lasting partnership that will expand higher education, scientific research and provide good-paying job opportunities all while advancing health and life sciences not just in Montgomery County, but around the world.”
“It is our common goal to advance scientific and healthcare translational research to benefit local and worldwide populations,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of The Johns Hopkins University. “We are extremely pleased to be entering into this Memorandum of Understanding with Montgomery County to affirm the university’s and the county’s shared science vision for the future.”
The Memorandum supports a key component of the county’s recently unveiled Biosciences Strategy, which recommends enhancing bioscience educational opportunities and expanding the higher education presence in Montgomery County to build a robust biosciences workforce and create greater technology transfer and commercialization opportunities.
It also supports the re-development of the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center into a regional, national and international scientific and commercial hub with a balanced mix of education, academic, private and federal research and development, as proposed under the Gaithersburg West Master Plan.
Today’s signing was attended by Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen, Councilmembers Mike Knapp and Phil Andrews, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development Director Steve Silverman, Johns Hopkins University’s Vice Provost for Research Scott Zeger, and other public and private sector representatives.
“This MOU with John Hopkins – in addition to other recent initiatives – reaffirms our commitment to ensuring Montgomery County remains a national leader in the biosciences,” said County Councilmember Mike Knapp, who chairs the Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee. “It is critical to have this type of scientific commitment from one of the world’s premiere research institutions in order to implement a biosciences strategy that will enable our community to lead the way in improving human health throughout the world. The strength of our relationship with Johns Hopkins is also key to attracting and retaining talented life sciences professionals in our community.”
The memorandum is the latest in a series of progressive, proactive initiatives by Montgomery County to support and grow the local economy. Its core objectives work in tandem with Leggett’s Smart Growth Initiative to create quality, high paying jobs, and to provide sufficient and affordable housing near mass transit. The objectives are also in keeping with the County Executive’s vision to redevelop and clean-up old industrial sites and provide overdue investments in county government facilities by relocating many of those facilities, currently located on prime real estate near mass transit and within the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center, to free up those areas for such strategic commercial development.
Other initiatives include the recent introduction of legislation that would make Montgomery County the nation’s first local jurisdiction to offer a local biotech tax credit to help spur private investments in county biotech companies. Montgomery County also continues its support of emerging businesses via the Montgomery County Business Innovation Network and through strategic financing via the County’s Economic Development Fund, Technology Growth Program and Small Business Revolving Loan Fund.
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Contact: Kristina Ellis, Montgomery County, 240-793-9568
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Robin Ferrier, Johns Hopkins University, 301-315-2896
Neil Greenberger, County Council, 240-777-7939