Press Releases

July 2014

Maryland Innovation Initiative Awards Over $6.4 Million to 67 Commercialization Projects

COLUMBIA, Md. (July 23, 2014) – The Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII), which accelerates commercialization and technology transfer from university labs to start-up companies, announced it has awarded $6.4 million to 67 commercialization projects and start-up companies in fiscal year 2014. Awards were given across a variety of industries, including therapeutic, software, medical devices and mobile technologies. MII is administered by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO).

The MII program was created as a partnership between the State of Maryland and five Maryland academic research institutions: University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Maryland, Baltimore; Johns Hopkins University; and Morgan State University. The program is designed to increase the rate of commercializing research conducted in the partnership universities and leverage each institution’s strengths. Since it starting accepting applications in November 2012, more than 200 applications have been submitted for consideration.

“The momentum we’ve seen around the Maryland Innovation Initiative in the last fiscal year is a testament to the quality of the work done at our State’s top-notch research universities, widely considered among the best in the country,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “The program is designed to help bring university technologies to market, and with many projects already having spawned start-up companies, we’re seeing the contributions MII is making to growing Maryland’s innovation economy.”

Since beginning to distribute funding in 2013, MII has funded 16 start-up companies and 79 university proof-of-concept projects with more than $9.3 million. The last funding cycle of the 2014 fiscal year was MII’s largest award round to date, which saw the investment of more than $1.4 million to 17 projects spanning all five partnership universities, including 2 start-up companies. The amount and number of investments in FY2014 more than doubled the awards of last year.

Awards were given through the Innovation Commercialization Program, which provides funding to support the commercialization of qualified university technologies at three distinct stages: proof-of-concept/technology validation (Phase I), commercialization planning (Phase II) and early-stage product development (Phase III).

Multiple projects have begun moving through the program toward commercialization, including a drug development platform from Morgan State University and bridge sensor technology from the University of Maryland, College Park, that is being tested in the field.

“The Maryland Innovation Initiative is investing in a diverse array of technologies in several different stages of development,” said MII Board Chairman Robert Hallenbeck. “With start-up companies like the Johns Hopkins University start-up respEQ, Inc. having been awarded funding for all three of MII’s development phases, we can see the fruit of early investments in bringing innovative technologies to market. The boom in interest for this program and the quality of the applications are signals of Maryland’s thriving economy.”

Projects that have received funding can be viewed on TEDCO’s website. Applications for the Maryland Innovation Initiative are currently being accepted and are reviewed on a bimonthly basis. Further information is available at

Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII)
Created by the General Assembly and administered by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) promotes the commercialization of research conducted in five qualifying Maryland universities. The initiative encourages universities to partner on commercialization proposals, strategies, and funding sources. The MII program facilitates technology transfer from university labs to start-up companies and boosts economic development in Maryland. The MII program has a $5.8 million budget for FY 2015.

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) is the go-to source for entrepreneurial support and guidance for start-ups and early-stage companies engaged in bringing innovative ideas to market. For more than a decade, the organization has provided funding, mentoring and networking opportunities to support Maryland’s innovation ecosystem. While founded by the Maryland General Assembly, TEDCO is an independent entity that makes seed/early-stage investments and manages private capital for angel and venture capital funds. It is frequently ranked as one of the most active seed/early-stage investors in the nation. The organization plays a key role in bringing research created in Maryland’s educational institutions and federal laboratories into the commercial marketplace. For more information on TEDCO and its programs and resources, visit

# # #