By LUCAS HIGH
ANNAPOLIS—Gov. Martin OMalley and members of the states Federal Facilities Advisory Board released a report Thursday that among other things suggests Maryland increase its partnerships with the states many federal installations to promote cyber business innovation.
The report spells out a series of recommendations that Maryland can use to spur job creation, innovation and economic growth.
Our federal facilities are a huge part of what makes us a competitive state, OMalley said.
Major federal installations, many of which employ thousands of Marylanders, include the National Institutes of Health, NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center, the National Security Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and the Social Security Administration.
No other state in the nation has greater collaboration with the federal government, said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the Federal Facilities Advisory Board.
This collaboration, combined with Marylands proximity to Washington, has helped the state nurture thriving private sector industries like biotech and cyber security, Kelly said.
OMalley stressed the importance of federal facilities role in Marylands economic recovery, saying that too often people regard these installations as traffic annoyances rather than the huge job generators they are.
The federal government employs more than 300,000 Marylanders who contribute $27.3 billion to the states economy, according to the governors office.
The Federal Facilities Advisory Boards 19 members were appointed by OMalley in 2010, and tasked with surveying Marylands federal assets in order to develop the recommendations presented in the report.
In addition to promoting high-tech innovation, the report suggests expediting infrastructure projects that involve partnerships with the federal government, as well as streamlining the permit review process for private sector companies seeking federal contracts.
The report also recommends that Maryland work with colleges and universities to train qualified workers with the specific skills the federal government needs.
In addition, OMalley vowed to devote more resources to move ideas out of (university) labs and into the marketplace in order to spark innovation and growth in Marylands high-tech business community.