ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Wes Moore this week announced a partnership between the Maryland Department of Commerce, the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore, and L Marks, a leading global innovation specialist with a presence in the United Kingdom, to create the new Maryland Innovation Lab.
The first-of-its-kind in the U.S., the lab will help Maryland companies thrive by matching them with global technology companies to bring new innovations to life and spur global investment in the state.
“When talented people come together to solve big problems, great things can happen. The Maryland Innovation Lab will help us address pressing challenges by connecting companies in our state with companies around the world willing to share their expertise,” said Gov. Moore. “L Marks and the World Trade Center Institute know the power of partnership, and their contributions to this initiative will keep Maryland’s economy competitive and drive investment in our communities.”
The Maryland Innovation Lab is an initiative of the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Global Gateway Program. The lab will kick off this summer within Maryland’s sustainable food sector to address challenges in food packaging and logistics, supply chain, and distribution. The program will focus on a different industry sector every time a new cohort is convened.
“We are excited to work with L Marks and the World Trade Center Institute to kick off the new Maryland Innovation Lab,” said Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson. “Through this partnership, we will be able to support Maryland’s strategic industries and drive innovative solutions for our companies while also attracting new foreign investment to the state.”
L Marks will select global companies to pitch solutions to Maryland companies that are selected by the World Trade Center Institute. When companies are matched, they will spend 10 weeks working together. As part of the program, global companies will also have the opportunity to explore Maryland for a possible location or expansion.
“We are delighted to host Governor Wes Moore in London and announce the new partnership with World Trade Center Institute,” said Daniel Saunders, L Marks Chief Executive Officer. “This joint initiative between L Marks and WTCI, supported by the Department of Commerce, will strengthen the business relationship between the UK and Maryland, increase industry innovation in the State of Maryland, and support and grow the local business ecosystem.”
During his first international trade mission, Governor Moore also met with executives from Plexal, another innovation company that partners with government, startups, and industry to solve society’s challenges through collaboration. Plexal announced an agreement to join the Maryland Global Gateway program as the seventh official exchange partner and the first in the U.K. The company has a separate agreement with DreamPort, a cyber innovation, collaboration, and prototyping facility in Howard County.
This exchange agreement will provide companies from the U.K. with a “soft landing” in Maryland and Maryland companies with opportunities to explore the market in the U.K. Goldilock, a U.K. cybersecurity company that has participated in Plexal’s accelerator programs, also announced plans to locate at DreamPort this fall through the Maryland Global Gateway program.