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NASA Enters Agreement to Attract High-Tech Companies to Maryland
In the future, the Maryland state motto could become "To Boldly Go" with some of NASA's forthcoming exploration efforts having a very home-grown feel.

Officials from NASA have entered into an agreement with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) to attract high-technology companies to the state.

Also designed to foster growth of new technology start-up companies with skills specific to NASA’s technology needs, the agreement enables collaboration between NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and DBED. The mutually beneficial agreement will help bolster economic growth in the state while helping to support NASA’s numerous missions.

According to GSFC officials, the agreement will help supplement the Center’s research skills by facilitating technical exchanges with local organizations to study new aerospace trends, methods, and challenges that may benefit NASA missions.

"DBED can certainly help us bolster the skills and expertise at Goddard by bringing technology collaborators with similar research interests to the state," said Nona Cheeks, Chief of GSFC’s Office of Technology Transfer (OTT). And by leveraging local technical labor and education resources, GSFC may also strengthen its strategic technical advantage.

The State of Maryland stands to reap significant benefits from the agreement as well. With a strong interest in stimulating local economic growth, DBED can leverage collaboration with GSFC to demonstrate educational, financial, and business resources that technology companies require. "We can help each other,” said Cheeks. “DBED can help us find scientists in industry that may help us further our missions. And at the same time, by demonstrating the need for those researchers in Maryland, we can help DBED meet some of its economic milestones."

DBED Deputy Secretary Chris Foster was equally enthusiastic about the agreement. According to Foster: “The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is a critical component of Maryland’s internationally recognized technology and space based industry. The increased partnership between the state and NASA provides Governor Ehrlich with another tool to sell Maryland in the global marketplace. This agreement will help to ensure that NASA and the Goddard Space Flight Center will continue to be one of the state’s most important scientific, technological and economic partners.

To achieve these goals, the agreement calls for the two organizations to collaboratively develop outreach programs, workshops, and other meetings related to GSFC’s technology needs. GSFC will also provide DBED with information related to its facilities and technological expertise that will be of interest to technology companies. In turn, DBED will facilitate collaboration between GSFC researchers and regional labs, as well as academic and business organizations, to develop joint technology ventures.

The agreement was facilitated by GSFC’s OTT, a goal of which is to transfer technology into and out of NASA for use in the space program and beyond to benefit industry and other organizations.

For more information about Goddard’s technology transfer program, visit:
+ Tech Transfer website

For more information about DBED and its programs visit:

+ Choose Maryland website

Ed Campion
Goddard Space Flight Center