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10 October 2017

Maryland duo unveils partnerships

The seven programs, formed between two University of Maryland institutions, UMB and UMCP, include a commercialisation vehicle for high-potential spinouts.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) formed a US-based commercialisation vehicle called Centre for Maryland Advanced Ventures (CMav) on Friday to build out high-potential discoveries.

University entrepreneurs will be offered grants to develop their spinouts and access resources such as staffing, facilities and equipment. The program will be based at UMB under executive director James Hughes, who is director of the two universities' tech transfer office UM Ventures.

UMB and UMCP also founded the University of Maryland Centre for Economic and Entrepreneurship Development (UMCeed), which will be hosted at UMCP. UMCeed focuses on research in the neuroscience, virtual and augmented reality, biomedical devices, data analytics and cybersecurity ecosystems.

CMav and UMCeed were among seven programs unveiled under the pair's MPowering the State funding initiative. The duo first joined forces in 2012, before their collaboration gained legal weight from Maryland state through the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act of 2016.

According to UM Ventures, UMB and UMCP generated 20 spinouts during the 2016 financial year, twice as many as were founded during 2015.

The other five joint programs now established under MPowering the State are:

  • The Maryland Blended Reality Centre, a development hub for virtual and augmented reality, using UMCP’s expertise in advanced computing and visual capacity, and UMB for clinical data, biomedical care and patient care.
  • The Opioid Use Disorders project, which will harness UMB's and UMCP’s preclinical and clinical policy expertise to address the opioid epidemic in Maryland and the wider US.
  • The Health and Informatics and Data Science partnership, which will introduce a health informatics unit within UMCP’s Information Science bachelor degree, as well as other potential improvements to educate health informatics professionals.
  • The Centre of Excellence in Cochlear Implants, a collaboration aimed at further developing electronic devices called cochlear implants, which are designed to replace damaged functions of the inner ear.
  • The Policing Partnership, which will look to strengthen the relationship between local police forces and residents while providing further research, education and business opportunities in the field.

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