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The state’s international business push is continuing with a new trade office in the United Kingdom, and cybersecurity is seen as a key to the growth.
The state announced that it is opening a trade office in London for the purpose of creating a new beachhead to engage with international partners. One big goal will be “enhancing Maryland’s global reach in cybersecurity,” Maryland Secretary of Commerce Mike Gill said in a statement.
The words are backed up operationally. The office is being funded through a grant from the state Commerce Department to bwtech@UMBC’s recently launched iCyberCenter. As we reported in June, that incubator program was set up to provide international companies a landing point and resources in Maryland.
Since then, we’ve heard from Canadian company Plurilock, which was accepted into the iCyberCenter. The company’s platform uses biometrics to identify people by the way they use a keyboard or mouse. It’s designed to be a layer of security above passwords. CEO Ian Paterson said the company recently landed its second federal contract, and is looking to grow that side of the business with the Baltimore office.
“We were looking for a presence largely because of our federal practice,” Paterson said. “We felt Baltimore, particularly just because of the geography, made sense.”
With the trade office, iCyberCenter staff are helping the state expand outside the borders as well. Former UK cyber envoy Andy Williams, who was recently hired as director of the center, will head up the trade office.
“Maryland represents a huge opportunity for overseas defense and cybersecurity companies seeking to establish a presence in the U.S. market,” Williams said in a statement.
The new trade office comes after Gov. Larry Hogan visited the U.K. and saw a memorandum of understanding signed between the state and Midlands Engine, which is a center of cybersecurity for the U.K.