The Maryland Department of Commerce inked an agreement to team up with economic leaders in the U.K.’s Midlands region on life sciences work.
At this week’s BIO 2019 conference in Philly, Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schulz signed a memorandum of understanding with Midlands Engine, which is a coalition of leaders focused on economic development in central England.
The two regions are looking to combine strengths: Maryland is home to a base of institutions and 2,300 companies in life sciences, while Midlands Engine is home to the largest number of medical technology and medical device companies in the U.K., according to the groups.
“Today’s agreement with Midlands Engine will strengthen our respective life sciences sectors, and spur economic growth in both the U.K. and Maryland,” Schulz said in a statement. “Maryland and Midlands Engine share many strengths, and this MoU will open up new opportunities for companies in both regions to partner and share best practices.”
With the three-year agreement, they plan to share knowledge, as well as collaborate on assisting companies in both areas and attracting investment.
They also plan to form an exchange program, where companies from Midlands will visit Maryland to explore the U.S. market, and Maryland companies will have a chance to visit Midlands. That will build on efforts including a delegation of Maryland companies that visited the Midlands region in March. This week, 10 companies from the U.K. will visit companies, healthcare and universities in the state.
The Department of Commerce has looked internationally as part of economic development efforts, and Midlands has emerged as an area of interest. In 2017, the state also signed an MOU with the region around cybersecurity.