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Maryland is piloting the $10M ‘Build Our Future’ grant program

This grant program is an extension of legislation passed earlier this year and could represent a continuance to solidify Maryland as a hub for technology.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore speaks at a Maryland Board of Public Works meeting on Oct. 4, 2023. (Courtesy Executive Office of the Governor of Maryland/Pat Siebert)

Gov. Wes Moore has initiated a financial program aimed at supporting innovation infrastructure projects within eligible technology sectors.

The Build Our Future grant program is a pilot program that has been infused with $10 million in state funding. The state Dept. of Commerce plans to offer matching grants of up to $2 million to projects that demonstrate the potential to drive growth and innovation in the state’s strategic industry sectors.

“From cybersecurity and manufacturing to quantum and drug discovery, we believe the Build Our Future pilot program will contribute to the growth of Maryland’s innovative industries,” Moore said in a news release. “Our goal is to create a more competitive and equitable Maryland by investing in the advanced technology facilities that the future workforce will depend on.”

The state Dept. of Commerce will evaluate projects “based on how they support innovation in the specific technology sector,” said Roger Venezia, director of operations and special projects for the Dept. of Commerce, in an email to Technical.ly. “We are seeking projects that can be transformative for that sector and help fill gaps in the sector’s ecosystem.”

Eligible recipients of the grants could be private companies, nonprofits, local governments, and educational institutions or projects focused or involved in biotechnology, cybersecurity, specialized workforce training and more, according to the site for the funding initiative.

Applicants for grants less than $1 million will have to provide matches of at least 200% of the proposed grant amount, and applicants seeking grants for more than $1 million will have to provide matches of at least 400% of the proposed grant amount, Venezia said.

The program has roots in The Innovation Economy Infrastructure Act of 2023, a legislative development from this year’s session.

The Innovation Economy Infrastructure Act requires the Dept. of Commerce to report to the governor and the General Assembly on the projects funded through Build Our Future by summer 2026.

Applications are being accepted starting on Oct. 16. Applicants should be prepared to detail the impact of an intended project on advancing innovation and growth in targeted industry sectors in Maryland and must also maintain good standing with the state through the Dept. of Assessments and Taxation.

For those interested there’s a webinar coming up on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Companies: State of Maryland

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