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Economics / Universities

UMBC eyes major expansion at research and technology park

And the state is providing help — bwtech@UMBC got a designation that's designed to help grow the innovation economy.

Outside bwtech@UMBC. (Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Scott218, used under a Creative Commons license)

UMBC officials are planning to add new space at the research and technology park adjacent to the Catonsville campus over the next two to five years.
Up to 100,000 additional square feet for tech companies could be added at the south campus of bwtech@UMBC, said Gregory Simmons, UMBC’s VP of Institutional Advancement.
The research park houses an incubator and office space for cybersecurity companies, as well as lab space for life sciences and a clean energy incubator. It’s currently at capacity, Simmons said. Officials are weighing options to grow including constructing a new building or expanding existing space.
“A RISE Zone designation will allow us to continue to attract partners to assist with additional research park development,” UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski said in a statement.
On Monday, the university received a designation from the state that will make businesses at bwtech@UMBC eligible for hiring and property incentives. All 71 acres of the tech park are now a Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise Zone (RISE) Zone.
The zone is designed to spur job creation around research institutions. For companies, it grants tax credits of $1,000 per new employee or $6,000 for a new economically disadvantaged employee, said Mark Vulcan, program manager for tax incentives at the Maryland Department of Commerce. The incentives are available for companies that move into the area, as well those that are already located at bwtech.
For development, property tax credits of 50 percent on the increase of the tax assessments for the first year and then 10 percent for each of the four subsequent years are also available, Vulcan said.
The designation lasts for five years, but can be extended.
The economic development tool was passed into state law in 2014, and it’s also being used as expansion plans are being laid out at University of Maryland campus in Baltimore.
“I think it’s really clear that the state is trying to provide resources to universities and entrepreneurs to really strengthen and grow the economy,” Simmons said.

Companies: bwtech@UMBC

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