The Johns Hopkins Gazette: November 9, 1998
Nov. 9, 1998
VOL. 28, NO. 11


University Looks To Expand Economic Development Role

Statewide effort to be led by Jim Brady, former Maryland DBED secretary

Dennis O'Shea

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Jim Brady (pictured at right), former secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, has agreed to help the university find ways to intensify its impact as a major force for economic development throughout Maryland. In his new consulting role, Brady will travel the state to speak with leaders of business and industry and seek out new opportunities for closer collaboration between Hopkins and the private sector.

"Jim's extensive knowledge of Maryland businesses will help him identify potential matches between the needs of the business community and the resources of the university," President William R. Brody said. "His work, along with the results of several internal studies we're doing, will help Hopkins to focus on areas that could be of special importance to the economies of Baltimore, the region and the entire state."

Johns Hopkins University is the largest private-sector employer in Baltimore and, in combination with Johns Hopkins Health System, the largest in the state. A 1996 study showed the university injects nearly $2.5 billion annually into the state's economy. It already works closely with many Maryland businesses on research, technology transfer and many other projects.

"This university is one of the powerful engines turning the gears of Maryland's strong, healthy economy," Brody said. "But we think that engine can be revved up considerably. Doing that will be good for Maryland, its businesses, their workers, and, not least of all, it will be good for Johns Hopkins, too."

Brady will begin work immediately and tentatively plans to spend four months on the project.

"Johns Hopkins is a unique resource for the state of Maryland and the entire region," Brady said. "I welcome the opportunity to assist in the development of strategies that can enhance the impact that this extraordinary institution can have on future state and regional economic growth.

"My experiences in the private and public sectors give me great confidence that more effective collaboration between Johns Hopkins and the business community is achievable and must be an important component of our ongoing strategic efforts."

Brady's research will run in parallel with an internal study of university resources that are, or could be, used in support of Maryland business and industry. The results will influence long-range academic planning now under way in several of the university's schools and divisions and master planning projects on all Hopkins campuses.

Brady was secretary of DBED from May 1995 to April 1998, when he resigned. He focused the department more directly on economic development issues and worked closely with the Economic Development Commission, a largely private-sector effort, to create Maryland's first statewide strategic plan for economic development. Prior to joining the administration of Gov. Parris Glendening, he spent 33 years with Arthur Anderson LLP, the last 17 as managing partner of the Long Island or Baltimore offices.

Hopkins already works closely with many Maryland-based companies on a wide variety of projects. A few examples:

Fourteen Maryland companies have been created to commercialize research from the School of Medicine. One recent startup, Brassica Protection Products of Baltimore, is selling broccoli sprouts rich in a chemical shown to reduce the risk of cancer. Another, MetaMorphix Inc. of Baltimore, is developing molecules that may be used to treat muscle-wasting conditions in humans. In all, including the 14 startups, the School of Medicine has 42 active technology licensing agreements with 27 Maryland-based companies, including Life Technologies Inc. of Rockville, Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Baltimore and Oncor Inc. of Gaithersburg.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is running a $108 million NASA project to build, launch and operate a research satellite called FUSE, the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. Maryland companies working with Hopkins on the project are Orbital Sciences Corp. in Germantown, Swales Aerospace in Beltsville, Interface Control Systems in Columbia and AlliedSignal Tech.

The schools of Continuing Studies and Medicine have joined Baltimore-based Caliber Learning Network Inc. to make the Hopkins Business of Medicine program available through distance learning technology to physicians nationwide.

The Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth is working with Sylvan Learning Systems of Baltimore to pilot a computerized version of the SAT.

Working closely with the state, Montgomery County and the company, Hopkins attracted Human Genome Sciences Inc. to the university's Belward Research Park near Rockville. The company's new plant there is nearing completion.