State to focus on technology, life sciences

November 21, 1991|By David Conn | David Conn,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun

ANNAPOLIS -- Two broadly defined "clusters" of industries -- life sciences and information technologies -- will be the new focus of economic planning by the state, according to Maryland's chief economic development officer.

Mark L. Wasserman, secretary of the economic and employment development, told a House committee yesterday that his department will coordinate all of its various employment and development activities to help those industry groupings that provide the greatest promise for growth in employment and the tax base.

"I think we, in the way we operate DEED, ought to apply greater emphasis to the industrial clusters that seem to provide the greatest opportunity for Maryland's economy," Mr. Wasserman told members of the House Economic Matters Committee in unveiling DEED's new economic development plan, called "Bursting the Boundaries."

The two "clusters," as Mr. Wasserman is defining them, together employ almost half a million people, or about 20 percent of the state's work force. They include 13 of the 20 industries that are predicted to grow the most quickly in the next 10 years, he said.

Mr. Wasserman's strategy advances on the Greater Baltimore Committee's ideas of making Central Maryland a life sciences-driven economy, and he urged the lawmakers to continue to invest in technology-driven projects, such as the Maryland Bioprocessing Center and the Maryland Information Technologies Center.

While roughly half of the state's 4,000 manufacturers would be included in the two industry groupings, Mr. Wasserman said that a development strategy for the next century cannot ignore the rest of the Maryland economy, including construction and tourism, and the needs of the economically distressed areas of the state.

Tomorrow's economy?

Life sciences cluster (biomedical, health, environment)


Air, water and waste processing equipment

Laboratory equipment

Environmental controls

Medical instruments and supplies

Wholesalers of medical, hospital, ophthalmic goods

Drug and optical goods retailers

Health insurance and government financing

Medical equipment rental

Health services

Environmental consultants

Software developers

Membership organizations in health, medical, environmental and biological research fields

Research organizations and testing laboratories

Information technologies cluster (telecommunications, computer hardware and software, printing, avionics)

Communications equipment and services

Electronic components and accessories

Magnetic and optical recording media

Search, detection, navigation, guidance, aeronautical and nautical systems and equipment

Industrial equipment

Research and testing organizations

Computer hardware

Computer software

Printing and related machinery and chemicals

Wholesalers of computers, industrial machinery and supplies, electronic parts, paper goods and books

Computer and software retailers

Computer and data processing services

Government space research and technology

Membership organizations

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