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.
Life sciences cluster (biomedical, health, environment)
Air, water and waste processing equipment
Medical instruments and supplies
Wholesalers of medical, hospital, ophthalmic goods
Drug and optical goods retailers
Health insurance and government financing
Medical equipment rental
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
Research and testing organizations
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