Md. needs to focus more on research and development

May 26, 2010

The article "Fighting to be Made in the USA" (May 20) is another wakeup call for policymakers who want to create jobs for Marylanders. On the one hand, state and local government leaders work to create jobs, on the other, good-paying jobs in manufacturing get exported as we allow our manufacturing base to erode. The future of Maryland manufacturing is in developing next generation manufacturing with customer-focused innovation. Such innovation is directly tied to research and development.

The state of Maryland spends millions on research, and Maryland is a national showcase for research and development because of the number and kind of federal and university research centers in the state. This is good, but we need to connect that R&D to Maryland's manufacturing base, today and tomorrow.

Public policy is needed to spend more research dollars on new product development in manufacturing; ensure adequate financing to make those products in Maryland; and create more manufacturing companies in Maryland with good paying jobs.

The Regional Manufacturing Institute has teamed up with the University of Maryland, Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute and service providers across the state to advance next generation manufacturing through the Maryland Manufacturing Partnership (MMP). MMP promotes the rapid commercialization of R&D that leads to the expansion of manufacturing in Maryland. The formula for policy makers and economic development leaders to follow is simple. Innovation and research lead to new product development that leads to manufacturing growth and good paying manufacturing jobs in Maryland.

Michael Galiazzo, Sparks

The writer is president of the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland.

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