Taylor hopes to lure biotech firms to region

December 05, 1998|By LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. announced plans Friday to bring together Washington County and three other counties to boost biotechnology in the region.

During the legislative session that begins in January, Taylor wants to examine what Washington, Allegany, Frederick and Montgomery counties have to offer biotech companies doing research, product development and manufacturing.

The region will collectively pursue marketing and business development between themselves and with the state to address the specific needs of government facilities, nonprofit organizations and biotech companies, he said.

With cooperation, the region will be in a better position to address a biotech company's requirements as it moves from researching to selling its products.


"Maryland and the western region of the state have tremendous assets in the biotechnology arena. We need to look toward the future and position ourselves to meet the changing needs of an industry that will enhance growth and prosperity," he said.

Taylor made the announcement with Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan.

Maryland has more than 250 biotechnology companies, making it one of the nation's top biotech centers along with California and Massachusetts.

By the year 2000, U.S. companies will have invested $50 billion in commercial biotechnology applications, Taylor said.

John C. Howard, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, could not be reached for comment Friday.

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