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Baltimore region making bid to become country's next big tech hub

Baltimore region making bid to become country's next big tech hub
Baltimore region making bid to become country's next big tech hub 02:24

BALTIMORE -- When you think of the tech industry, most often think of Silicon Valley in California. But now, there's an initiative to turn the Baltimore region into the next big tech hub.

The Greater Baltimore Committee, or GBC, is helping lead the charge to get the region a federal tech hub designation. It's part of a new federal program looking to develop the tech industry in 20 regions

If it happens, it means the region would get a slice of $10 billion.

GBC, as well as members of a 38-member consortium part of the effort, gathered at Morgan State University Thursday to talk about what they plan to do with the funds.

There's a lot of words to describe the excitement over this opportunity, but 'game changer' came up a lot.

Pothik Chatterjee, GBC's chief economic officer, said in the application, the focus was on the intersection of AI and biotechnology.

Chatterjee adds the region has a lot of what's needed to succeed in that arena already.

"We have the AI and biotech companies that are already growing in our region," he said. "Connected with universities like Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland."

The consortium is made up of businesses, colleges and universities, as well as local governments. Together they helped create a plan that would create technology aimed at improving health outcomes, like developing new medicines and therapies.

GBC estimates it would create an economic impact of $4.2 billion by 2030, as well as create 52,000 jobs.

"This funding would allow us to really catalyze that innovation, grow the companies and keep them in our region. Keep the talent in our region and attract more tech companies to move here," Chatterjee said.

This is all about developing a diverse tech workforce, too. Fearless, a tech firm that's one of the largest minority-owned businesses in the region, is particularly ready to help with that endeavor.

"We are actually being intentional about closing the gap, that's something we rarely see. Not just the idea, the ideation, [we're looking to create] what the actual implementation [looks like] of getting to a more diverse workforce," said Fearless' chief impact officer, John Foster.

GBC filed the application last week. It expects to hear back about it in September.

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