Aris Melissaratos -- Public-Private Partnerships: Maryland’s Technology Weapons

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Editor's Note: This is one in a series of articles in Corridor Inc.'s "Economic Impact" issue, which was published this month. Click here to sign up to receive a complimentary copy of the entire print issue.

By Aris Melissaratos

Technology is the past, the present, and the future of the Corridor, and in fact, of all corridors. Technology, in this sense, includes an educated tech-savvy workforce, a supportive business climate and a population willing to accept change and growth without creating too many barriers to progress.

In the case of the 95 Corridor, from Aberdeen to Washington, D.C., it was Maryland’s technology reputation and the demonstrated ability of our leadership and workforce to rise to new challenges of applications and development of the latest scientific discoveries that helped us achieve the success of the 2005 base realignment and closure (BRAC) process. It was demonstrated to the BRAC commission that Maryland, above all other states, knew what it took to achieve ‘initial operational capability,’ i.e. to bring technology to our war fighters faster than anyone else.

We had the experience through the achievements of Westinghouse and Northrop Grumman, through the achievements of Lockheed Martin, and through the achievements of the entire core of corporations that support the National Security Agency at Fort Meade. We could speak from a position of strength that convinced the BRAC commission members that we could accept the challenge of assimilating a whole new workforce and complementing the new workforce with fresh talent from our higher education system and our highly rated public school systems at every level.

So the BRAC success was built on a technology foundation, and it will now translate to a whole new generation of technologies that will be developed in electronic counter measures, in secure communications, in intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, in information assurance and cybersecurity, and in all of the latest applications of technology to both the military and civilian healthcare initiatives that our aging demographic demands. Technology past yields today’s technology, and grows tomorrow’s technology future.

As the region assimilates the 60,000 or so jobs that BRAC will bring here, and as our educational institutions rise to the challenge of training and retraining the new workforce and the existing workforce to support the demands of the new BRAC tenants in the region, we will be creating the technologies of the future. We will rise to demonstrate, to the nation and the world, that this region has the basic fundamental strengths in human resources in technology, research, development and application to outshine all others in contributing to the future well-being of the region, the nation and the world.

Aris Melissaratos is Special Advisor for Enterprise Development to the President of Johns Hopkins University.
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