Gov. Hogan hosts Maryland business summit in Baltimore

Gov. Larry Hogan told a gathering of 700 business leaders Thursday that the state's economy "is stronger than it's been in more than a decade" and that the state is developing a new strategy to speed growth in cybersecurity, biohealth and life sciences.

Hogan delivered the remarks at the inaugural "Business Summit 17" at the downtown Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel. The day-long economic development conference is being hosted by the Maryland Marketing Partnership, a state initiative to market the state's assets and encourage business growth.

Hogan said Maryland has added nearly 100,000 jobs since January 2015.

"We said we were going to help our businesses grow, put more Marylanders to work, and turn our economy around, and we have been doing exactly what we said we would do," he told the executives from around the state.

The governor announced an economic development initiative called Excel Maryland that he said will focus on "some of the sectors where Maryland is already leading, including life sciences and cybersecurity industries."

Under the plan, state agencies, universities and private sector representatives will explore an enhanced climate for start-ups and industry growth.

A steering committee is to be led by Susan Windham Bannister, the former CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which supports research and development. The committee is co-chaired by Bob Caret, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, and Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University.

A report will be produced by the end of August that Hogan said will offer a "roadmap" for the industries' growth.

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