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Maryland is growing its GDP [Letter]

A recent editorial ("Maryland's stagnant economy," June 12) and news article ("A bumpy year for Maryland's economy," June 15) made some valid points about Maryland's economy but overlooked much of the work done in recent years to expand new and emerging pillars of the state's job base. The editorial suggested that Maryland pursue "a blended approach where a sector with enormous growth potential like cybersecurity … is cultivated not only by government-funded organizations like the National Security Agency at Fort Meade and Maryland's research universities but by fostering private investment and entrepreneurship, start-ups and business incubators." That describes exactly the tack the O'Malley-Brown administration has taken for several years.

In fact, since 2007, we have aggressively positioned Maryland as a leader in cybersecurity, life sciences, space science and advanced manufacturing. Working hand-in-hand with corporate leaders, educators and other partners, we have developed strategic plans to grow these industries while investing in the state's infrastructure. Led by Gov. Martin O'Malley, we've put in place programs and policies like InvestMaryland, which is investing $84 million in the state's most promising companies while attracting new innovators to the state, and the Maryland Innovation Initiative, which created a historic partnership between the state and its research universities to advance cutting-edge research to the commercial marketplace.

We've also expanded both the Biotechnology Investment tax credit, which has helped leverage more than $100 million in private investment for the biotech industry, and the Research and Development Tax Credit and created a new Cybersecurity tax credit to help fuel our growing cyber industry. These strategies have led the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to rank Maryland the top state for innovation and entrepreneurship for three years running.

Maryland is a hive of innovation — in cybersecurity, life sciences and the other high-tech, high-growth sectors that make up the core of our modern economy. Together with Maryland's leading education system, highly skilled workers, dynamic private sector and gutsy entrepreneurs, we're investing in an economy that will compete with any in the world for generations to come.

Dominick Murray, Baltimore

The writer is secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

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