Battelle Memorial Institute, an Ohio-based high-technology employer, will open a $40 million operations center near Aberdeen, expected to bring as many as 300 scientific and technical jobs to Harford County by 2003, Battelle confirmed yesterday.
The move -- to be announced in Harford County today by Gov. Parris N. Glendening, along with county and Battelle officials -- will tighten Battelle's ties with Aberdeen Proving Ground, where the company is a subcontractor.
"Our businesses are closely tied to Aberdeen Proving Ground," said Katy Delaney, a spokeswoman for Battelle. "We've found that when we are located closer to our clients, things run much smoother."
Battelle, based in Columbus and with 60 locations worldwide and 8,000 employees, is a wide-ranging technology development and management company that works with government and private industry.
The company -- which has an annual "business volume" of $958 million, according to its Web site -- has developed products ranging from pharmaceuticals to office copier machines.
It also operates the Chemical and Biological Defense Information Analysis Center, a clearinghouse for Department of Defense scientific and technical information.
Company and local government officials declined to discuss specifics yesterday about Battelle's new Eastern Regional Technology Operation Center project, to be located at the county's Higher Education and Applied Technology (HEAT) Center on Route 22 near Aberdeen.
But Richard C. "Mike" Lewin, secretary of Business and Economic Development for the state, said officials have worked with Battelle for the past five months to bring the research company to Harford.
"We're thrilled with the result," Lewin said yesterday. "Battelle is an extremely high quality company, and its commitment to the community is phenomenal."
Lewin cited Harford's quality of life, location just off Interstate 95 and proximity to APG as major draws for Battelle.
As part of his electoral campaign last year, Harford County Executive James M. Harkins vowed to form a "Route 40 technology corridor" with hopes of revitalizing areas such as Edgewood and Aberdeen by capitalizing on their proximity to APG.
The $4 million, 11,000-square-foot HEAT center, which is overseen by Harford Community College, was opened in August 1995 to offer upper-level degree programs and conference and training sites for local businesses, as well as to serve as a site for high-tech businesses.
James Mason, a spokesman for the Harford County government, said officials are working hard to integrate education and business as a way of matching companies with highly skilled employees.
"We want to meet the needs of our citizens," Mason said. "We have a very well educated work force."
Tom Sadowski, the county director of economic development, said attracting technology companies to Harford County is among the administration's highest economic development priorities.
Pub Date: 9/22/99