September 22, 2017

CSM Grows Innovation, Tech Opportunities

CSM Grows Innovation, Tech Opportunities

Maryland’s Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford has announced funding for the College of Southern Maryland to expand innovation and technology opportunities in the region.

Mr. Rutherford visited CSM’s Leonardtown Campus on Aug. 2 to announce that CSM, along with Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, College Park, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Commerce, have endowed $8.6 million in three new research professorships.

The endowments were made through the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative, a state program created to spur basic and applied research in scientific and technical fields at the state’s colleges and universities. CSM is the first community college to receive this award.

CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy visits with Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford at the Leonardtown Campus on Aug. 2 before Rutherford announced that CSM, along with Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, College Park, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Commerce, have endowed $8.6 million in three new research professorships through the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative.

“The College of Southern Maryland is honored to be among the three institutions in Maryland to be awarded this endowed matching fund,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “These funds will allow the college to create a more sustainable and vibrant innovation ecosystem through public-private partnerships that support and impact the critical and innovative research being conducted at the Navy research labs in Southern Maryland. The Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute will not only support technology transfer initiatives, but will also enhance the regional and state economic and workforce development expansion.”

Through the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative, CSM received $500,000 to support the college’s Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute and the expertise required to expand CSM’s technology transfer curriculum; research and identify regional technology transfer opportunities; instill entrepreneurial skills among students, government scientists, and businesses; and expand the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and workforce.

The funding will be used by CSM to attract and retain world-class instructors to grow the current innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem at a newly envisioned Velocity Center. CSM’s Velocity Center will provide resources for a variety of activities related to entrepreneurship, innovation, and workforce development and retention. The initial facility will grow to be 20,000-plus square feet, with space suitable for a prototyping facility, classrooms, open space, offices, conference rooms, room for co-working space, and other amenities.

“This is truly transformational,” Dr. Murphy said. “It says something. This is our time in Southern Maryland.”

The idea of the Velocity Center aligns with the strategic plans of the region’s naval bases — Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC/IHEODTD); the Naval Air Warfare Center – Aircraft Division (NAWC/AD); the Chesapeake Bay Detachment of the US Naval Research Laboratory; and the Maryland Economic Development Commission and Southern Maryland Economic Development plan.

“The MEI program leverages private funds raised by our very active foundation board,” said Michelle Goodwin, executive director of the CSM Foundation. “In this case, our largest contributor being Michael Chiaramonte, president and chairman of ProFlex Physical Therapy among other business ventures. The money will be endowed by the CSM Foundation and the interest earned will support the EII and its Velocity Center initiative.”

“The Velocity Center will serve a purpose for attracting students but also world-class professors. The goal is to bring in more scholars to the school and the surrounding area,” EII Director Tommy Luginbill said.

The vision for the center is to give CSM students the opportunity to take courses in a world-class facility surrounded by some of the brightest research scientists in the country. “This will give students a chance to see how their skills can be applied outside the classroom and open their eyes to opportunities that exist here in Southern Maryland,” Mr. Luginbill said. “We plan on building a robotics practice course where the CSM Talons [the college’s competitive robotics team] can hold showcases for teams all around the country.”

“Maryland boasts some of the top academic institutions in the world,” Mr. Rutherford said in his announcement about the MEI funding. “We are proud to support the groundbreaking work these schools are doing, from drug discovery research to cybersecurity, to ensure both our local businesses and our residents are the first to benefit from these inspiring academic achievements.”

“The College of Southern Maryland, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Maryland, College Park are significant economic drivers for the entire state of Maryland,” said Commerce Secretary Mike Gill in a press announcement. “The research they conduct and the bright young minds they nurture fuel Maryland’s economy and keep our state on the cutting edge of technology and discovery. We are proud to partner with these institutions and look forward to seeing the fruits of the professorships for years to come.”

Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, center, announced the award of $500,000 to CSM through the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative. Joining Lt. Gov. Rutherford were CSM Director of Strategic Partnerships Barbara Ives, CSM Foundation First Vice Chair Kim Rosenfield, CSM Foundation Chair Nancy Hempstead, CSM Trustee Chair Ted Harwood, CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy, Rutherford, CSM Director of Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute Tommy Luginbill, Indian Head Mayor Brandon Paulin, Calvert County Commissioner Evan K. Slaughenhoupt Jr., Maryland Del. Deb Rey, Maryland Del. Matt Morgan, and St. Mary’s Commissioner Todd B. Morgan.

Johns Hopkins University received $1 million from the MEI, which will be used for the Charles Glenn Grover Estate for Advanced Muscular Degeneration to further explore drug therapies for advanced muscular degeneration. The University of Maryland, College Park received $2.1 million for the Capital One Chair in Machine Learning and Computer Science, which will support cybersecurity, machine learning, and data analytics research.

Earlier in the afternoon, before the MEI announcement, Rutherford toured CSM’s new robotics and electrical labs that have been updated through funding received by Dominion Energy. Assistant professor Byron Brezina with CSM’s Math, Physics, and Engineering Division led the tour.

Mr. Brezina described CSM’s connections with Dominion Energy, noting the internships and hiring opportunities there, as well as other CSM partnerships with the region’s Navy research labs, connections that will be strengthened through the development of the Velocity Center in Indian Head.

The CSM labs that Mr. Rutherford toured support the college’s redesigned Engineering Technology AAS program. The program prepares CSM students for technician careers in a broad range of fields. Many CSM students are being hired for drafting positions by contractors for Patuxent River Naval Air Station and area construction firms, with these employers expressing high satisfaction with their CSM hires, Mr. Brezina said.

For information about CSM’s Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute, click here.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Leader member page.

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