CSM’s tech programs look to leap into future
Lt. governor announces $500,000 to urge collaboration with community, military
The College of Southern Maryland is leap-frogging into the future by offering students and community members the opportunity to learn skills useful for cybersecurity and other research that may be beneficial to the U.S. Department of Defense and the Navy.
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R) announced Wednesday the partnership among the three colleges raised a total of $5 million, and the state department approved matching grants of $3.6 million.
The community college system received $500,000 from the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative, a state program created to encourage basic and applied research in scientific and technical fields at the colleges and universities. Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, College Park also received funding for drug discovery and technology research from the state program, according to a release.
CSM’s E-Nnvation funds will be used at the Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute, an initiative that supports the college and their existing technology transfer activities, students, local businesses, and federal researchers at Patuxent River Naval Air Station as well as the Velocity Center at Indian Head.
The specific initiatives will focus on training and education, technology commercialization, workspace for startups, and the growth and establishment of businesses and their resources for local companies, CSM President Maureen Murphy said at the announcement hosted at the Leonardtown campus Wednesday.
CSM is “honored to be among the three institutions in Maryland to be awarded this endowed matching fund,” Murphy said. The funds provide CSM “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,” she said. “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.
“The future does not look like the past,” she said. “It’s time to leapfrog into the future.”
Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute director and CSM professor Thomas Luginbill said Wednesday the Southern Maryland region should be excited about what the institute can now offer with the new funding. He said a $200,000 donation by Sen. Mac Middleton (D-Charles) “gave a stamp of approval” for raising funds.
“We have a military base in every single county,” Luginbill said. CSM has been working with all of the bases in the past “but this is the first time we’ve tried to change the way we are teaching our students. We’re going to bring scientists out of the gate to act as mentors but also be students themselves.”
He said the goal is to teach credited and non-credited courses and could “have CSM students sitting next to research scientists.”
Executive Director of CSM Foundation Michelle Goodwin said, “as far as I know, we’re the only community college to receive this kind of funding.”
Rutherford said Wednesday that “Maryland boasts some of the top academic institutions in the world.” He said he is 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 three colleges are significant economic drivers for the entire state of Maryland, Commerce Secretary Mike Gill said in a release.
“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,” Gill said. “We are proud to partner with these institutions and look forward to seeing the fruits of the professorships for years to come.”
Johns Hopkins University received $1 million for the Charles Glenn Grover Estate for Advanced Muscular Degeneration to further explore drug therapies for advanced muscular degeneration. The University of Maryland 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, the release states.
The Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative was created by the General Assembly during the 2014 legislative session and has provided $20.1 million in funding to leverage $23 million in private donations, the release states. The funding can be used to pay salaries of newly endowed department chairs, staff, and support personnel in designated scientific and technical fields of study; fund related research fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students; and purchase lab equipment and other basic infrastructure and equipment.