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For Immediate Release: Friday, February 17, 2023

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, Montgomery County Council members, and representatives from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) welcomed Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Lt. Governor Aruna Miller to the Pike District for a presentation and update on the UM-Institute for Health Computing project. The Institute for Health Computing is a planned research facility and academic presence at the North Bethesda Metro Station in the Pike District that will serve as an anchor and attraction to developers and businesses. The Institute will include research in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR).

“This project is a perfect example of how Maryland can become more economically competitive by creating opportunities through innovative partnerships,” said Governor Wes Moore. “I am proud our higher education institutions are working together to make it a success.”  

“As a Montgomery County resident, I am excited for the possibility of a project that will further the county and state’s goals for equity and transformational economic development,” said Lt. Governor Aruna Miller.  

Currently, Montgomery County is the epicenter of the fourth largest bio-health cluster in the country, but the only one in the top 10 not anchored by a graduate level research institution. According to a recent report by CBRE, our region is home to the 2nd largest life science workforce in the nation. Additionally, the Institute for Health Computing will assist the County’s hospitality industry. Montgomery County is home to companies representing 50 percent of the national hospitality market including Marriott and Choice Hotels.

The new institute’s location in North Bethesda’s Pike District, near the NIST, NIH, FDA, Walter Reed, the Henry Jackson Foundation, and the Naval Medical Research Center, will provide a unique opportunity for this area to emerge as the prime location for this novel and urgent cutting-edge research. The new facility will bring together world-class researchers from the University System of Maryland’s partner institutions prominent in artificial intelligence, machine learning and the virtual/augmented reality fields with researchers and clinicians at the UMMS.  

“We are very appreciative that Governor Moore and Lt. Governor Miller visited us to learn more about the Institute for Health Computing and the potential it has for the State economic development, job creation, education, and equity goals,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We learned firsthand through the process of competing for the Amazon HQ2 process how important it is to provide an educated workforce and an academic presence to attract companies to Maryland. The technologies and synergies that the UM-Institute for Health Computing will provide to our life sciences, as well as our hospitality sector, is a game changer for our State and County.”  

"This transformative partnership highlights Montgomery County's rising status as an epicenter for the biohealth and technology industries," Council President Evan Glass said. "This project will stimulate growth and business development, strengthen our workforce and benefit the entire state of Maryland." 

The Institute is expected to open in leased space in early 2023, with final completion of laboratory and office space at the North Bethesda Metro location in 2028. The combined new County, University, and federal commitments amount to $68M over the next five years.   

Montgomery County committed $40 million to the Institute, which will be the anchor for development of a new biotech cluster in North Bethesda. The initial $15 million from the County has already leveraged a $3 million earmark from the Maryland Congressional Delegation. During the 2022 General Assembly Session, the Montgomery County State Delegation secured $16 million towards this project. The Universities and UMMS have already made significant early investments in AI, VR, and health data informatics that will benefit this project, and have committed an additional $25 million over the next five years to match the County’s operating commitment over that time.   

“The UM-Institute for Health Computing will provide additional opportunities for world-class research and help train future workers to thrive in our modern, innovation-driven economy,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. “This new institute will be driven by partnerships and will lead to countless new ones, bringing another growth engine to North Bethesda and further bolstering one of Montgomery County’s greatest strengths. Team Maryland worked hard to deliver a new direct federal investment to advance this effort and looks forward to its future success.”      

“Montgomery County is a leader in health innovation, and through the partnership they’ve forged with the University of Maryland to create the Institute for Health Computing, they’ll reach even greater heights as they discover groundbreaking treatments and cures. That’s why I was pleased to help deliver a direct federal investment for this new institute to purchase the cutting-edge equipment it needs, which will help drive medical breakthroughs that save lives while bringing new jobs and opportunities to our state,” said U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen.  

“This institute is a big deal for Montgomery County and our entire state,” said Senator Ben Kramer, chair of the Montgomery County Senate Delegation. “Montgomery County is a leader for innovation and life sciences. Creating this institution in the County will ensure that our County continues to lead on this critical issue to cure diseases, improve health outcomes, and reduce disparities for generations to come.”   

"Life science in a core ecosystem of Montgomery County, and the Institute for Health Computing will increase our region’s competitiveness throughout the industry," stated Delegate Julie Palakovich Carr, chair of the Montgomery County House Delegation. "I appreciate the Governor coming to our County to hear from our government and university partners as we work together to bring this important project to fruition."  

"As the state's flagship institution, serving the people of Maryland is at the core of our mission, and improving human health is a grand challenge we want to address," said University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines. "At the University of Maryland Institute for Health Computing, we will partner with world-class researchers in the state to serve Marylanders. We bring to the table our nationally recognized expertise in artificial intelligence and both virtual and augmented reality to revolutionize patient care and well-being."  

A significant aspect of life sciences research today involves using technology to discover meaningful patterns hidden in huge data sets. For example, our nation’s rapid discovery of a vaccine for COVID-19 during the pandemic was reliant on AI to accelerate advances in the underlying lab research.  AI also is being used for now to improve public health through prevention strategies using the analysis of patient data on chronic diseases, risk factors, and outcomes.  

“We are witnessing an unprecedented revolution in health care that is being driven by biomedical innovation, the digitization of medical records, and advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This new Institute will include all of these elements in a synergistic effect that will transform our health care system,” said UMB President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS.  

The vision of the Institute for Health Computing is a convergence of computing and lab work and will only grow as it promises to speed and broaden our ability to address health outcomes that will benefit Montgomery County and beyond. The Institute for Health Computing will be a catalyst for the growth of companies in the life sciences and in the field of AI, and will offer new opportunities for internships, experiential learning and jobs for students and graduates.  

“As a health care leader serving diverse communities across the state, the University of Maryland Medical System is proud to be a founding partner institution,” said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, UMMS President and CEO. "De-identified data from patients across our System, paired with clinical research data from our partners at UMB, will provide the data backbone for advanced analytics that will help deliver faster diagnoses and improvements in how therapeutics are utilized while helping develop the cures of tomorrow.”  

“Metro welcomes this opportunity to collaborate with Governor Moore, County Executive Elrich and other partners to promote economic growth and community development in North Bethesda,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke. “The county’s vision to support transit-oriented development on Metro property at the North Bethesda Metro Station – anchored by a higher education institute – will provide access to transit and grow ridership.  We’re pleased to work with the county on a Joint Development project to support this vision.” 

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Release ID: 23-079
Media Contact: Barry Hudson 240-300-7348
Categories: Executive Office