Korea-Maryland Bio Expo Draws International Business to Maryland
The Korea-Maryland Bio Expo, the first of its kind in the State of Maryland, kicked off yesterday at the Baltimore Convention Center. The event (which is expected to draw approximately 500 participants) is hosted by Maryland-based JG Business Link International, ad sponsored by DBED, the Maryland Biotechnology Center, and various other Maryland and Korean biotech and related entities.
The event kicke off with opening remarks from U.S. Korean Ambassador Duck-soo Han, and featured such speakers as Maryland Biotech Cente Executive Director Judy Britz, Maryland Secretary of State John McDonough, Hanbat National University President Won-mook Lee and University of Maryland Associate Dean of Research Curt Civin.
Among the many companies participating in the Expo is the most recent Korean-headquartered life sciences company to have established operations in Maryland. Unhwa Bio Corporation, a stem-cell technology firm which DBED has aggressively pursued since October 2008. The company has set up shop at the Shady Grove Innovation Center. The Center has housed numerous foreign-owned companies in their first-stage U.S. market establishment operations. Unha joins Daewoong, HanAll, Hanjin, Macrogen, RNL and Seegene as Seoul-based firms that have chosen Maryland for their American home away from home. All but one of these companies are healthcare or biopharmaceutical firms.
The three-day event, which runs through Friday, strategically segues with Governor Martin O'Malley's June mission to Korea China and Vietnm. A cornerstone deliverable of the June trip wasthe signing of a memorandum of understanding betwee the State of Maryland and Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy to, among other things, explore collaboration in joint high technology, green technology and biotechnology. As evidenced by the November Korea-Maryland Bio Expo, the ink of the agreement had hardly dried before parties in the two regions took steps to put its words into action.
by Brad Gillenwater, Md Dept. of Business & Economic Development's Office of International Investment & Trade