The planned University of Maryland Institute for Health Computing (UM-Institute for Health Computing) opened its doors Friday for a visit from Maryland's new Governor, Wes Moore, and Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller.
It is a planned research facility with a very high academic presence, already rising in the North Bethesda metro station, in the Pike area of Montgomery County, whose purpose is to serve as an anchor and attraction for developers and companies to the state .
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 opportunity through innovative partnerships,” said Governor Wes Moore. “I am proud that our higher education institutions are working together to make it a success,” he added.
Lieutenant Governor Miller, who is a Montgomery County resident, was proud "of the prospect of a project that will further the county's and state's goals for equity and transformative economic development."
Currently, Montgomery County is the epicenter of the fourth largest biohealth cluster in the country, but the only one in the top 10 not anchored in a graduate research institution.
According to a recent CBRE report, the region is home to the second largest life sciences workforce in the country. In addition, this Health Informatics lnstitute will assist the county's hospitality industry, of which 50 percent of that industry is based in Montgomery.
The ceremony noted that the location of the new institute in the Pike area of North Bethesda, near the headquarters of NlST, NlH, FDA, Walter Reed, the Henry Jackson Foundation and the Naval Medical Research Center, "will provide a unique opportunity for this area to coalesce as the primary location for these cutting-edge, novel, and urgent investigations.”
The new facility will bring together world-class researchers from University of Maryland System partner institutions leading the fields of artificial intelligence, learning, and virtual/augmented reality, with researchers and clinicians from the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS).
"We are very excited that Governor Moore and Lieutenant Governor Miller have visited us to learn more about the Computing for Health Institute and the potential it has for the state's economic development, job creation, education, and health goals. equity," said County Executive Marc Elrich.
He explained that through the competition process for the Amazon HQ2 process, the importance of providing an educated workforce and an academic presence to attract businesses to Maryland was learned.
“The technologies and synergies that the UM-Institute for Health Computing will bring to our life sciences, as well as our hospitality industry, will be a game changer for our state and county,” Elrich said.
"This transformative partnership highlights Montgomery County's growing status as the epicenter of the biohealth and technology industries," said council president Evan Glass.
"This project will spur business growth and development, strengthen our workforce, and benefit the entire state of Maryland."
The institute is expected to open in leased space this year, with labs and offices set up near the North Bethesda metro in 2028.
Officials estimated that the combined new commitments from the county, the university and the federal government amount to $68 million over the next five years.
For his part, the president of the University of Maryland, Darryll J. Pines, stressed that "as the flagship institution of the state, serving the people of Maryland is fundamental to our mission, and improving human health is a great challenge that we want to tackle".
He added that the Institute for Health Computing at the University of Maryland will partner "with world-class researchers in the state to serve our population."