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Quality of Life Catapults the Region to the Top

An accurate picture of Greater Baltimore’s “value proposition” as a location of choice for businesses and the talent they seek in order to grow and succeed must consider more than just the facts found within any siloed sector or economic index. It is true that the Region’s value proposition must be grounded in facts –  the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore has focused on these facts in order to create profiles of the Region’s strategic industry sectors. EAGB’s Industry Profiles highlight specific fact-based assets that validate the economic strength of the Region and are updated on an ongoing basis to ensure that information remains current and relevant. But there’s more:  when the Region’s facts and indices are viewed as a connected and synergistic whole, the complete story of Greater Baltimore’s economic vitality becomes apparent. This story includes a common thread found throughout all industries – a thread commonly referred to as “quality of life:” a measure that catapults the Region to the top as a desired location in which to work, live and visit.

Read more: Greater Baltimore’s Industry Profiles  

Our seven-jurisdiction Region is relatively compact at 2,576 total square miles. Yet, with its premier mid-Atlantic location, one can be in Washington DC or Philadelphia in under an hour’s drive, New York City within 2.5 hours by train; and Boston only a short one-hour plane ride away. Whether by road, rail or air, the close proximity of major markets on the East Coast not only vastly expands the commercial market, but also provides a plethora of cultural and entertainment opportunities for anyone working and living in Greater Baltimore. The location is also a major asset for leisure activity, as Maryland truly provides America in a microcosm. Without leaving the state, in less than a two-hour drive from Greater Baltimore one can enjoy the mountains of Western Maryland, or the beaches along the Atlantic Ocean coastline. 

However, premier location is only part of the equation. The Region’s cost of living index (88.2) and housing affordability are significantly less expensive than Silicon Valley (214.5), New York (187.2), Washington DC (152.1) and Philadelphia (101.2). This means that if you are making $100,000 in Greater Baltimore, you would need to make $114,000 in Philadelphia, $179,000 in Washington DC, $216,000 in New York, or a whopping $268,000 in Silicon Valley to maintain your standard of living (BestPlaces, 2020). As attractive as these statistics are, it is the diversity and quality of the housing stock that sets the Region apart. One can choose to live in any one of Baltimore City’s eclectic neighborhoods with their historic row homes, in a newly built condominium overlooking Baltimore’s Harbor, a single family home on acres of land in several of the Region’s counties, or along the picturesque Chesapeake Bay waterfront which meanders throughout the Region. 

Greater Baltimore’s 16 four-year and seven two-year colleges and universities fuel the talent pipeline needed to support economic growth. These institutions not only produce talent and provide opportunities for continuing career advancement through education, but also catalyze the research that has led to new products and processes for everything from pharmaceuticals and medical devices, to data analytics and everything in between.

The research and innovation housed in and produced by Greater Baltimore's higher education community is synergistic with the Region’s medical institutions. Three university-affiliated research parks attract and foster incubators for start-ups, provide opportunities for commercialization of research conducted by faculty, and help secure the federal research funds that pour into the Region: The Science and Technology Park at Johns Hopkins; the University of Maryland, Baltimore BioPark; and the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s bwtech @ UMBC.  

There are over 30 hospitals serving the Region’s seven jurisdictions, with eight of Maryland’s nine best hospitals located in the Region (USNWR, 2019). Greater Baltimore is home to Johns Hopkins Hospital, perennially ranked among the top three hospitals in the country and the top five hospitals in the world, with over twenty nationally ranked specialties (USNWR, 2019). Other national rankings include the University of Maryland Medical Center, nationally ranked in several specialties, and Mercy Medical Center’s Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine which has received national acclaim.  LifeBridge and MedStar, two medical systems serving the Region, are rapidly advancing in expertise as well as research and innovation.  

Any discussion about the Region’s quality of life would not be complete without talking about its art and culture community. The richness of the Region’s history, dating to before the Revolutionary War, will satisfy the most avid history buff. There are nationally acclaimed art museums such as the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walter’s Art Gallery; museums that celebrate a part of our culture, such as the Reginald Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History, the B&O Railroad Museum and the Jewish Museum of Maryland; and museums about the history of industry, including the Baltimore Museum of Industry and the Carroll County Farm Museum. When we add science centers, children’s museums, the National Aquarium, fire museums, visionary arts and on and on and on…the list is list too large and too diverse to exhaust here. Learn more about the Region’s Art & Culture community by reading EAGB’s June edition of Region on Point

Much like a jigsaw puzzle, each piece of Greater Baltimore’s economic vitality story provides information and context about the Region. But it is only when all of the pieces are together that one can see the entire picture and appreciate the value of the whole. Greater Baltimore offers a dynamic value proposition for both business and individuals looking to maximize their resources and thrive.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Greater Baltimore's growing start-up companies received over $355 million in investment in calendar year 2019. This remarkable figure reflects a vibrant innovation ecosystem, supported by local, national, and international investment.

These investments span Greater Baltimore’s jurisdictions and growth industry sectors, and benefit the entire Region by supporting an ecosystem of innovation. Summer was the most common time for investment rounds to close, with around $100 million worth of investment reported for each of June, July, and August (Crunchbase, 2020). The $355 million total does not include investments in real estate development, or in Greater Baltimore's plethora of existing high-value companies. Investments were tracked for companies at the pre-seed, seed, Series A, Series B, Series C, and Series D rounds, as well as Private Equity investments in start-up companies.

Baltimore City led the way both in deal count and total value, with city-based companies reporting 38 of Greater Baltimore's 60 investments valued at a total of $155 million. Howard County followed in second, with 9 investments valued at $135 million. Baltimore County companies reported investments of $45 million, while Carroll County  companies reported investments of $10.8 million. 

Among the top 10 recipient companies, four were located in Baltimore City, three in Howard County, and one each in Baltimore, Carroll, and Anne Arundel counties. Of particular note are: $106 million invested in Howard County-based BioEnergy DevCo, a bio-fuel company; $80 million invested in Baltimore City's GrayBug, an eye disease treatment company; over $45 million invested in Baltimore County's CSA Medical, a cryotherapy medical device company; and $10 million invested in Carroll County's Zeteo Tech, a bio-threat detection company. 

Healthcare/Life Sciences and Information Technology/Cybersecurity each tied with 24 total deals, according to EAGB's classification, with health-related startups posting $177 million in investments and technology-related startups posting $70 million in investments. Baltimore City was the location for 20 of the 24 investments in Healthcare/Life Sciences and 13 of the 24 investments in Information Technology/Cybersecurity, with Howard County receiving the majority (7) of the remainder for Information Technology/Cybersecurity. Within Howard County, investments were reported in Columbia, Fulton/ Maple Lawn, and Ellicott City.  

Taken together, these companies are innovating within and across industries to bring new solutions to the world and meaningful jobs to Greater Baltimore.

In the Non-Profit and Government sectors…

University of Maryland School of Medicine was awarded $200M by the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases for flu vaccine research, while the National Aquarium raised $11M for greener waterfront projects. Other large recipients include the Maryland Department of Commerce, which was awarded a federal grant to bolster international outreach efforts, and Digital Harbor Foundation's $450k grant from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

In government contracting, Harford County's Smiths Detection won a landmark $96.8 million contract from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that will place Smiths Detection technology in airports nationwide.

Hospital Expansions across the Region

For 2020 and beyond, there is over $1.5 billion worth of expansion projects at Greater Baltimore hospitals in the pipeline, led by over $400 million investments at each of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as over $100 million investments at University of Maryland Medical Center, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and Sinai Hospital.

This is in addition to the $13 billion planned investment by Kaiser Permanente to construct 10 new healthcare facilities in Greater Baltimore. 

Looking Ahead to 2020

2020 is off to a great start with Hunt Valley-based NAYAX’s closing of a $60 million venture round, the acquisition of Columbia-based Unleashed Technologies, and Cognate BioServices' successful Series B fundraising. Additionally, TEDCO announced its most recent class of technology commercialization projects, which will receive a combined $2.63 million in investment

In case you missed it, here is a snapshot of recent news from the Region:

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