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Hogan Announces Work Group to Study Possible Autonomous Technology Center in Western Maryland

September 20th, 2018 by WCBC Radio

The Hogan administration today announced the formation of a work group to pursue recommendations in a recent feasibility study regarding the development of a Western Maryland Autonomous Technology Center (ATC).  The study was partially funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The ARC program in Maryland is focused on self-sustaining economic development and job growth in Garrett, Allegany, and Washington counties.

“This is an opportunity to position Maryland as a national leader in autonomous technologies research and development, attract businesses and create jobs across Western Maryland,” said Special Secretary of Smart Growth and Governor’s Alternate for ARC Wendi Peters.  “We are excited to bring together this work group as it is consistent with our work collaborating with local governments to assist in community and economic development.”

Autonomous technologies cover a wide spectrum from unmanned aerial systems and connected autonomous vehicles to industrial robotics, cybersecurity and data analysis on autonomous systems.

As part of the feasibility study, the Maryland Transportation Institute (MTI) at the University of Maryland (UMD) evaluated the technical, economic and regulatory feasibility of a potential ATC in Western Maryland.  The study included identifying industry interest, analyzing market potential, selecting technology areas and determining facility needs. 

The new work group will make recommendations based on the initial findings of the feasibility study such as determining a potential site location, identifying possible funding sources and refining design and cost estimates for construction.  The work group will also identify partnership opportunities and establish specific needs based on feedback from the entities that would use the facility.

Additionally, the group will partner with Frostburg State University and local community colleges to create workforce training programs and collaborate with local private sector employers.

The work group members are:

  • Wendi Peters, Special Secretary of Smart Growth
  • Bill Atkinson, ARC Program Manager, Maryland Department of Planning
  • Guy Winterberg, Tri-County Council for Western Maryland
  • Jeffrey S. Barclay, Director, Allegany County Economic and Community Development
  • Matt Miller, Economic Specialist, Cumberland Economic Development Corporation
  • Albert Della, Vice President for Regional Development and Engagement, Frostburg State University
  • Ken McCreedy, Senior Director, Office of Cybersecurity and Aerospace, Maryland Department of Commerce
  • Elizabeth Stahlman, Director of Community Development, City of Frostburg

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