Wednesday, May 14, 2008

‘Invest in America’ week launched at biotech

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Gov. Martin O’Malley declared last week ‘‘Invest in America Week” to alert the public to the importance of foreign-owned companies operating in the state.

The initiative, held in 18 states, kicked off with a presentation by national, state and Montgomery officials at Qiagen Sciences, a Dutch biotech that last year acquired Digene, with offices in Germantown and Gaithersburg.

Foreign-owned company investment rose from $11.9 billion in 2005 to $15 billion in 2007 and is continuing to grow this year, including the purchase of CoGenesys of Rockville by Teva, an Israeli bioscience company and the world’s largest manufacturer of generic drugs. About 105,000 state jobs have been attributed to foreign-owned companies.

Matthew Priest , U.S. Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles and Apparel, toured Quiagen’s facilities and discussed U.S. open investment policies.

For more information about the federal program, visit

New Web site targets Maryland farmers

The Maryland Agricultural Exchange in College Park offers the first Web site to provide Maryland farmers with a free online marketplace to exchange manure, compost, hay, fruits, vegetables, livestock and equipment. The site also includes a business directory, calendar of events and regional agricultural news.

Accessible at, the site functions as a sort of ‘‘Craig’s List” for agriculture, with all trades made strictly between the buyer and seller, according to its sponsor, the Environment Finance Center at the University of Maryland, part of the National Center for Smart Growth and Research.

GenVec gets $600Kfor vaccine research

GenVec, a biopharmaceutical company in Gaithersburg, received a $600,000 Small Business Innovation and Research grant Wednesday from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The grant will help the company in its research into vaccines for the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. More than 130,000 children are hospitalized with RSV annually, according to the World Health Organization.

New business update

Googleberry Kids, a boutique of fine children’s apparel and accessories, recently opened at 6860 Olney Laytonsville Road in Gaithersburg. It is owned by Craig and Jennifer Hoover. For more information, visit

Gaithersburg Marriottgets overhaul

The Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center recently received a $6.2 million renovation to ‘‘enhance its reputation and give guests unique and ultra-adaptable rooms,” according to hotel information.

The renovation encompassed 11 floors with 284 fully remodeled guest rooms and four suites, with new furniture, bedding, high-speed Internet access, 32-inch flat-panel LCD high-definition televisions and multi-use electronic ‘‘plug-in” panels for laptops, MP3 players and other devices.

This report originally appeared in The Business Gazette.