Is Prince George's County, Maryland ready to become the national economic center for biological and agricultural research, technology and innovation? Surprise! - it already is; we just don't take advantage of the fact. Can we pause long enough from our focus on shopping malls to ponder the possibilities of working together to bring business to a national one stop solution to agroeconomic challenges facing the world today? Is it possible to collectively begin to take advantage of our core capabilities already here in the business industries of food, fuel, fiber, feed, forest and flowers? Why are we still not actively working to create international trade centers dedicated to businesses that need the scientific advancements are found here in the county every day?
Prince George's County is home to University of Maryland-College Park (UMCP), the US Department of Agriculture-Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (USDA-BARC) as well as the world's largest agricultural library, the National Auricular Library (NAL), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), the MedStar Research Institute, the US Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Spaceflight Center (NASA Goddard) and Bowie State University (BSU). And most importantly, these world renown and world class institutions are ALREADY here.
Where is our political will to sit down with businesses in Brazil and South American countries, China, India, and the countries of Asia as well as Africa discussing the creating of research and trade centers? The world needs food, and Prince George's County can provide a one stop center for all the food chain problems and challenges facing businesses, governments and their customers today and tomorrow. We fall over ourselves to bring federal and state agencies here, and I vigorously support this effort, but we already have tremendous resources and what exactly are we doing to leverage what we already have? We can do both work to bring facilities here and work to find economic development opportunities with what we have.
Did you know that U.S. wheat exports to Brazil were rejected in 2000 because of suspected Wheat Seed Gall Nematode infections. Scientist in Prince George's County at BARC working with Brazilian scientists, convinced Brazil to reverse its actions. US national wheat exports to Brazil rose from $0 in 2000 to $76 million in 2001. This is an example of the power of Prince George's County. Do you like chocolate; do you think the rest of the US has a craving for chocolate? Prince George's County's BARC scientists, working with industry counterparts, discovered a fungus that inhibits a devastating disease on cacao trees. The $8.6 billion U.S. chocolate industry depends entirely on imported chocolate. The chocolate industry uses 40% of US almonds, 20% of peanuts, 8% of sugar, and more than 1.5 million lbs. of milk per day, all produced by U.S. farms, so a stable supply of chocolate helps U.S. farmers. Do you know of any current plan to take advantage of this and bring businesses here to the one place in the US that can address any agrobiotech issue?
Perhaps the magnitude of the opportunity that Prince George's County is overlooking is obscure.  The Agricultural Research Service according to its web site "conducts research to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provides information access and dissemination to: ensure high-quality, safe food and other agricultural products, assess the nutritional needs of Americans, sustain a competitive agricultural economy, enhance the natural resource base and the environment, and provide economic opportunities for rural citizens." What follows is a partial listing of private business opportunities that Prince George's County could offer because the world's largest 21st century agricultural research center sits here in this county hidden in plain sight:
Do I need to remind you of the impact of NASA? When is the last time you took a look at what Goddard Space Flight Center Patent Portfolio has in it? NASA's Technologies Available for License is among the too many to list here opportunities for businesses one mobile robotic unit. The unit has multiple legs supporting a main body i.e. vehicle body, and moving the main body in forward direction and reverse direction about a base surface. The leg includes wheels to roll along the base surface. A drive assembly comprises a motor operatively associated with hip and knee joints and the wheels for independently driving pivotal movement of the hip joint and the knee joint and rolling motion of the wheels. The assembly comprises drive shafts imparting driving pivotal movement to the hip and knee joint and rolling motion to the wheels.
Why is it that despite the concentration of such impressive assets, "the number of bioscience companies and the impact of bioscience industry growth in the county has been limited compared with nearby jurisdictions which have fewer research and innovation assets?" We need a National Harbor type, hi tech 21st century, multi-tenant, flagship facility. We need to work with USDA's leasing authority to create incubators or aaccelerator/expansion offices and wet lab spaces for young bioscience companies, such as TAP incubator graduates, to keep them in the county, as well as other small, but growing companies that could be attracted to the county. We need to provide support services for start-up companies and entrepreneurs. We need to be reaping the befits of a highly competitive highly trained well paid 21st century work force. We need to start doing something after all the opportunity as only been here for over 100 years.
 I am not against retail; rather I am for a balanced approach to economic development - I want a clearly visible active pursuit of 21st century businesses in Prince George's County. Retail is a secondary reason for businesses to locate; opportunity to create wealth is the primary reason and retail wil; follow the creation of wealth
 Thompson. Prince George's County works to be the next home of the new Headquarters of the FBI. January 17, 2012. [accessed January 28, 2012] http://princegeorgian.blogspot.com/2012/01/prince-georges-county-works-to-be-new.html
 USDA-ARS Current Research Impacts. 2006 [accessed January 27, 2012] http://www.ars.usda.gov/sp2UserFiles/Place/12000000/AboutUS/researchImpacts.pdf
 USDA-ARS Available Technologies
[accessed January 28, 2012] http://www.ars.usda.gov/business/availtechs.htm
 United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Office of Technology Transfer & Partnerships. Program Aid 1706. Forming Partnerships With the Agricultural Research Service. August 2011. [accessed January 28, 2012] https://www.ars.usda.gov/sp2UserFiles/Place/01090000/Partnership%20Brochure2.pdf
 Goddard Space Flight Center Patent Portfolio. Technologies Available for License. January 2012. [accessed January 27, 2012] http://ipp.gsfc.nasa.gov/portfolio/
 The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Prince George’s County Planning Department. Prince George’s County Biotechnology Research and Development Center Study Prepared by ANGLE Technology Group. September 2009. [accessed January 27, 2012] http://www.pgplanning.org/Assets/Planning/Countywide+Planning/Research/Biotech+Study+2.pdf