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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Hello Prince George's Do we have time for economic development that matters?

               Prince George's County and the State of Maryland face significant budget challenges and therefore spending constraints. The governments need to find more revenue or cut spending. Cutting spending will focus first on services such as infrastructure maintenance, security, health, community support, and education. The present wager is that the expansion of legalized betting will provide a more-or-less dependable revenue source. The significant income potentially derived from the gaming industry focuses government like a laser.

               This focus, however, takes out eyes off larger prizes such as working to create a agrobiotech center in Prince George's County. With USDA-ARS BARC and NAL, APHIS, FDA, NASA and the University of Maryland right here it should be a cornerstone of our economic strategy. While we debate whether we should allow the rest of the State of Maryland to make decisions for us here in the county as to whether gambling is what we want, whole countries commit to the future by creating an environment conducive to the establishment and operation  life science firms. While Prince George's County argues about gambling, Dubai lures 21 life sciences firms to the Gulf.[1] While we decide the importance of craps tables in National Harbor, Dubai continues to entice businesses with its new Biotechnology and Research Park, "the world's first free zone dedicated to the life sciences industry" This 21st century economic development project "has attracted 21 new companies, 33 percent more than the number of the previous year."

               How is it that we find ourselves directing our political will towards dice and slot machines instead of making sure that Prince George's County will be a leader when it comes to the Governor's technology transfer initiative. Given all the ruckus about gambling initiatives, the idea that we might actually talk about something sustainable and beneficial for the long run is perhaps a bad bet. Governor O'Malley's the Maryland Innovation Initiative is an effort to create a collaboration among the "five state research universities with businesses and government officials, in hopes of accelerating technology transfer from the lab to the market."[2]  O’Malley is seeking a supplemental $5 million in the state budget for the program to help lead the way in assuring that Maryland’s universities are looking to turn their science into commercial sales.

               Hello Prince George's County - did you know that USDA-ARS has been doing this quietly right here in our back yard since 1986? What are we doing? Gambling here of course will help the Governor find the revenue to bring hi tech to some other county like say Montgomery or Howard ?

[1] Xinhua. Dubai lures 21 life sciences firms to the Gulf. February 7, 2012. [accessed February 7, 2012]

"Founded in 2005, the park, also called DuBiotech, is a free zone where licensed firms enjoy a 50-year tax holiday, 100 percent foreign ownership and free capital convertibility. Currently it is hosting 90 biotechnology companies operating diverse sectors.  "In addition to welcoming 21 biotechnology companies to the free zone, most of them industry leaders, we also added a new segment to our portfolio with the setting up of BYK Chemicals, the park's first industrial biotech company," said Marwan Abdul Aziz, DuBiotech's director of business development.  Other industries, such as pharmaceuticals, agricultural biotech as well as medical devices and equipment, have also witnessed strong growth, he added... New companies registered at DuBiotech in 2011 included Bristol Myers Squibb, National Starch and Chemical Middle East, Wokhardt and Chr. Hansen Middle East and Africa.."
[2] Lindsey Robbins.  New initiative aims to accelerate Maryland’s tech-transfer efforts. Gazette.Net. 

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