An Archive of Selected Past News Items About Our Members

Founding Member Newt Fowler named TEDCO Chair


Baltimore-based attorney and columnist Newton B Fowler, III, a Founding Member of the Aris Institute, has accepted the 2015-2016 chairmanship of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). The organization, headquartered in Columbia, MD, was established by the Maryland Legislature in 1998 to promote technological entrepreneurship and industry via seed funding, mentorship and incubation support, with a special interest in the commercialization of intellectual property created by the state’s universities and federal laboratories. TEDCO’s 15-member board is appointed by the Governor with the approval of the State Senate.

A partner at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP (a business law firm that traces its origins to 1876 and employs more than 550 lawyers in Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina,Virginia, Washington DC, Delaware, and California), Mr Fowler has chaired the Greater Baltimore Technology Council and currently advises many leading technology and investor groups on numerous aspects of business governance including venture financing, angel investing, intellectual property, commercialization, business strategy, complex transactions, and securities. His column on business and technology appears on the website Baltimore CityBizList. He earned his doctorate of law at the University of Kentucky Law School in 1985 and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. The national publication Best Lawyers in America, which conducts peer-review surveys of the legal profession, named him Baltimore’s 2013 Technology Lawyer of the Year. Before joining Womble Carlyle he was a partner at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, LLP, CEO of Community Analytics, and a partner at Venable, LLP.

In September 2015 TEDCO announced sixteen funding awards totaling $1.6 million ($100 000 per award) to start-ups in industries ranging from medicine to computer software.

Read more about TEDCO here.

Key roles for Roger Lewis in Peace Corps and World War 1 national monument projects


Two separate national monument initiatives, to create memorials commemorating WW1 and the United States Peace Corps, are moving forward with the involvement of architect, urban planner, author and Washington Post columnist Roger K Lewis, a Research Associate of the Aris Institute’s sister entity, the ArMel Scientifics Center for Technology & Public Policy.

Prof Lewis, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Maryland, is currently co-manager of the World War I National Memorial design competition as well as President and Chairman of the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation.

The Peace Corps monument will honor the mission of the Peace Corps and the work that its many volunteers have done around the world since its creation by President John F Kennedy in 1961. The site proposed for the monument is near the US Capitol. The Peace Corps is a goodwill agency of the US government that deploys American volunteers to provide educational, economic and other social service and development support to communities around the world. Its mission to promote positive growth and innovation by sharing American knowledge and skills, while at the same time enriching America by learning more about foreign cultures on site – closely echoes the Aris Institute’s philosophy of encouraging government to take the lead in sharing knowledge by mentoring creative initiatives everywhere, to build a more prosperous and cohesive world civilization. (The Act of Congress authorizing the creation of the Peace Corps monument is titled “"Memorial to Commemorate America's Commitment to International Service and Global Prosperity".)

The PCCF recently reached the phase at which finalists in a two-stage design competition were scheduled to present their refined concepts to a jury in Washington DC. A similar competition for the WW1 memorial is currently also in the second-stage review process. The winning design is due to be announced in January 2016.

Read more: The Peace Corps monument  | The WWI monument  | Roger Lewis  | An article about the Peace Corps by ArMel Scientifics Center scholar N J Slabbert 

Founding Member Mike Galiazzo receives Manufacturing Day proclamation

A proclamation by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, declaring October 2, 2015 as a special day honoring the state’s manufacturing industry, was presented in Annapolis to Brian Sweeney, Executive Director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), and Aris Institute Founding Member Dr Mike Galiazzo, President of the Baltimore-based Regional Manufacturing Institute (RMI). Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford made the presentation.

Both MEP and RMI are non-profits providing support services to manufacturers.

Read more: About RMI  | About MEP

John Rogard Tabori serving on Blue Ribbon Fiscal Commission

taborThe Council of Prince George’s County, Maryland, is currently working with a Blue Ribbon Commission appointed to study the County’s structural deficit and recommend policies for the 2016 Budget. Nine of the Commission’s 15 voting members are officers of County organizations (the Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, Association of Realtors, organized labor, the Office of Audits and Investigations, and the Office of Management and Budget). The six citizen members are Earl Adams Jr, Henry W Mosley, Ron L Watson, Sherman L Ragland II, Mark E Tomassoni, and ArMel Scientifics Center Research Associate John Rogard Tabori.

Two non-voting ex officio members are County Council Vice-Chair Derrick Leon Davis and the County’s Chief Administrative Officer for Budget, Finance & Administration, Thomas Himler.

A structural deficit is the imbalance caused when normal government spending annually exceeds tax revenues. County Council Chairman Mel Franklin says the Commission’s members bring together “considerable expertise in the areas of budget, finance and public policy” and the County is looking forward to their recommendations in the coming year.

Mr Tabori, a political economist and policy analyst, is a graduate of Columbia University and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the academic honor society, and Phi Alpha Theta, the history academic honor society. He has been a writer-editor for the US Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States and his publications include a guidebook on evaluation research, many technical papers and three Congressional reports. His expertise has been used by numerous US Government agencies including the Department of Housing & Urban Development, the Department of Health & Human Services, Department of Transportation, and Federal Transit Administration. He was Mayor of the town of University Park, MD, from 2006 to 2014, and co-chair of Phase II of Envision Prince George’s, a planning initiative of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission from 2011 to 2014. He serves on the Development Overview Committee of the Town of University Park as well as on the Transit Oriented Development Committee of Envision Prince George's.

Read more about the Blue Ribbon Commission here and here.

American Innovation at the Crossroads

By Aris Melissaratos

Chairman and Founder, The Aris Institute

crossroadsAmerica has come to a fork in the road. On one of its possible paths it will likely lead the world technologically for much and perhaps most of the 21st century, as it did in the 20th. The other path points to a future in which the US slows down more and more, falling ever farther behind other nations in the race of technological evolution.

America is built on optimism, and our faith in what we can achieve must never waver. But there is a time for self-satisfaction and a time for warnings. As a nation we are now in warning mode. Elsewhere in this edition you can find disturbing information about America’s receding technological edge across a wide front. It will profit all leaders of business and public service to pay keen attention to this wake-up call.

For over three decades at the Westinghouse corporation, including as chief scientific officer and vice president of science and technology, and in my separate careers as a technology investor, as Maryland's economic development secretary, and as director of Johns Hopkins University’s intellectual capital commercialization, all my professional experience has been about anticipating our technological future. All I have learned tells me that this is a moment for national self-examination and urgent remedial action. For example, consider our transit situation.

Continue reading here.

Greece's agony: A call to entrepreneurial action

By Aris Melissaratos
This article can also be seen in the Hellenic News of America here

International dramas are seldom what they seem to be at the time they unfold. Fast-changing news reports generally focus on politicians performing for the cameras. This theater of geopolitics makes for absorbing television and gripping headlines but often masks deeper realities. So it is with the Greek debt crisis, which contains much food for thought for everyone concerned with the nature of national prosperity.

While it's true that the road to Greece's problems was paved with fiscal mistakes by multiple parties, there's a good deal more to the story than fiscal mismanagement. Economic well-being doesn't depend only on sound accounting. It's also shaped by political agendas and psychological climates which influence national and regional productivity strategies. Although money must of course be managed wisely, countries and regions need not only skilled wealth managers to prosper, but creative wealth generators whose innovative ideas are encouraged and nurtured by civic leaders with the political will to create new eras of prosperity by challenging the status quo even if this means upsetting entrenched power groups.

These truths, explained in a book I've co-authored, INNOVATION, were demonstrated to me by a long career at Westinghouse, one of America's biggest and most creative technology corporations. I then saw them reaffirmed during my tenure as Maryland's Business and Economic Development Secretary and my years as director of Johns Hopkins University's intellectual capital commercialization. These environments showed me repeatedly that while there are often overlaps between managing wealth and creating it, the two tasks are qualitatively different.

As economist Aristos Doxiadis has observed, Greece's economic development has been handicapped by over-regulation, bureaucracy, the protection of power groups, and an unwillingess to transcend a small-business mentality. These obstacles have been exacerbated by a lack of political will, and a political culture devoted to squabbling rather than bold initiatives. Instead of a determined national mission to chart a new era of prosperity for the country, there has been a sense of entitlement and an expectation that prosperity and economic health must somehow appear on demand without cultivation. In short, Greece has been crippled by a lack of entrepreneurial action, an aversion to innovation, and an apparent inertia which has tragically prevented this land of historically majestic creative imagination from thinking big about its 21st-century future.

Continue reading here.

New book by Schimpff calls for revolution in US
patient-doctor relationships

Cover Meaningful improvement of the US healthcare system requires Americans to heal the broken relationship between physicians and their individual patients, reconnecting patients with primary care doctors who have become less and less available to them as a result of crowded practice schedules and administrative barriers. So says Dr Stephen C Schimpff, former head of the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dr Schimpff, professor of medicine and public policy in the University of Maryland system and a research associate of the ArMel Center for Technology & Public Policy, analyzes the doctor-patient breakdown at the root of America's healthcare meltdown in his new book Fixing The Primary Care Crisis: Reclaiming the Patient-Doctor Relationship and Returning Healthcare Decisions to You and Your Doctor. ArMel Center innovation scholar N.J. Slabbert calls Dr Schimpff's book "a milestone in America's healthcare reform thinking which every US presidential candidate should read".

Dr Schimpff argues that while there will be a cost to fix the healthcare system, solutions are achievable and will be both successful and economically bearable if the correct steps are taken to change the way in which the medical system requires and allows primary care physicians to work. His book is introduced by economist and lawyer Anirban Basu, CEO of Sage Consulting, who asks: "How is it possible for a nation that is the world’s wealthiest and most powerful, with reams of data on hand and with an abundance of MBAs to analyze them, to produce arguably the advanced world’s most inefficient healthcare system?"

In his answer, Dr Schimpff subjects the US healthcare infrastructure to a penetratingly critical analysis, but he doesn't only criticize and uncover weaknesses: he also spotlights positive steps and puts forward concrete suggestions for progress. A substantial portion of the book identifies innovators -- including physicians, insurers, employers and healthcare organizations -- whose ideas have made important advances and must be built upon to achieve more progress. Dr Schimpff seeks to transform primary care by convincing Americans that each one of us needs a primary care physician who can give us give the time we need."This usually means a doctor who has agreed to a smaller patient panel and fewer patient visits per day." How this is to be achieved is spelled out in a carefully researched book that Dr Schimpff has written in non-technical language aimed at the general public, whom he urges to take up the cause of healthcare reform instead of leaving it exclusively to politicians and bureaucrats.

Read more here.

Gemstone named year's top life science enterprise

Davis Headshot

George Davis, Gemstone CEO

Gemstone Biotherapeutics, a company led by Aris Institute member George Davis, has won the Best Life Sciences Company award in the 2015 Maryland Incubator Company honors. The award recognizes life sciences companies working with Maryland business incubator programs.Gemstone's incubator support came from a Johns Hopkins University program, FastForward East, part of the JHU Technology Ventures initiative, helping to develop a new technology for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds including burn trauma. To undertake this research and development Gemstone entered into a licence agreement with JHU which enabled it to use intellectual property generated by JHU inventor Dr Sharon Gerecht, an expert on tissue regeneration. Dr Gerecht is a bioengineering graduate of the Israel Institute of Technology and has conducted advanced research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Read more here.

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