Signs Memorandum of Understanding to Support Continued Growth of Innovative Start-ups
UNDBIO Commits to New U.S. R&D Headquarters in Rockville, Bringing More Biotech Jobs to Maryland
State to Open New Foreign Trade Office in South Korea
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today continued his trade and economic development mission to Asia, meeting with the president of the Republic of Korea and making a series of major announcements to expand the strong partnership between Maryland and Korea.
Meeting With Korean President. Governor Hogan met with President Yoon Suk-yeol at the presidential office in Seoul to discuss cooperation between the State of Maryland and the Republic of Korea, as well as ways to expand Korean business investment in the state. The two leaders also discussed the impact that the federal Inflation Reduction Act will have on the electric vehicle industry.
Memorandum of Understanding to Support Innovative Start-ups. The governor and First Lady Yumi Hogan joined the chairman of the Korea Venture Business Association (KOVA), Kang Sam Kwon, to sign and witness a new memorandum of understanding to support Korean start-up ventures specializing in green and high-tech fields that are interested in entering the U.S. market. This could include having KOVA member companies participate in the Maryland Global Gateway initiative, which offers opportunities for international companies to make a “soft landing” at business incubators across the state. Industry sectors highlighted for support include the life sciences, information and communications technology, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, renewable energy, and “blue tech,” which supports the maritime industry.
“This new agreement with KOVA strengthens Maryland’s partnership with the Republic of Korea, a partnership which I’m proud to say has grown and flourished during my time as governor,” said Governor Hogan. “This will benefit innovative industry sectors in both our regions, and we look forward to helping KOVA members expand to the United States.”
“Supporting the global expansion of venture companies is a key goal for Korea, which is home to many innovative start-ups,” said Chairman Kang. “We hope that Korean venture companies will be able to lead global innovation in new industries through exchanges with Maryland and contribute to economic growth in both countries.”
New Foreign Trade Office In South Korea. At a business reception in Seoul, Governor Hogan announced that the Maryland Department of Commerce will open a new foreign trade office in South Korea. The Seoul office joins Maryland’s network of existing trade offices in Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
UNDBIO to Open New U.S. R&D Headquarters in Maryland. The governor also highlighted the announcement that UNDBIO—a Korean pharmaceutical company with unique proprietary insulin production technology—has leased 25,000 square feet of laboratory space in Rockville and committed $100 million for the research and development and preliminary production of insulin. The company has signed a lease with Twinlabs—a Rockville life science real estate company—to develop a state-of-the-art lab where scientists will produce insulin samples that will require U.S. FDA approval, and eventually enter the U.S. and global markets.
“Maryland is proud to be home to hundreds of life sciences companies that set the bar for biotechnology innovation and fuel our region’s innovative economy, and we are excited to welcome the life-saving work of UNDBIO to Rockville,” said Governor Hogan. “This is yet another shining example that Maryland is open for business and further evidence of our state’s special bond with the Republic of Korea.”
“I am happy to establish our relationship with the State of Maryland to undertake the research and development required to produce affordable insulin and insulin analogues for the diabetic population around the globe,” said UNDBIO’s Chairman Jun Yong-soo. “We look forward to developing high paying biotech jobs for Maryland, and would welcome other partners into our global insulin project.”
Meeting With Governor of Jeollanam-do Province. Prior to the business reception, the governor met with Governor Kim Yung-rok of the Jeollanam-do Province, which has maintained a sister-state relationship with the State of Maryland since 2017 and is where the First Lady was born.
Additional Meetings With Business Leaders. The governor also held meetings with leaders from Hyundai Motor Group and the CJ Group, to discuss a wide range of issues and ways to expand Korean investment in Maryland.