February 14, 2022 by Amanda Winters
For the past 30 years, the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) has promoted bi-lateral trade and collaboration between the state and the Middle Eastern country. With a new executive director this year, the nonprofit is working hard to strengthen the partnership between the regions, while touting the benefits of doing business in Maryland.
MIDC – which is a public-private partnership between the Maryland Department of Commerce and Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Trade – has helped several international businesses successfully open offices in Maryland in recent years, including RADA Technologies, AmplioSpeech, and ELTA.
We sat down with the newly named director, David Speer, to discuss his new role and the organization’s impact on economic development throughout Maryland.
As MIDC’s new executive director, what are you looking forward to most?
I am looking forward to continuing to grow and strengthen the economic bonds between my two favorite places – Israel and Maryland. Also, this role varies so much each day – whether it’s meeting with Israeli or Maryland companies, working with the State of Maryland, or getting the word out about the MIDC – and I’m already enjoying how different each day can be.
We have seen the state lead several trade missions to Israel over the years. How do these trips benefit the state and its businesses?
The primary goal of these missions is to foster connections between business leaders. Perhaps the most important part of this is to entice Israeli companies to open an office, lab, or workplace in Maryland. The missions enable Israelis to see how Maryland’s business community is thriving and how important growth is here in our state. In turn, Israeli businesses will naturally want to work with Maryland businesses, leading to economic growth.
Similarly, how do these missions benefit companies located in Israel?
‘Showing off’ Maryland’s incredible human capital, business infrastructure, and its expanding innovative business culture is key to attracting Israeli businesses to Maryland as their gateway into the vast US market. In particular, our state is a world leader in a variety of fields and the ecosystem of the private sector, academia and local and federal government entities is an important factor in foreign businesses opening in Maryland.
What do Maryland and Israel have in common?
Other than the obvious culture of innovation and commitment to economic development, both places have parallel strengths in a wide variety of businesses such as medical technologies and biotech, cybersecurity and defense, and the emerging industries of artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing.
What is one thing you want people to know about MIDC’s role in supporting economic development throughout Maryland?
The Maryland/Israel Development Center is a one-stop shop for all business and trade for both places. Through our leadership, staff and vast network the MIDC provides an instant infrastructure to make connections across all business in the private sector. Managing these connections is the primary role of the MIDC and enables our organization to be ready to help with any issue or overcome any obstacle.
By Amanda Winters, Communications Manager, Maryland Department of Commerce