October 10, 2017

Van Hollen, Cardin Announce a Half Million Dollars for University of Maryland Program to Invest in Startups, STEAM Education

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.)have announced a $500,000 grant to the University of Maryland awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. The funding will help launch the University of Maryland's Mixed/Augmented/Virtual Reality Innovation Center (MAVRIC) program, which will provide innovative resources, training, and support to students and entrepreneurs in Immersive Media (IM) technology.

"This investment will continue to propel Maryland forward as a state of innovation in the 21st Century economy. It will help prepare our many brilliant young minds for challenging and exciting careers in technology and ultimately help create new businesses in our state," said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees. "High-tech careers are all the more demanding and require top-notch training - and I will keep fighting for programs that help students achieve their goals and succeed in today's economy."

"Helping the next generation of workers keep up with the latest trends in science and technology is integral for our economy. This investment in University of Maryland's students will help ensure that our growing workforce has the knowledge and competency to compete," said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. "I'm committed to seeing federal investments in STEAM education reach all our students, in every corner of Maryland."

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) promotes innovation and competitiveness by investing in communities across the country. The MAVRIC program will support the creation of new startups and the innovation and commercialization of IM technologies in Maryland area. Additionally, the grant is aimed at filling the regional gap in the technology sector by creating a network of influencers, executive champions, and support groups for IM startups. The MAVRIC program will also focus on increasing the number of STEAM - Science, Technology, Arts and Math - students from urban and rural underserved communities.