New law establishes a workgroup to study and make recommendations for advanced technologies to define the future of Maryland manufacturing

BALTIMORE, July 12, 2021 – The Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI) was the key driver in the creation and passing of Maryland bills HB658 and SB444, “Transforming Manufacturing In a Digital Economy Workgroup (Making It in Maryland).” The bills officially became law on July 1, 2021, establishing a workgroup to study and make recommendations regarding advanced digital technologies shaping the future of Maryland manufacturing including quantum computing, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

RMI’s President Mike Galiazzo was instrumental in the creation, drafting and passing of the bills—securing the key legislative sponsors and lobbying for the bills during the past two legislative sessions. SB444 was formally introduced by Senator Chris West (R-Baltimore County, MD) and HB658, was introduced by Delegate Lily Qi (D- Montgomery County, MD). These were companion bills that became law.

“The passing of these bills into law is a huge victory for Maryland manufacturers and our state’s economy,” said Mike Galiazzo, Ph.D., president of RMI. “It was a bipartisan, stakeholder driven effort. Maryland is already a top state for research and development in manufacturing, and therefore the state was perfectly positioned to pass this first-of-its-kind legislation. The law not only publicly establishes manufacturing as a priority for the state but will also shape the future of Maryland manufacturing and position Maryland as a national showcase and powerhouse for next-generation advanced manufacturing.” 

RMI appointed the following representatives from manufacturing companies:

  • Kenneth Sanchez, President, Chesapeake Specialty Products, Inc.
  • Bob Mather, Vice President-Lean, I4.0 & Advanced Manufacturing, Stanley Black & Decker Global Operations
  • Kunjan Tokekar, Director of Industrial Engineering Volvo Group Trucks
  • Thomas VanCott, Ph.D., Chief Technology & Strategy Officer, Catalent Cell & Gene Therapy
  • April Richardson, Esq., Managing Partner, Food Opportunity, LLC 

A key focus in revolutionizing manufacturing is bringing people and technology together,” said Nick DeSimone, RMI Board Member and Chief Supply Chain Officer for Global Tools & Storage at Stanley Black & Decker. “Stanley Black & Decker’s connected digital ecosystem fundamentally develops best-in-class Industry 4.0 manufacturing principles, defines the workforce of the future, and strengthens our customer experiences.”

The workgroup also includes individuals from the following organizations:

Four members of the Maryland legislature appointed by the Senate President and House Speaker; MD Dept of Information Technology (DOIT); Maryland Department of Commerce; Regional Manufacturing Institute; MD Dept. of Labor; Maryland Manufacturing Advisory Board (Dept. of Commerce); Maryland Association of Independent Colleges & Universities (MICUA); Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC ); University System of Maryland (USM); Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MD MEP); RAMPMD; Maryland Tech Council (MTC); Fraunhofer Center Mid-Atlantic; Maryland AFL-CIO; and, Printing & Graphics Association Mid-Atlantic (PGAMA) Maryland Small Business Development Center.

“RMI is the catalyst and driving force for this bill—putting the state on the map as one of the first states to truly harness digital technology to enable next-gen manufacturing. I led this bill because I believe it is vitally important for Maryland to position itself on the cutting edge of manufacturing,” said Senator Chris West (R).

“I was very excited when approached by RMI to sponsor this bill,” said Delegate Lily Qi (D). “I believe this focused initiative diversifies our economic industry, allows us to provide middle-wage/skill jobs and attract the industries of the future to Maryland.”  

About RMI

Founded in 1990, RMI is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of manufacturers statewide – providing programs, services, and advocacy. RMI is dedicated to serving people, families, and communities by growing Maryland’s manufacturing industry. RMI recognizes and promotes the work of Maryland manufacturers; offers a state-funded program providing complementary engineering resources to manufacturers; and connects secondary and post-secondary STEM students with advanced manufacturing internships, apprenticeships and job opportunities. RMI’s mission is to advocate for Maryland manufacturing and help companies grow and be competitive.


Media Contact:

Sarah Broome
B Squared on behalf of RMI
Tel: +1 714-469-9237