BALTIMORE, MD (October 28, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland Department of Labor recently joined with Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy in signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster greater economic collaboration between Maryland and Northern Ireland.
The MoU focuses on mutual growth in the cyber security industry, boosting exports, and creating new opportunities for trade and investment. As part of the agreement, an exchange program is being developed by which Maryland cyber companies will visit Northern Ireland to explore the European market for possible expansion, and Northern Ireland cyber companies will visit Maryland for similar purposes. Maryland will also exchange ideas with Northern Ireland on growing its cyber workforce through apprenticeship programs. The MoU will last for three years, and can be renewed by both parties.
The agreement was signed on October 24 by Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz, Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson, and Dr. Andrew McCormick, Director General of international relations with The Executive Office of Northern Ireland. A delegation of cyber security companies from Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as more than two dozen cyber security companies from Maryland attended the signing.
“Maryland and Northern Ireland are both recognized as world leading cyber security hubs, and this collaboration will further expand the global reach of our respective companies, and enable both Maryland and Northern Ireland to share best practices and boost trade and investment,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Schulz.
“Maryland’s innovative workforce development programs are providing cyber security companies with a pipeline of talented workers to keep pace with the growing demands of the global industry,” said Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Robinson. “We are excited to exchange best practices with Northern Ireland to continue building a strong cyber workforce that allows our companies to compete and our citizens to thrive.”
“This memorandum furthers our relationship with the government of Maryland, helping us to promote economic cooperation and investment and helps to address the important issue of a global skills shortage within the sector,” said Noel Lavery, permanent Secretary for the Department for the Economy. “Northern Ireland is the number one international location for U.S. cyber security development projects and this investment has helped to foster an entrepreneurial movement in the local digital industry.”
“The U.K. and the U.S. are both very much at the forefront of online security and it is important we work together not only for the mutual benefit of our economies but also to protect ourselves against cyber attacks and ensure the public’s data is stored, managed and communicated in a safe and acceptable manner,” said Dr. McCormick.
The collaboration between Maryland and Northern Ireland has been ongoing for more than a year, when a delegation from Northern Ireland visited the state to learn more about Maryland’s cyber workforce and potential partnerships with Maryland companies.