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Build Our Future Grant Pilot Program

The Build Our Future Grant Pilot Program and Fund (Fund) is a financing resource operated by the Maryland Department of Commerce (Commerce), to provide grants for innovation infrastructure projects intended to support innovation in an eligible technology sector. In FY24 $10 million is available for grants to transformative projects that accelerate the growth of the state’s strategic industry sectors. Grants may be awarded to private companies, nonprofit entities, local governments, or colleges and universities in the State.

Please note that applications are not being accepted at this time. Phase 1 of the FY2024 application process has concluded. Applicants selected for Phase 2 have been notified. We expect to accept Phase 1 applications for FY2025 at a later time in the Fall of 2024.

Eligible Use of Funds

Grant awards may be used to defray the cost a grantee incurs to acquire, construct, rehabilitate, install, improve, or equip an eligible innovation infrastructure project.

Grants may be used for eligible innovation infrastructure projects designed to transform and accelerate growth in the following eligible technology sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biotechnology
  • Blue Technology
  • Cybersecurity
  • Defense
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Life Sciences
  • Quantum
  • Sensors and Robotics

Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to: 

  • Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities
  • Wet Laboratories
  • Cyber Ranges
  • Prototype Manufacturing Centers
  • Other Specialized Workforce Training, Skill Certification, or Research-Related Spaces

APPLICATION PROCESS

The Build Our Future grant applications will be issued through a 2-step process. Phase 1 will include an open call for proposals, seeking initial project summary information and detailing the impact of the project on advancing innovation and growth in targeted industry sectors. Following review of the Phase 1 applications, a review committee will select and invite a limited number of applications to submit a more detailed Phase 2 application.

Phase 1 Application

  • A completed Phase 1 Application must include an outline and narrative of the project, and describe how it qualifies and supports the goals and parameters of the program. 
  • The Application must include the location, size, and function of the project. It must identify the technology sector, describe how the project will support innovation in that sector, identify sources and uses of funds, and describe the transformational aspects of the project. 
  • Incomplete submissions cannot be considered.
  • The application form available here. Applications may be submitted to buildourfuture.commerce@maryland.gov.
  • The deadline to submit an application has passed and applications are no longer being accepted at this time.
  • Successful applicants will be notified and invited to submit a Phase 2 Application in early January 2024.

Webinar

An informational webinar for potential applicants was held on October 19. You can view the recorded webinar and PowerPoint presentation below.

Phase 1 Application Documents:

Completed Phase 1 applications should be submitted via email to buildourfuture.commerce@maryland.gov

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY

  • A single entity may not be awarded more than $2,000,000 in grant funds in a fiscal year. 
    1. For a grant award up to $1,000,000, a grantee shall provide matching funds that are at least 200% of the grant amount. 
    2. For a grant award exceeding $1,000,000, and up to $2,000,000, a grantee shall provide matching funds that are at least 400% of the grant amount. 
    3. Funds received by a grantee through other State grant programs are not counted toward the grantees matching funds requirement. 
  • A grantee must demonstrate an ability to cover their share of the project costs. 
  • Not more that 50% of the appropriation to the fund in a fiscal year may be awarded to colleges and universities in that fiscal year. 
  • Grants to colleges and universities from the fund will be awarded to projects that: 
    1. Are performed in collaboration with private industry; or
    2. Offer the prospect of significant economic impact and the opportunity to develop entrepreneurship or clusters of technological innovation in the State.

TERMS

Resources for Applicants

Questions about the Fund should be directed to buildourfuture.commerce@maryland.gov. A member of the Commerce team will respond to your inquiry in a timely manner.