F³ Tech is an accelerator program developed to encourage and advance innovation and technology within the industry sectors of agriculture, aquaculture, and the environment. Through a pipeline series of programs, F³ Tech aims to position Maryland as a nationally-recognized leader in agritech, aquatech, and envirotech.
Starting in 2017, F³ Tech is a collaborative statewide initiative primarily focused on impacting the rural areas of Maryland. In contrast to the other industry sector focuses in the more urban Baltimore/Washington corridor, F³ Tech seeks to elevate a focus on rural Maryland’s traditional industries of agriculture and seafood. These rural areas include Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland, and Western Maryland.
A differentiating aspect of the Maryland landscape is the distinctive blend of land and water. Through the generations, the agriculture and seafood industries have co-existed and enriched the culture and lifestyle of Maryland families. This hybrid environment offers a valuable opportunity to advance both traditional industries together for the benefit of increased food production and their common supply chain. The diversity of typography and related agricultural activities also distinguishes Maryland; from its tidal and ocean environments of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean on Eastern Shore grain fields and fisheries to the dairy farms of Appalachian Mountains in Western Maryland.
Another significant advantage Maryland offers to increased innovation and technology in these industry sectors is the valuable collection of federal agencies, universities and their related facilities, and laboratories. Per the U.S. Census, Maryland ranks No. 2 with the highest concentration of PhD’s per capita and ranks No. 1 in research and development intensity. What is needed in Maryland is a larger level of commercialization of the many innovations and technologies that produced in our labs and universities as well as within the private sector.
Maryland is favored with some of the best universities in the country, most notably Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland in addition to numerous other state and private universities and colleges offering top-rated programs and study in the areas of agriculture and environmental science. F³ Tech schedules one- and two-day challenge events at universities and community colleges throughout rural Maryland. Challenges in each of the three focus areas of agritech, aquatech, and envirotech are intended to embolden and motivate students to consider innovations and technologies and subsequent commercialization opportunities going forward. Innovations and startup ideas coming out of the challenge events will be encouraged to progress into the Pre-Accelerator program.
The F³ Tech Pre-Accelerator is Maryland’s first program focused on viewing the State’s traditional industries of agriculture and seafood through the lens of innovation and technology. Through the coordinated networking of serial entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches
Areas of Focus – Opportunities of Innovation