The MVR Company (MVR) and Engineered Medical Systems, Inc. (EMS) announced yesterday a lease to occupy a 10,000 sq. ft. space in Port Covington’s City Garage. The South Baltimore location will be used for a medical device manufacturing operation and a business development accelerator to support Maryland’s growing medical technology companies. MVR and EMS have signed a five-year lease and have the option to use additional space if it becomes available at City Garage.

EMS manufactures medical products for its proprietary line, and provides private label and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) contracts to distribution teams and other medical device companies. Its current facilities operate out of Indianapolis, IN and Penang, Malaysia. For several years, MVR and EMS have been in discussions regarding the possibility of placing a medical device manufacturing operation in Baltimore to support the growing Medtech ecosystem in Maryland.

EMS will produce proprietary and contract products in the new facility and is in discussions with several out-of-state companies that are interested in producing in the new location. The facility will be known as The Factory™.

Brad Quinn, co-president and director of operations at EMS, said in a press release, “We have been intrigued by the vibrancy of the clinical and innovation atmosphere in Maryland, and have in fact had several productive relationships in the past with researchers and physicians from the area. We view this as a timely opportunity to engage more deeply with the medical device community in greater Baltimore and Maryland.”

MVR and EMS are also partnering to form The LaunchPort™ accelerator which will “provide emerging growth Medtech companies the opportunity to establish residency in The Factory™ alongside an operational medical device manufacturer.”

“The facility will be a registered medical device manufacturing site, and as such will operate a range of assembly operations, clean room and lab facilities, with operational accounting and quality system support enterprise systems,” said Jeff Quinn, EMS Co-President and Director of Engineering and Development. “The Residents will have full access to and ability to incorporate these tools into their businesses – a critical step to gain regulatory approval. We’ve already had discussions with several candidates and are extremely excited about this opportunity to make these capabilities available to the area.”

Bob Storey, principal of MVR, will serve as the managing partner of The LaunchPort™ overseeing the establishment and staffing of the accelerator and the development of programming. Storey has been involved in the Maryland Medtech community for nearly 20 years and is active with initiatives at the state and federal levels to build the medical device industry in Maryland.

“This will be a unique solution – both in Maryland and on a national basis. The State and our region’s academic institutions have done an amazing job over the past several years, nurturing and staging our medical technologies to benefit patients around the world,” said Storey in a press release.  “As each of those opportunities matures and builds their capabilities, they need continued support to ensure that staying in our region is their best business decision. This initiative is designed to raise the probability that companies will develop personnel resources locally in both the manufacturing trades and engineering/clinical areas, even as they continue forward after The LaunchPort™. This is just one step of many that the State needs to take to build a strong Medtech base here, but there is a certain amount of stability that starts to take root when you build a physical product.”

The LaunchPort™ and The Factory™ expect to take occupancy in Q4 of 2017. In addition to EMS product lines, The LaunchPort™ will house several emerging growth Medtech residents in 2018, and is taking requests for residency from area start-ups. The long-term plan is to put out a national solicitation in 2019 targeted at recruiting additional clinically-ready Medtech companies to move to Baltimore.

Storey said he initially expects the facility to employ about 30. He said the goal will be to keep graduate companies of The LaunchPort™ in the Baltimore area.

Story told that they were drawn to Port Covington because of its close proximity to the medical schools at Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, as well City Garage’s focus on manufacturing and products. He said there will be a lot of synergy between The LaunchPort™ and The Factory™ and fellow City Garage tenants, such as Betamore and The Foundery.

City Garage is part of Sagamore Development’s 266-acre, $5.5 billion Port Covington Master Plan. Additional tenants of the 133,000 sq. ft. facility include Under Armour Lighthouse, Brown Girl Village, Bustin Boards, Hungry HarvestSocial Leagues, Tapologie, Treason Toting Co., and Workbench.

As The LaunchPort™ and The Factory™ grows, Storey said they are interested in staying in Port Covington long term and being a part of Sagamore Development’s focus on light manufacturing.