Hi there! In this article, we‘ll explore some of the largest and most influential technology companies headquartered in the great state of Maryland. You may be surprised to learn just how many pioneering aerospace, biotech, cybersecurity, and other tech firms call Maryland home. Read on for an in-depth look at the top companies driving innovation in the Old Line State.
Maryland has emerged as a major hub of the technology industry in recent decades. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional, scientific, and technical services employ over 250,000 people in Maryland as of 2021. The state contains over 13,000 STEM business establishments providing high-paying jobs in fields from biotechnology to systems integration.
With outstanding research universities like Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland coupled with its proximity to key federal agencies, Maryland possesses vital assets to support technology innovation. It should come as no surprise then that many of the country‘s largest and most influential technology companies have chosen to headquarters in Maryland.
Let‘s explore some of these impactful firms, from longtime aerospace leaders to emerging biotech pioneers. For each company, we’ll overview their history, innovations, financial growth, and influence on Maryland’s economy and technology landscape.
First up is Lockheed Martin, the largest defense contractor and top aerospace company located in Maryland. With 2021 revenues of $67 billion and a workforce of over 114,000, Lockheed Martin‘s impact is felt globally thanks to the advanced aircraft, spacecraft, and technologies it designs from its headquarters in Bethesda.
Lockheed Martin’s history stretches back over a century. In 1912, the Glenn L. Martin Company was founded in Los Angeles by pioneering aviation inventor Glenn Luther Martin. The company quickly relocated to Santa Ana, California and later Cleveland, Ohio as it ramped up aircraft production, especially during World War I.
In 1926, Allan Loughead and his brother Malcolm formed the Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company, which was later renamed the Lockheed Aircraft Company in 1930. Lockheed made its name designing advanced, high-speed aircraft in the 1930s like the Lockheed Vega.
During World War II, Lockheed produced over 19,000 airplanes, including the P-38 Lightning fighter and Hudson patrol bomber. The Martin company also thrived, responsible for nearly three-quarters of bombers flown by Allied forces.
After the war, both companies continued pushing aviation technology forward. Lockheed‘s famous Skunk Works division developed the U-2 spy plane and SR-71 Blackbird. The Glenn L. Martin Company merged with the American-Marietta Corporation in 1961 to form Martin Marietta, which became a leader in missiles and space technology.
These two aerospace giants finally merged in 1995 to form Lockheed Martin. The company has continued to pioneer advanced military and civilian aircraft, missile systems, satellites, NASA spacecraft like the Mars InSight Lander, and more. Major programs developed in Maryland include the F-16, F-22, F-35, C-130J, and A2100 satellite.
Lockheed Martin’s presence has helped cement Maryland as a major hub of aerospace technology and defense contracting. As the company develops next-generation aircraft like the SR-72 hypersonic drone from its headquarters, it ensures Maryland remains on the cutting edge of aerospace innovation.
Fellow aerospace giant Northrop Grumman also calls Maryland home. With over $35 billion in annual revenues and around 85,000 employees, Northrop Grumman produces crucial defense systems ranging from stealth bombers to cybersecurity solutions.
Like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman’s history has its roots in the early days of aviation. Jack Northrop founded the Avion Corporation in 1927 which was later renamed the Northrop Corporation. This company went on to produce over 41,000 aircraft during World War II, including the pioneering Northrop Flying Wing bomber.
In 1929, the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation was founded by Leroy Grumman to develop innovative aluminum aircraft. Grumman would produce over 25,000 warplanes during WWII along with the Apollo Lunar Module that first delivered astronauts to the Moon’s surface in 1969.
As the Cold War drove rapid advances in aerospace technology, Northrop and Grumman emerged as key defense contractors. The companies merged in 1994 to form Northrop Grumman, which went on to develop major programs like the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, E-8C Joint STARS surveillance aircraft, and space components for NASA missions.
From its headquarters in Linthicum, Maryland, Northrop Grumman has pioneered key technologies in aerospace, C4ISR, cyber, and autonomous systems. As conflicts arise around the globe, Northrop Grumman leverages cutting-edge research and development conducted in Maryland to protect national security interests. The company manages critical defense infrastructure while continuing to push technology forward in its century-long mission.
Now let’s switch gears to the life sciences sector where Emergent BioSolutions has become a leader in biodefense technology. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, this specialty biopharmaceutical company develops vaccines, antibody therapeutics, and other medical solutions that help address public health threats.
Emergent’s initial focus was combating the threat posed by anthrax bioterrorism attacks. In 2004, the company acquired the only FDA-approved anthrax vaccine and went on to develop Anthrasil, the first monoclonal antibody therapeutic approved for anthrax exposure.
When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, Emergent pivoted quickly, signing deals with Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca to manufacture their COVID vaccine candidates. The company possesses eight manufacturing facilities in Maryland capable of rapidly scaling production to meet urgent public health needs.
Below we can see how Emergent’s revenue and employee count has grown over the past decade as the company expands its life-saving products:
Key to the company’s growth is its close partnerships with organizations like the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and National Institutes of Health to address pressing threats. Emergent has received over $1 billion in funding from BARDA to develop medical countermeasures combating threats from Ebola to opioid overdoses.
As infectious diseases grow more complex and drug-resistant, Emergent BioSolutions continues developing cutting-edge solutions from its Maryland labs to improve public health outcomes. The company combines biopharmaceutical research with reliable, large-scale manufacturing critical for national security.
Leidos, headquartered in Reston, VA with a major Maryland presence, has emerged as a leading provider of technology and security solutions to the federal government. The company’s 43,000 employees tackle challenges at the intersection of national security, health, and infrastructure.
Leidos’ history traces back to 1969 when it was founded as Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to provide scientific research services. SAIC worked extensively with the U.S. nuclear navy and other security agencies over the following decades.
In 2013, SAIC separated its lines of business into two public companies. The spinoff Leidos focuses on IT, infrastructure, and national security markets while the original SAIC delivers advanced technology and solutions primarily to government agencies.
Leidos works across defense, intelligence, homeland security, healthcare, and other civilian markets. Key contracts include modernizing IRS IT infrastructure, integrating EHR systems for the DoD, and developing tools to detect nuclear threats. The company generated $13.7 billion in revenues during 2021.
While headquartered in Virginia, Leidos maintains a major presence in Maryland including its KeyW subsidiary based in Hanover. KeyW delivers cybersecurity, sensor technologies, training systems, and intelligence analysis critical for national security missions. With over 1,500 Maryland employees, Leidos plays a vital role driving technological innovation in defense and security from its operations in the state.
Now let’s examine Tenable, a rapidly growing cybersecurity firm founded and headquartered in Maryland. Tenable’s technology helps organizations manage and measure cyber risk across their attack surface.
Tenable’s story began in 2002 when Columbia, Maryland residents John Czupak and Jack Huffard founded the company. The pair had previously worked together at the National Security Agency and combined their cybersecurity expertise at Tenable.
The company’s foundational product was Nessus, a vulnerability scanner first launched in 1998 and now used by over 30,000 organizations globally. Tenable built on Nessus by introducing solutions like Tenable.io for managing vulnerabilities across entire enterprises.
Under CEO Amit Yoran, Tenable has grown into a cybersecurity leader generating $541 million in revenue during 2021. The company’s solutions allow customers to rapidly assess their cyber risk and take action to strengthen their security posture.
Tenable possesses deep ties with Maryland’s cyber community. Its workforce has grown to over 2,000 employees, many located in Columbia headquarters. In 2018, Tenable also founded Maryland’s first cybersecurity venture fund, DataTribe, to support emerging startups.
As high-profile cyber attacks like SolarWinds demonstrate the growing threat to governments and enterprises, Tenable empowers organizations to get ahead of attackers. The company will continue innovating new cyber defense solutions from its Maryland roots as the digital attack surface expands.
Our final company, OpGen, demonstrates Maryland’s leadership in emerging biotechnology fields like genomics. Founded in 2001 in Gaithersburg, this small but rapidly growing firm leverages DNA sequencing and bioinformatics to combat infectious diseases.
OpGen’s specialty is identifying multidrug-resistant bacterial strains to guide more effective antibiotic treatments. The company’s Acuitas AMR Gene Panel tests clinical specimens to detect gene markers of antibiotic resistance within hours instead of days.
With antibiotic resistance threatening modern medicine’s ability to treat deadly infections, tools like OpGen’s are critical. The company also provides informatics solutions using genomic epidemiology to track outbreaks and monitor infectious disease threats.
While still small with around 50 employees, OpGen is on the cutting edge of technology translating genome sequencing from research into clinical practice. In 2021, the company achieved 140% revenue growth highlighting the increasing adoption of OpGen‘s products to battle complex infections.
OpGen‘s location close to key federal health organizations like the CDC, FDA, and NIH facilitate partnerships to validate and gain approval for its technology. As genomic medicine continues advancing, OpGen will remain at the forefront of leveraging DNA sequencing to overcome disease from its Maryland headquarters.
The Future of Technology in Maryland
This overview of some of Maryland’s largest and most influential tech companies shows the state’s emergence as a hub of technology innovation. From aerospace pioneers like Lockheed Martin to healthcare disruptors like OpGen, visionary companies are choosing Maryland for its unparalleled assets.
With outstanding research universities, proximity to key federal agencies, and a diverse, highly educated workforce, Maryland contains the ingredients for technology leadership. Look for the companies profiled here along with upstarts across industries to continue driving progress from their headquarters in the Old Line State.
So next time you’re visiting Maryland for its scenic landscapes and fresh seafood, don’t forget the pivotal role it plays in the technology powering our modern world. The next pioneering product or platform advancing humanity is likely being developed right now within one of Maryland’s dynamic technology firms!