Gov. Wes Moore announced the partnership between the Maryland Department of Commerce; the World Trade Center Institute, in Baltimore; and L Marks, a global innovation specialist, to create the Maryland Innovation Lab.

The first of its kind in the U.S., the Lab will match Maryland companies with global technology concerns to bring innovations to life and spur global investment in the state.

L Marks, which has a presence in the United Kingdom, will select global companies to pitch solutions to Maryland firms that are selected by the World Trade Center Institute. When companies are matched, they will spend 10 weeks working together; as part of the program, global companies will also have the opportunity to explore Maryland for a possible location or expansion.

The Lab is an initiative of Commerce’s Global Gateway Program. It will kick off this summer within Maryland’s sustainable food sector to address challenges in food packaging and logistics, supply chain and distribution. The program will focus on a different industry sector every time a new cohort is convened.

During his first international trade mission, Moore also met with executives from Plexal, another innovation company that partners with government, startups and industry to solve society’s challenges through collaboration. Plexal announced an agreement to join the Maryland Global Gateway program as the seventh official exchange partner and the first in the U.K.

Plexal has a separate agreement with DreamPort, a cyber innovation, collaboration and prototyping facility in Columbia.