The Maryland Department of Commerce joined Bowie State University and Hood College, in Frederick, in endowing more than $2.5 million to fund new research professorships. The endowments were made through the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative, a state program created to spur basic and applied research in scientific and technical fields at colleges and universities.

The schools raised $1.5 million in private funding for each chair, and Maryland Commerce approved matching grants of more than $1 million to support the endowments.

Bowie State University was awarded $500,000 to establish an endowed chair of cybersecurity and for a new director of the Center of Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies; the award was matched by $500,000 in qualified funding from the university. The new director will establish an ecosystem for cyber innovators at the university with the potential to influence BSU’s long-term vision and strategic role in building an entrepreneurial workforce.

In addition, the director will elevate a culture of innovation within the department and across the institution. Ultimately, under the director’s guidance, Bowie State will grow a pipeline of graduates who are traditionally underrepresented in cybersecurity and entrepreneurship with an emphasis on research, deep technology and STEM.

Hood College was awarded $510,000 for the endowe d director of a new Biomedical Research and Training Center, which is supported by $1 million in matching funds. In addition to providing STEM training opportunities for Hood College students across a variety of majors and disciplines, the center will serve students from other regional schools as well as the employees of regional companies.