$1.34 Million Grant Reinforces Maryland Smith’s Center for Global Business

A $1.34 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education through its Title IV Centers for International Business (CIBE) program will enable the Center for Global Business at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business to expand its portfolio of programs through 2026. The primary focus will involve applying lessons of the COVID 19 pandemic to ensure U.S. companies’ competitiveness into the future.

The four-year funding commitment, renewed for the sixth time at Maryland Smith, will “support research activities that contribute to a better understanding of strategies to make a business, institution, or system more resilient, and on lasting changes to the business environment brought about by the pandemic,” says CGB’s Executive Director Rebecca Bellinger.

CGB established a foundation for the mission in 2021 through a Maryland Business Adapts initiative that celebrated five Maryland-based exporting companies for their resilience in the pandemic. It culminated in a virtual networking and learning event. The initiative, Bellinger says, “illustrated how businesses underwent severe disruptions to their supply chains and work processes but found innovative solutions and showed remarkable resilience.”

Maryland Business Adapts further reflects CGB’s “strong portfolio of export promotion programs for executives and its readiness to deliver training programs with an added focus on building greater resilience to shocks,” says Kislaya Prasad, research professor and CGB academic director.

“In a globalized world, global shocks are inevitable. Of particular concern are future pandemics, climate change, global financial crises, and cyberattacks,” Prasad says. “The COVID 19 pandemic also accelerated trends such as the digital transformation of industries and has irreversibly transformed the global business landscape. U.S. companies need to be competitive in this new landscape.”

The new funding further reaffirms Maryland Smith as a national resource center with 20-plus years of experience in the CIBE program. The school additionally will apply the grant to new research, thought leadership activities, innovative student programming, faculty development programs, capacity building for business, and efforts at minority-serving institutions and community colleges.

“While the center’s core mission is to provide opportunities for Smith students, faculty, staff, and alumni to gain global mindset and international business skills, the grant expands this mission outside of College Park,” says Bellinger. “Inclusiveness and equity in global business education will continue to be an important marker for the center.”

Maryland Smith also is among just 16 recipients from a competitive applicant pool for the funding. “The CIBER network allows us to do things together with other schools at a scale that we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise,” says Prasad.