The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) recently sponsored an event where 200 small innovative tech companies learned about special funding opportunities and programs that are available to small businesses at the Department of Defense (DoD), including the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
“The goal of the January 14th conference was to help small companies, especially small technology companies and innovative manufacturers, learn about how they can do business with the Defense Department and its various components,” explained Andrew Smith, GTPAC’s program manager. “We wanted to have an event where we could educate the small business community about DoD opportunities.”
The event featured numerous prominent speakers. Khai Edouard, the co-founder of the technology consulting firm The Simple Vue, spoke about the Georgia Defense Exchange (GDX), a technology platform that was built for the Georgia Department of Economic Development that helps government defense contractors network with other contractors and find contracting opportunities with DoD. Contractors can access the Georgia Defense Exchange at https://gdx.georgia.org
Tim Greeff, the founder, and CEO of the National Security Technology Accelerator (NSTXL), which prospects and develops innovative technology for the Department of Defense, spoke about Other Transaction Authority (OTA) contracts, and how DoD utilizes OTAs to fund research and prototype development.
Adele Navarrete, senior corporate counsel for the Logistics Management Institute, a major not-for-profit defense contractor, provided attendees with insights and advice on how to win business with the Department of Defense. Ms. Navarrete later joined an industry panel with Raven Smith, senior regulatory compliance analyst with Lockheed Martin, and John Roman, senior vice president at Huntington Ingalls Industries – Technical Solutions. They discussed the important attributes and qualities defense contractors look for in subcontractors.
The keynote address was delivered by Lisa R. Sanders, the director of science and technology for the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). As a defense intelligence senior leader, Ms. Sanders is responsible for all research and development funded activities for the U.S. Special Operations Forces at MacDill Air Force Base. Ms. Sanders gave an overview of USSOCOM’s technology and purchasing priorities, and the difficult technology problems Special Operations Forces needs industry to solve. Ms. Sanders also gave an overview of how industry could engage and do business with the USSOCOM.
After the keynote speech, attendees were able to network with one another and forge potential business relationships.
Four concurrent workshops were also held in the afternoon sessions that covered a variety of topics of interest to government contractors, including how to develop successful bids and proposals and how to comply with DoD cybersecurity requirements.
“Overall, I’m very proud of the event and how industry and government came together to provide such excellent information and training to our attendees,” said Mr. Smith. “I think everyone came away learning a lot about how to best engage the Department of Defense if you are a small technology company or manufacturer with the next great product or idea. I firmly believe Georgia Tech can help connect the next great idea to those in DoD who need that idea and solution — and that is going to keep our nation safe.”
Copies of all presentations made at the Jan. 14, 2019 event — along with related resource materials — can be downloaded from: https://gtpac.org/training-video/