Arsenal of Innovation event aims to connect local vendors to federal and military contracts
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Ann Arbor was the sixth stop today in a four-month statewide tour to support Michigan defense-related businesses. The “Arsenal of Innovation” event aims to inform and assist Michigan companies that are interested in pursuing contracts with Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The event was hosted by the Michigan Defense Center, which is part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and keynoted by U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (Dearborn). Additional forums will be held around the state through October.
“Michigan, known as the Arsenal of Democracy since WWII, has evolved into the nation’s Arsenal of Innovation for defense,” said Sean Carlson, executive director of the Michigan Defense Center. “Michigan companies are at the leading edge of technological advancements and experimentation and we are proud to be here today with Congresswoman Dingell in Ann Arbor to support Michigan companies and look forward to the future.”
The “Arsenal of Innovation” event provided an overview of the federal contract process and grant program assistance from the Michigan Defense Center. The event also gave participants opportunities to learn business-growth strategies from prime defense contractors and introduced companies to government-sponsored resources to grow their businesses.
Today’s event in Ann Arbor was modeled off an event hosted by the Michigan Defense Center in Washington D.C. last November for the Michigan Congressional Delegation. That event highlighted Michigan companies including General Dynamics, BAE, and 14 other medium and small companies from across the state that are creating advanced technologies for the defense industry. Most of Michigan’s congressional representatives and senators participated and showed their support for Michigan’s defense industry.
Defense is a multi-billion-dollar industry of Michigan’s economy, supporting more than 126,000 Michigan jobs. Nearly 4,000 Michigan businesses are currently serving the nation’s defense industry – from information technology solutions and construction services to generating energy-saving ideas that can be applied in the field.“People know Michigan as the home of the auto industry, but most people do not know that Michigan is an innovation powerhouse within the defense industry. More than 4,000 businesses are working every day to provide service members with the best and most innovative products to carry out their missions and keep our nation safe and secure,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “It is critical that we work together – government, industry and academia – to continue to grow Michigan’s defense assets, not only to protect our service men and women, but to continue to grow our economy and create Michigan jobs.”