A Word from Marty Kress

Thanks to the commitment of the core team and partners, the Huntsville Advanced Defense Technology Cluster (HADTC) run by VCSI has gained national recognition for its innovative projects, activities, tools and collaborations. In the last quarter, the team has participated in a meeting with ten other clusters in San Diego hosted by the Administrator of SBA and supported by DOD, worked with the Director of the Rapid Equipping Force at Fort Belvoir to table new projects, activities and collaborations, and worked with NAITA to help frame meetings and activities geared to international markets, including a trade mission to Canada. The team has also conducted several ideation sessions linking the capabilities of local firms for pending government procurements and held one of the best ever sessions on the SBIR Program with key inputs from the CEOs of decibel and Aegis, Jeff Gronberg and Steve Hill. The team has several key proposals pending that could provide new and innovative opportunities for rapid prototyping and engineering demonstrations which capitalize on the emerging technical capabilities of regional and national firms as well as national labs.

However, the team still has much work to do in its efforts to diversify our regional economy and provide access to new and emerging markets for regional businesses – and we need your help to make that goal a reality.

The key to the future of the HADTC is to continue to take the lead in framing innovative technology projects and activities, collaborating with other regions of the United States and the world, capturing some of its pending projects and activities, framing new proposals with key clusters and regional organizations, gaining the recognition and support of the local community – business, research and government – for the Cluster’s value to the region and to new business opportunities. To make these things happen, the HADTC needs to broaden the base of the regional business participants and gain support for accessing new markets. At the end of the day, the success of the Cluster will be measured by the new jobs that it created, new collaborations it enabled, new projects it secured, new markets it opened, and new innovations – business and technology – it surfaced and adapted. Would you like your firm to be part of that success?

The Cluster is a community asset – and – the more engaged the community is the better the Cluster’s chances for success. The support of the Cluster by the Huntsville Mayor, the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce, and NASA MSFC have been ingredients of its success to date – and they will continue to be key elements of its future success. But the engagement of small, medium and large businesses are the real barometers of success and the team is working hard to engage them and to integrate them into its projects and activities. If you are engaged in the Cluster – stay engaged. But if you are not engaged, take a few minutes to explore the Cluster’s range of services and activities. There is no cost to you or your firm – only potential benefits.