Arsenal of Innovation event aims to connect local vendors to federal and military contracts
Kalamazoo was the fourth stop today in 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. Fred Upton (St. Joseph). 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 Congressman Upton in Kalamazoo 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 Kalamazoo 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.
“My district has a strong military community with a proud history of supporting our soldiers, veterans and their families,” U.S. Rep. Fred Upton said. “Southwest Michigan has the critical infrastructure in place and the companies to support federal contracts that will help drive economic growth in our region and in the state.”
|About the Michigan Defense Center
The Michigan Defense Center is an operation of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation focused on the support, protection and growth of Michigan’s defense and homeland security missions and the Michigan businesses that support our nation’s security and our military’s safety. The Michigan Defense Center is the State of Michigan’s lead voice on the defense and homeland security economy and guides the state’s policies and programs to protect and grow this important sector of the economy.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.