“All of the products were devel-
oped from SBIRs. Thanks to SBIR,
these ideas have become reality.
And thanks to the 2016 FST, we
met our objective of obtaining firm
orders,” said Hughes. “The show
Tad Dickenson, Raytheon’s
director of the company’s SPY- 6(V)
Air and Missile Defense Radar
(AMDR) program, said his com-
pany welcomes partners through
the SBIR program, and looks to
small companies for big ideas, even
in long-standing or large programs
such as AMDR. Small companies
“help us to think like a smaller
company,” he said.
Raytheon has developed AMDR
with open architecture to be
“Any sized company can be
involved in the program,” he said.
“The Navy believes in technol-
ogy insertion, and innovation is
the core of small businesses. SBIR
companies are already engaged in
helping the Navy solve important
problems, including the challenges we are facing,”
Dickenson said. “They add to our ability to provide
needed capability to the Navy.”
Boeing SBIR coordinator Marlene Price, who par-
ticipated in a panel comprising representatives of the
large defense contractors, said the company has made
an executive commitment to support small and diverse
businesses, because “it makes smart business sense
“The SBIR program helps us reduce cost, improve
quality, meet all of our commitments. Small businesses
are a key enabler of our innovation throughout all of
our product lines,” she said.
Shadi Azoum, who manages the SBIR and Rapid
Innovation Fund at Space and Naval Warfare Systems
Command in San Diego, said the co-location with Sea-Air-Space is a great strategy.
“Last year’s forum was a great opportunity for the
primes to come up from the Sea-Air-Space exhibit
floor and see the small companies. This year I’d like to
see even more primes there,” he said.
Azoum said that having all the systems command
SBIR representatives together was another benefit of
“We had a chance to sync up and share information,
which will definitely lead to more collaboration,” he said.
The director of the Department of the Navy’s (DON)
SBIR/STTR Program, Bob Smith, said partnering with
the Navy League’s unique global maritime exposition
at National Harbor resulted in closer collaboration with
Navy and Marine Corps acquisition decision-makers,
industry leaders, small companies and the DON Office
of Small Business Programs.
“We had congressional leaders seeing small business
in action, and more than 100 SBIR/STTR technologies on
display — just a few minutes’ walk from thousands of
defense professionals perusing large, vivid exhibits by
dozens of defense industry leading firms,” he said.
Smith said the forum was helpful in answering
questions, and understanding concerns.
“I’m a very talkative advocate for the SBIR/STTR program, but I’m also a careful listener. The FST was a great
opportunity to have discussions with innovative entrepreneurs on improving the program, and getting much
needed technology to the warfighter faster,” he said. n
Register for Sea-Air-Space: http://www.seaairspace.org/
Register for FST: https://navyfst.com/
Emily Harman, director of the Department of the Navy’s Office of Small Business Programs,
speaks during the Small Business Forum at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition in National Harbor,
Md., May 18, 2016. The Forum for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business
Technology Transfer Transition will again be held in conjunction with Sea-Air-Space April 3-5.