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CRDG partners with NSWC Crane for third-annual small business networking event

WESTGATE@CRANE Technology Park, (Odon) Indiana (Oct. 27, 2023) - Crane Regional Defense Group (CRDG) hosted the third-annual Connect to Crane (C2C) networking event October 12 at WestGate Academy to provide small business owners the opportunity to engage with government and industry leaders who support Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division.

NSWC Commanding Officer, Captain Rex A. Boonyobhas, provided opening comments and highlighted the importance of strong partnerships between the installation and its supporting small businesses, specifically how events like C2C strengthen the defense ecosystem. Boonyobhas expressed, “NSWC Crane is committed to fostering traditional and non-traditional business relationships in the local area.”

The event is designed to offer attendees intimate, one-on-one sessions with 20 NSWC Crane representatives and its mission partners. Participants have 10 minutes with each representative to network and learn best practices for gaining contracts, showcase their products and services, and increase their understanding of the federal procurement process. The fast-paced, “speed networking” style event encourages companies to make a lasting impression on the person sitting across from them throughout the day.

The event creates a space for small businesses that are developing cutting-edge innovations to talk with strategists, contracting officials, policymakers, and local defense and business leaders. C2C is the only experience of its kind in the region, and participants travel from across the country to participate.

“As a company that is new to Crane, the Connect to Crane event was a great opportunity for us to better understand all of the important Warfighter support work that is being done, both by government and industry partners,” said Mark Reese, chief operating officer at EWA. “It gave us insight and connections to partners that can use our capabilities to better perform the mission.”

Also in attendance were mission partners and defense contractors: Barbaricum, Booz Allen Hamilton, CACI, HII, IN Apex Accelerator, JRC Integrated Systems, NSTXL, ManTech International, Reliable Microsystems, TriStar Engineering and Valor Defense Solutions. These companies are also CRDG members whose capabilities strategically align with the small business attendees’ technologies, and were on hand to offer advice and share opportunities for collaboration.

“I cannot say enough about the interaction among all the businesses at this extraordinary event. As a small business owner, I was able to make several connections that aligned with my business that may allow for teaming opportunities in the future,” said Dr. Sue Davis, president and CEO of Valor Defense Solutions. “This defense-related outreach event provided yet another example of the importance and the need for all of ‘US’ to be working together to continue to expand southern Indiana’s defense innovation system, the correlated ecosystem, and most importantly, to continue to enhance our warfighters’ capabilities.”

The Crane Regional Defense Group will continue to host events tailored for small businesses to help leverage Crane’s potential to bring economic growth to Southern Indiana. These companies are vital to mission success and CRDG is committed to providing opportunities for collaboration and partnership.

CRDG will host its next event, the final Connect to Mission (C2M) of the year, Tuesday, Nov. 7 at WestGate Academy.

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