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Small Businesses Gain Access to NSWC Crane at Defense Networking Event

WESTGATE@CRANE Technology Park, (Odon) Indiana - The Crane Regional Defense Group (CRDG), hosted the inaugural Connect to Crane networking event October 12 at WestGate Academy to provide Hoosier small business owners the opportunity to connect with government and industry leaders supporting NSWC Crane.

The event was the first of its kind for Crane, creating a space for small businesses that are developing cutting-edge innovations to network with defense strategists, contracting officials, policymakers, and local defense and business leaders.

“We often hear requests from small businesses on how they can gain access and have face time with Crane engineers and large industry partners, especially given the challenges the pandemic has presented,” said Matt Burkett, Deputy Director of Small Business Programs at NSWC Crane. “This event provided an efficient avenue to make new connections and develop business relationships that, hopefully, turn into mutually beneficial partnerships.”

These new partnerships will assist Crane in its mission to solve some of the Military’s most difficult technical problems. Intimate, one-on-one sessions offered small business attendees the opportunity to network and learn best practices, showcase their products and services, and increase their understanding of the federal procurement process.

“It’s the first event where it felt possible for small businesses such as ours to break through the barriers we face when attempting to do business inside the gates,” said Peter Ariens, CEO of NuMA Group. “Crane and their larger industry partners are looking for assistance, and this was a unique opportunity to share how we can meet their needs.”

In addition to Crane representatives and engineers, WestGate Technology Park tenants and defense contractors Amentum, CACI International, General Dynamics IT, Indiana Innovation Institute, ManTech International, National Security Technology Accelerator and Science Application International Corporation were all in attendance as “Team Crane” mission partners to offer advice and share opportunities for collaboration.

“The format of the event allowed time to discover areas of mutual interest and benefit, kickstarting the next step of the business relationship,” said Chris Peterson, Director at ManTech. “It has been extremely beneficial to speak with companies we were familiar with but haven’t gotten the chance to fully connect. We look forward to participating in the future.”

The Crane Regional Defense Group plans to host additional Connect to Crane events as a pillar of the organization’s focus on leveraging Crane’s potential to bring economic growth to Southern Indiana. Small businesses and local industries are vital to mission success and CRDG has committed to providing opportunities for collaboration and partnership.


The mission of Crane Regional Defense Group is to preserve the strategic value of Crane by supporting local outreach and legislative initiatives that protect military installations in the region and state, and leverage the installation’s potential to bring economic growth to Southern Indiana.

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