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Economic Diversification of Defense Industries

​​​​Maryland is one of the top five states in the country in defense spending. It is home to 20 military facilities, including 12 major installations. Combined, these support over 409,000 jobs and generate over $57 billion in total output and ​$25.6 billion in wages. 

While military installations are vital to Maryland’s economy, stable military funding is not a guarantee. The Department of Defense (DoD) budget has been cut over the last five years and there is no way to know if this trend will continue. This project will help to mitigate potential risks and problems and protect the economic livelihood of Maryland businesses.

The Project 

In response to this threat, the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adj​​ustment offered the Maryland Department of Commerce a Defense Industry Adjustment grant. It will be executed in conjunction with the Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI). 

This project will examine the extent of the impact of defense dependency throughout the State and will find strategies to minimize that impact on regional Maryland economies in the event of DoD budget reductions.

The goals are to understand the depth of the DoD budget impacts on Maryland's industry sector and how they may affect regional economies, identify defense dependent businesses within the defense supply chain, and provide assistance in diversifying company portfolios in order to sustain in a competitive environment.

The statewide diversification effort will consist of the following three project activities:​ 
  • 1. Maryland Defense Network
    • ​The Maryland Defense Network​ is a database of defense reliance and supply chain networks of defense contractors. It is an interactive mapping tool that available to the experts at commerce, regional economic developers, and member companies. ​​

      This information is invaluable to Maryland companies within the supply chain as it could help them identify potential subcontractors, form teaming relationships and provide additional insight into the economic health of their regions.

  • 2. SWOT Analysis of Defense Communities in Maryland
    • The experts at RESI, together with feedback from current defense network users, will conduct an analysis that will lead to the identification of industry areas that are most conducive to economic diversification; therefore, serving as a springboard for economic diversification strategic planning and implementation.​​​

  • 3. Industry Cluster Analysis
    • After the SWOT analysis is complete and the Maryland Defense Network develops further, Commerce and RESI will conduct an analysis targeting industry clusters by region that are identified as strong growth markets for the community.​

Use the Tool & Keep in Touch

Here’s how to get your company on the network and stay in touch with the economic diversification of defense industries efforts. 

Subscribe to our email newsletter to receive updates on the project. Topics will include user group results, new ​​members of the defense network, and information about upcoming events.

​Join the Maryland Defense Network LinkedIn group.


​Create an account on the Maryland Defense Network to capture information about top performing Maryland vendors performing on DoD contracts and information about expiring contracts.​​


Southern Maryland Technology Commercialization Pilot Program: A Regional Study​

​The Southern Maryland Technology Commercialization Pilot Program (SMTCPP), is a plan designed to reduce reliance on defense spending in the military-heavy region of Southern Maryland. 

The premise is simple: Military bases in the region are catalysts of innovation. They develop and patent many technologies that have potential commercial applications. Developing these commercial products can help diversify the economic strength of the region, and shield businesses from the adverse impacts of defense spending cuts. 

Axcel Innovation LLC serves as the primary vendor to discover which patents within regional Navy labs have the most promising commercial applications, and to provide guidance and to connect defense-dependent businesses in Southern Maryland to the resources needed to get the Navy-based technology to market. The College of Southern Maryland (CSM), led by CSM’s Small Business Development Center, is providing small business assistance and technology incubation planning to help foster growth for small to mid-sized technology companies; especially those looking to commercialize Naval technology.

The process consists of 8 steps:​ ​​

  • 1. Patent Portfolio Evaluation
    • ​Task 1 of the Southern Maryland Technology Commercialization Pilot Program consists of the evaluation of significant portions of patent portfolios at the technology transfer offices at the following installations: Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), NSWC IHEODTD, Naval Research Lab (NRL) and NSWC Dahlgren. Explore the Maryland Defense Patent Database, a result of this evaluation.

  • 2. Technology Transfer Methodology
    • ​Task 2 of the Southern Maryland Technology Commercialization Pilot Program is the creation of a step-by-step methodology for identifying and evaluating the IP at NAWCAD, NSWC IHEODTD, NRL and NSWC Dahlgren with the most commercialization potential.

  • 3. Technology Readiness and Market Assessment
    • ​Task 3 of the Southern Maryland Technology Commercialization Pilot Program assesses technology readiness, markets, current competition and commercial validation of selected IP in order to determine the commercial potential of selected technologies from the DoD agencies noted above and make recommendations on if and how these technologies might benefit the regional innovation based economy.

  • 4. Contractor Commercialization
    • ​Task 4 of the Southern Maryland Technology Commercialization Pilot Program identifies likely regional defense and non-defense contractors and subcontractors capable of and receptive to developing commercial applications in non-defense industries and the tools and training components that their managements and staffs would likely need to enter commercial markets.​

  • 5. Small Business Assistance
    • ​Task 5 of the Southern Maryland Technology Commercialization Pilot Program is an analysis of the critical success factors of recent Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) awards in order to best identify ways to support technology commercialization ventures.

  • 6. Technology Incubation
    • Task 6 of the Southern Maryland Technology Commercialization Pilot Program is the development of a detailed operational and facilities plan to grow technology incubation capacity in Southern Maryland that would nurture start-up or early-stage technology companies to move to self-sufficiency and graduate from incubation.

  • 7. Targeted Market Analysis
    • ​Task 7 of the Southern Maryland Technology Commercialization Pilot Program is an analysis that will review and recommend target market industries to match local workforce to improve business expansion and attraction efforts, and identify target market industries (TMI).

  • 8. Accelerated Regional Diversification Plan
    • ​Task 8 of the Southern Maryland Technology Commercialization Pilot Program is a planning effort that will summarize the findings of the previously described tasks with a critical and independent evaluation of the Pilot Project's results.​

​Commerce Contacts for Diversification Activities:​


Jennifer White 
Jennifer White
OMA Grant Program Manager

O: 410-767-6445
M: 443-388-6245
​John Stovall 
​John Stovall
Defense Industry Outreach Coordinator

O: 410-767-3701
M: 443-388-6137

​For the latest information on this program, please sign up for email updates!​

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