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Maryland Defense Diversification Assistance Program (MDDA)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Maryland Defense Diversification Assistance Program provides training and services to help eligible defense-dependent companies diversify their businesses.

Department of Defense (DoD) procurement trends fluctuate and are unpredictable. In the event of overall DoD budget cuts, the cancellation of a major weapons platform, or the loss of a contract or grant, a defense contractor can insulate themselves by diversifying its revenue and customer base.

Is exporting right for you? Learn more.BENEFITS

  • Prepares contractors for entry into new commercial markets, domestically and internationally.
  • Highly customized, FREE training opportunities in export assistance and skill building to sell to commercial markets for qualified participants.
  • Subsidized consulting services of up to $10,000 for qualified participants.


  • At least 35% of annual revenue from DoD contracts
  • Good standing with the state of Maryland
  • More than one employee
  • Located and operating in Maryland for at least one year

*Company must meet all eligibility requirements to apply.

Click here to apply online.


Assessment is a simple process that will determine a company's readiness to diversify. The company's industry sector and diversification interest will determine the selection of the assessment team. Available assessment teams may include:

  • U.S. Export Assistance Center, Baltimore
  • Maryland Commerce employees
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership representatives


Program Training and Consultant Services

Training is available for companies that have been assessed and recommended for one or both of the following seminars, which will be held twice in the spring and fall of 2018.

Seminar Series: Export Management Bootcamp Seminar

  • Intensive workshop will equip defense firms with the knowledge they need to successfully export their products. Topics include market analysis, strategies for international distribution, terms of sale, logistics and export compliance.

  • This session will be led by Gary Cohen, Clinical Professor of Logistics, Business, and Public Policy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Training also includes:
    • Speaker from the US Commercial Service Bureau of Industries & Securities (BIS) for Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
    • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance specialist
    • Overview of state and federal export assistance services
    • Session on how to sell to foreign governments, NATO and the UN
    • Session on government financing resources

Seminar Series: Industry Innovation Executive Training Seminar

  • Workshop series will provide leadership and business training to small defense firms interested in entering the commercial market.
  • Session topics include:
    • Leading Changes in Strategic Direction
    • Getting the Right People on Venture Oriented Teams
    • Using Financial, Managerial and Tax Accounting Information for Strategic Decision Making
    • Financial Forecasting
    • Marketing: Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning
    • Fundamentals of Contract Law and Joint Venture Agreements

  • Training provided by expert faculty members from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Mentorship & Coaching Assistance:

  • Direct assistance for qualified assessed companies provided by Maryland/DC District Export Council and other service providers, including Maryland Manufacturing Expansion Partnership and Maryland TEDCO.
  • Supportive diversification services will be valued at up to $10,000 of federal funding (per company), depending on need and cost of services identified.

Eligible and participating companies will be required to contribute a 10% match to the amount of federal funding received for a total of up to $11,000 per company towards services.


Admission is open through the end of September 2018. Click here​ to apply.


For more information, please email​​.​


  • What is this program? What am I getting by applying?
    • The Maryland Defense Diversification Assistance (MDDA) program helps defense-dependent Maryland businesses to find new types of revenue streams. The MDDA program will provide participating companies an analysis of their readiness to enter new markets and offer strategies that will help to lessen their funding dependency on Department of Defense (DoD) revenue. The program will include a review of the company's services or products, as well as its business practices and goals, followed by access to training and services to help achieve those goals.  

      After the initial assessment, if the company is assessed as ready to diversify, then the company has the option to attend export training and commercialization skill building seminars at no charge. Additionally, depending on readiness and the new market interest area, the company may be referred to an expert consultant who will assist them in exporting or commercialization activities.

      Examples of services provided by these expert consultants include coaching/mentorship, market identification and research, supply chain solutions, strategic development assistance, lean manufacturing and more.​

      If not ready to diversify, the company will receive an assessment report outlining areas for improvement where the company can better position itself to enter new markets.

  • Who can apply?
    • ​The company has to meet the eligibility factors below to apply. However, Commerce prioritizes serving defense dependent small to mid-sized businesses who have an interest in diversifying their revenue and customer base and are willing to work with Commerce and Commerce-identified partners to meet their diversification goals.

      Eligibility Checklist*:

      ✓ At least 35% of annual revenue from DoD contracts in the last fiscal year
      ✓ Good standing with the State of Maryland
      ✓ More than one employee
      ✓ Located and operating in Maryland for at least one year

      * Company must meet all eligibility requirements to apply.

  • How do I apply?
    • To apply, click the Apply Online button on this page to fill out an application for entry. Applications will be accepted through September 2018.

      Please note that entry into the program does not guarantee entry into one of the free training seminars or subsidized consulting services. Entry to the program means the company will be assessed for diversification readiness to transition to new markets.

  • What questions are in the application? What do I need to know?
    • ​The applicant will need to know their DoD dependency percentage. This is the company's annual gross revenue from DoD contracts and grants divided by the company’s total annual gross revenue. To put it simply: DoD Revenue/Total Revenue.

      Additionally, the applicant will need to know information like your company's Duns & Bradsheet (DUNS) number, Employer Identification Number (EIN)/Federal Tax ID number and six-digit NAICS code.

      Lastly, in order to answer additional eligibility and screening questions, the applicant will need to know whether the company is in good standing with the State of Maryland. Check here​ to find out. The applicant will also need to know if the business is a federally defined small business according to SBA guidelines. Check here​ to find out.

  • What documentation do I need to provide in advance of the assessment?
    • ​Companies must provide organizational charts, an executive summary and a capabilities statement. Helpful, optional materials include a strategic plan, a list of intellectual property and resumes of company leadership.​

  • What happens during the assessment phase? What do I need to know?
    • The assessment is an easy process that will involve a site visit from one of the MDDA representatives who will meet with company leadership, review your company's business practices and core competencies, and better understand the company's leadership goals. This will help the team understand what it is that the company does, how it is done, and what the company might be able to do. In order to be assessed, MDDA assessors will ask the company to share a few documents (see previous question and answer) that will help Commerce understand the business. The MDDA representatives will guide the company through the process. Following the site visit, MDDA representatives will draft an assessment report that will offer analysis and recommendations to help the company achieve business growth.

      Please note that Commerce requires that a CEO be present at the initial site visit either in person or via conference/video call if remote. 

      The assessment report will contain: 

      • information on the outcome of the company's readiness to tackle new markets, 
      • identify barriers to revenue diversification and offer solutions to fill those gaps and strengths that will propel the company forward, and 
      • will detail options for next steps as participants in the program. These next steps could include strategies for diversification including new potential markets, a list of resources and, if appropriate, a recommendation to attend the MDDA sponsored training events or receive consulting services.  

  • How many site visits are there?
    • ​One site visit is required. Additional site visits, or potentially phone calls, are done as needed.​

  • Who is part of the MDDA assessment team?
    • The assessment team could include professionals experienced in both export and international trade or in business development. Some of these professionals come from the Maryland Department of Commerce, the US Export Assistance Center - Baltimore (USEAC), or the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). Other professionals will be identified according to your company's needs.

      The assessment team will depend on the company's diversification interest area, business type and the availability of resources.

  • If I qualify, what training opportunities will you be offering?
    • There are two training opportunities available to the company, and, if referred, the company may take both seminars.

      The first opportunity is an Export Management Bootcamp seminar series that will cover courses in Resources for Market Analysis & Evaluation; Strategies for International Distribution & International Sales Channels' Terms of Sale & INCO terms; Terms of Payment, Trade Barriers, and Free Trade Zones; and Logistics and How to Get Product to Market. This session will be led by Gary Cohen, Clinical Professor of Logistics, Business, & Public Policy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business and will also include speakers from the US Commercial Service Bureau of Industries & Securities (BIS) for EAR Regulations, an ITAR compliance specialist, overview of State & Federal export assistance services, a session on how to sell to foreign governments, NATO, and the UN, and a session on government financing resources.

      The second opportunity is an Industry Innovation Executive Training that provides defense firms with skill building in areas necessary to commercialize their business. Session topics include Leading Changes in Strategic Direction; Getting the Right People on Venture Oriented Teams; Using Financial, Managerial and Tax Accounting Information for Strategic Decision Making, Financial Forecasting; Marketing: Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning; and Fundamentals of Contract Law and Joint Venture Agreements. These sessions will be led by expert faculty members from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business.

      Both seminar series will be held twice; first in the Spring of 2018 and again in the Fall of 2018.

  • If I qualify, what consulting services will be available to me?
    • ​If the company qualifies, up to $10,000 in consulting services will be offered to assist the company in implementing identified strategies. The company will be assigned to work with one of the MDDA service providers depending on company needs. That service provider will connect the company with the appropriate consulting service.​

  • Who are the MDDA service providers?
    • Selection of the service providers will depend on the company’s diversification pathway. MDDA service providers include: the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), the Maryland/DC District Export Council (DEC), and Maryland TEDCO.​

  • Does my participation cost me anything?
    • These are broken down by phases:

      Assessment: The assessment is free; all we need is your time. 

      Seminars: Participation in either of the training seminars is also free. Commerce will charge a $150 'no-show' fee for each staff person registered for the training that does not attend or provide notice of cancellation 24 hours in advance of the training.  

      Consulting Services: If the company qualifies to work with a consultant to move forward on a diversification project, the company will be required to provide a 10% match to any funding provided. This match contribution will go towards increasing the level of services the company receives. For instance, if the company is provided $5,000 in funding, the company will need to match 10%, or $500, to participate and will receive $5,500 in total services.