Maryland Commerce Awarded Federal Grant to Help Defense Companies Explore New Markets

$1.76 million grant will fund consulting, free training under the Maryland Defense Network

BALTIMORE, MD (August 16, 2017) – The Maryland Department of Commerce is expanding its programs linking companies in the state’s defense sector with new business opportunities under a $1.76 million federal grant. Awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), the Defense Diversification grant is designed to mitigate potential, adverse changes in federal defense spending and runs through the end of 2018.

The grant will broaden the capabilities of the existing Maryland Defense Network, an online tool that connects Maryland defense contractors with potential new partners and clients so they can minimize the risk posed by potential defense budget cuts. The new funds will also be used to establish the Maryland Defense Diversification Assistance (MDDA) program, which will provide eligible defense-dependent companies with free training opportunities and heavily-subsidized consulting services as they explore new commercial and international markets.

Commerce is also collaborating on a pair of regional initiatives. In northeastern Maryland, the department will work with Cecil and Harford counties, as well as the U.S. Army Research Development Engineering Command (REDCOM), to commercialize Army technology developed at Aberdeen Proving Ground. This includes establishing the Maryland Defense Technology Commercialization Center to engage engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs in commercialization activities. In southern Maryland Commerce will work with Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties, as well as local industry and naval research installations, to foster a more vibrant innovation economy for existing businesses and startups.

“Maryland’s defense industry boasts a highly-skilled and diverse workforce dedicated to keeping the United States and the global community safe and thriving,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “It’s also a crucial component of the state’s economy as a whole, and helping our defense companies forge new partnerships and reach new customers is just one way we’re ensuring that defense remains a vibrant and thriving industry sector in Maryland.”

The OEA grant is the second phase of a two-part project aiming to make the state’s defense sector healthier and more stable; the first phase included defense supply-chain mapping and assessing the impact of the state’s defense industry.

To implement the second phase of the program, Maryland Commerce will partner with Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute and the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, as well as numerous industry leaders, business groups and economic development organizations.

About Maryland Commerce

The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit


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