For Immediate Release
October 27, 2009

Contact: Cort Boulanger
(339) 222-2442

Defense Tech Leaders Create Hanscom AFB Science & Tech Board

High Tech Council, DTI Connect Regional Industry, University Assets to Support Electronic Systems Center Mission

Waltham, MA – Leaders from state government, academia and the technology community have joined together to form the Hanscom Air Force Base Electronic Systems and Software Science and Technology Board (STB), which will connect the region’s industry, university and military assets to enhance cooperation between Hanscom’s Electronic Systems Center (ESC) and New England’s premier defense technology cluster.

The board was created through a joint partnership between the ESC and the Massachusetts High Technology Council and the affiliated Defense Technology Initiative (DTI). The first meeting of the STB was hosted at the ESC earlier this month by ESC’s Commander, Lieutenant General Ted Bowlds, and included the unanimous election of Dynamics Research Chairman, President and CEO James Regan as STB chairman.

“The Electronic Systems Center is a critical economic driver for the region and a key contributor to the high-tech mission of the United States military,” said Regan, who is a DTI board member and the Council’s Vice Chairman. “We look forward to an even stronger relationship with General Bowlds and his team as we work together to support the ESC’s critical mission and create new partnership opportunities for the region’s employers, research labs and universities.”

The members of public-private STB will provide strategic guidance to ESC on issues of workforce development, technology transfer and streamlined procurement. The STB will also promote the important work of the ESC, especially among government leaders, potential employees and non-traditional technology firms that may have interest in partnering with the ESC.

“Hanscom’s strength is its skilled and dedicated workforce and its strong ties to the academic and industrial resources of the region,” said General Bowlds. “As the mission of the Air Force and the US military becomes more and more focused on technology, we will need to maximize the contribution of the New England technology community to provide the next generation of innovations to support and protect our servicemen and women. The STB will help ESC meet its mission and also create economic growth for New England.”

At the STB meeting, General Bowlds outlined the significant challenges ESC faces in recruiting and retaining the skilled workforce needed to implement its technology-focused mission. General Bowlds estimated that ESC would need to hire new civilian employees — engineers, technologist financial managers, and contracting officers — at the rate of one every day for the next five years, just to keep pace with its mission needs. In that vein, Council President Chris Anderson outlined how the Council’s innovative TalentConnect program, a national web-based network which links together the entire educational and employment continuum, could support the workforce needs of the ESC. The meeting also featured a presentation by DTI’s Executive Director, Brigadier General Donald Quenneville (USAF, retired) on an initiative to streamline ESC’s procurement process to tap into the growing area of cybertechnology.

With the annual budget of approximately $3 billion, ESC is the Air Force’s leader in command and control programs. It manages more than 150 programs, ranging from secure communication systems to mission planning systems. ESC is also the lead procurement entity for the Air Force’s cybersecurity effort. A 2004 study showed that Hanscom and nearby Natick Soldier Systems Center are connected to more than 33,000 jobs throughout New England.

The members of the STB include:

  • Greg Bialecki – Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic
  • Development
  • Kevin Burke – Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
  • Robert Culver – President and CEO, MassDevelopment
  • Thomas Kinton – CEO and Executive Director, Massachusetts Port Authority
  • Dr. Jack Wilson – President, University of Massachusetts
  • Dr. Joseph Aoun – President, Northeastern University
  • Matthew Pierson – New Hampshire High Technology Council
  • Dr. James Shields – President and CEO, Draper Laboratory
  • Robert Nesbit – Senior Vice President and General Manager, MITRE Corporation
  • Dr. Eric Evans – Director, Lincoln Laboratories
  • Sara Mattes – Hanscom Area Town Selectmen
  • Steve Negron – Chairman of the Board, North Suburban Chamber of Commerce

About the Defense Technology Initiative

The Defense Technology Initiative was established by the Massachusetts High Technology Council (MHTC) in 2003 as an unincorporated business entity that drove the successful BRAC 2005 outcome regarding Hanscom Air Force Base and the US Army Soldier Systems Center in Massachusetts.

Beginning in March 2008, DTI expanded beyond its BRAC-focused mission to achieve the more comprehensive and strategic objective of establishing New England as the definitive global leader in the defense technology industry. Its mission is to enhance the competitiveness of the regional technology clusters, promote the expansion of new missions at New England military installations, enhance the image of the region’s defense technology cluster and generate growth opportunities for New England firms.