For Immediate Release: April 9, 2008
Contact: Cort Boulanger
Defense Technology Initiative Takes Regional Focus
NE Tech Groups Team Up to Grow Defense Cluster, Boost Political Clout
Technology leaders from across New England came together today to launch the Defense Technology Initiative (DTI), a new six-state network that will work to grow the region’s premier defense technology cluster. DTI’s mission is to create jobs, strengthen the regional workforce and increase the defense community’s political clout with the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill.
DTI was founded as a military base preservation group in 2003 by the Massachusetts High Technology Council, which has now partnered with leading technology organizations throughout New England to create a regional defense technology agenda. DTI partners include the New Hampshire High Technology Council, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., TechMaine and the Connecticut Technology Council.
“Recent political, economic and workforce trends have highlighted the need to create strategic alliances throughout New England and design a strategy to grow the broader regional defense sector,” said Steve Jamison, DTI Chairman and BAE Systems VP & General Manager. “We believe that a unified New England defense community is stronger than the sum of its parts.”
DTI, based in Waltham, MA, will be run by its executive director, Brigadier General Donald Quenneville, USAF (Ret.). In January, Quenneville was named executive director of DTI’s previous incarnation as a Massachusetts-focused group (MassDTI). Since that time he has been working to build a network of defense technology leaders across New England to make DTI a viable regional organization.
“With a strong technology base, skilled workforce and world class universities, New England has the resources to expand our defense technology leadership position,” said Quenneville. “But to achieve our potential and deliver maximum value to the Pentagon, we must commit to enhanced collaboration among industry, higher education and government.”
Quenneville noted that the broader geographic focus would allow the organization to fully engage the region’s Congressional Delegation and help support a more cohesive and formidable New England voting bloc for defense-related issues on Capitol Hill. Increased regional collaboration could also lead to more competitive bids for research and operational investment in New England by the Department of Defense and individual military branches, said Quenneville.
“Taking a regional approach to addressing defense industry needs makes sense for our member companies and the DOD,” said Matt Pierson, Chairman of the New Hampshire High Technology Council. “Many of our member companies collaborate on a daily basis with other defense related businesses located in the region. New England companies have a proven track record of developing unique and innovative products not found elsewhere in the nation. This area is a catalyst in delivering technology driven solutions to the DOD community.”
DTI will be governed by its board of directors, which includes Jamison, Dynamics Research Corp Chairman and CEO James Regan, MITRE Senior Vice President Robert Nesbit and University of Massachusetts President Jack Wilson. A new advisory board is being built to tap the expertise of industry, university and military leaders throughout the region.
“DTI’s new structure is a logical extension of the organization’s work to expand opportunities for the Massachusetts military cluster,” said MHTC President Christopher Anderson, who also serves as DTI’s president. “We look forward to working with our dynamic regional partner organizations to implement a growth strategy for New England.”
In the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, DTI highlighted the defense technology strengths of Massachusetts and the region in successful efforts to save Hanscom Air Force Base and the Natick Soldier Systems Center. Anderson noted that a regional DTI would help the region prepare for the next BRAC round, which could be economically devastating to New England. Despite the final positive results of the 2005 BRAC for the region, several of New England’s largest military installations were originally targeted for closure by the Pentagon.
The Defense Technology Initiative (DTI) was established by the Massachusetts High Technology Council (MHTC) to lead the successful BRAC 2005 outcome for Hanscom Air Force Base and the US Army Soldier Systems Center in Massachusetts.
DTI has evolved into a regional member organization of leading technology employers, research facilities and universities working to make New England the global defense technology leader. With strong working relationships with the region’s top military facilities and an active presence in Washington DC and New England State Houses, DTI is working to create jobs and economic opportunities for its members. www.defensetech.net