John Stovall, with the Maryland Department of Commerce, called the Maryland Defense Network “the crown jewel of the state’s effort to identify the importance of defense” in Maryland. At a demonstration hosted last month by The Patuxent Partnership, a trio of the database developers showed how it was done.
Turns out Maryland is among the top five states for defense spending. The research and development put into the MDN was designed to support increased opportunities for Maryland companies and to mitigate challenges and risks to the economic livelihood of Maryland businesses, particularly if there are cuts to the Department of Defense budget. It was created through a Defense Industry Adjustment grant offered to the Maryland Department of Commerce by the US Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment. The grant was executed in conjunction with Towson University’s Regional Economics Studies Institute.
The online network tracks defense reliance and supply chain networks of defense contractors. Through an interactive mapping tool, DOD businesses, regional economic developers, and member companies can look at the data to identify business opportunities, and slice and dice the data into the specific demographics sought. The tool allows users to drill deep into details when seeking information about existing defense contracts, who holds them, and when they expire, as well as contract amounts and add-ons. The data can be configured to help find vendors and partners for contracts.
There are 3,518 vendors in the system, said Guy Timberlake of the American Small Business Organization and a chief architect of the network. And there are details on the companies, types of awards, purchase orders, delivery orders, and also the contracting agency. The information is updated quarterly.
It’s a secure system, the developers told the luncheon audience of government and contractor representatives. Companies can self-list to the network and self-report details about their capabilities and organization. The growth of the data base fosters linkages among contractor and subcontractors, Mr. Timberlake explained.
The point of the MDN is to look at the extent of dependency of the state’s economy on the Department of Defense and its budget, and to foster growth of Maryland companies performing this work. It is a goal not only of the Maryland Department of Commerce, but of all the economic development offices throughout the jurisdictions. The information offered through MDN is invaluable to Maryland companies that are on the supply chain networks of defense contractors. MDN helps these companies identify potential partners, and gives insight into the economic health of their regions.
According to its developers, the MDN will have everything you want to know about defense contractors active in Maryland.
The Patuxent Partnership works with government, industry, and academia on initiatives in science and technology, hosts programs of interest to NAVAIR and the broader DoD community, and supports workforce development including education initiatives and professional development. Call 301-866-1739.