2011 Stennis Industry Day
The right event for the right time?
With the Gulf Coast region flexing its muscles in aerospace and NASA pushing a large part of its activities to the commercial sector, the upcoming Stennis Industry Day offers businesses a chance to tap into a valuable resource that appears poised for growth.
"Stennis Industry Day will bring people together to make things happen," said Charles Beasley, CEO of the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MSET), mostly known for its business incubator and technology transfer office. "I look forward to seeing hundreds of federal agency representatives and corporate leaders learning from each other, developing relationships and identifying opportunities."
Stennis Industry Day is Nov. 17 at the Northshore Harbor Center in Slidell, La. Hosted by MSET, the event is designed to bring together large companies and small, as well as Stennis Space Center and regional agencies to cultivate relationships and share information.
Presentations at Industry Day will feature existing and emerging needs, as well as information on how to do business with each organization. Opportunities for exhibit booths, networking, informal business matchmaking, and sponsorships exist.
The last Stennis-wide industry day was before 2005's Hurricane Katrina, and a lot has changed since then. In 2009 more than 3,900 acres of NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center became the first site to earn certification in the new technology park category of Mississippi Power's Project Ready certification program.
Then in August 2011, NASA formally took over ownership of the 1.6 million square-foot former Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant and 4,000 acres that had been owned by the Army. That increased NASA's building space by a third.
Stennis Space Center, where NASA has tested rocket engines since the 1960s, has a global economic impact of $875 million annually and a $616 million impact within a 50-mile radius. It's home to operations of 30 agencies, including NASA, the Navy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and more. Well-known names in the aerospace industry also have operations at SSC, including Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and Rolls Royce.
On the broader front, South Mississippi and the Gulf Coast region are continuing to develop aerospace and other science and technology activities. In September the first ever region-wide aerospace summit was held in Sandestin, Fla., where experts said they expect the aerospace industry to continue growing.
Stennis Industry Day Nov. 17 will provide participants with a detailed look at the programs of the federal agencies and commercial contractors that reside at Stennis Space Center. Additional events scheduled around that day include a networking social, hosted by the Gulf Coast Government Contracting Association on the evening of Nov. 16. The same day the Small Business Administration will be providing training on their small business programs. A golf tournament in association with the Rotary Club of Stennis is scheduled for Nov. 18 at the Oak Harbor Golf Club.
The industry day is an extension of the Stennis Business Consortium (SBC), founded earlier this year and coordinated by MSET, the Louisiana Technology Transfer Office, and representatives from local agencies and prime contractors.
As facilitator of the Small Business Consortium, MSET provides a platform for the various federal and state agencies, prime contractors and commercial industries to come together to share and exchange ideas, to learn about new regulations and other relevant industry issues, forge new business relationships, and form strategic partnerships. Quarterly consortium meetings are a prime venue for business development.
MSET is positioned to serve as a catalyst for business growth in the region by leveraging the assets of Stennis Space Center. It provides specialized regional economic development services and access to federal agencies and research facilities. MSET seeks to improve and strengthen the business climate at Stennis utilizing regional resources and strategic partnerships.
"This will be an enjoyable event that we hope is a permanent entry on a lot of people's annual calendars," said Beasley.
For more information, visit MSET's Web site at www.mset.org.
We hope that you found our featured article very informative. If you would like to learn more about the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology, please contact us at (228) 688-3144 or www.mset.org.
Charlie Beasley, President and CEOMississippi Enterprise for Technology