Mississippi Enterprise for Technology Newsletter

March/April 2012

Labs: A multimillion-dollar benefit


   With some millions of dollars worth of equipment, a highly trained staff and expertise in multiple scientific fields, it's no wonder 80 companies a year use the laboratories at NASA's Stennis Space Center. And it's also no wonder that recent tours have been booked.


   The Mississippi Enterprise for Technology, which operates technology transfer and incubator programs at Stennis Space Center, hosted a tour of the labs March 7. Due to tour size constraints, it could only handle 12 participants. Interest was so high that another tour was held on April 5 for 12 more participants, and more tours are being scheduled.


   "We've hosted four lab tours in the past year." said Charlie Beasley, president and CEO of MSET. "We'll host at least one more tour in 2012."


   Or perhaps more.


   "We plan to continue tours until we fail to get someone to sign up," said Laurie Jugan, a consultant for MSET.


   The interest in the tours isn't that surprising. Stennis Space Center's three labs have state-of-the-art equipment valued at some $5.7 million, along with a highly trained technical staff of about 60.


   The three labs are the environmental lab, the gas and materials lab, and the measurements standards and calibration lab. They all support NASA's activities at Stennis Space Center, and are also used by other government agencies and aerospace contractors.


   Personnel at the labs have an average of 15 years experience, and their educational backgrounds range all the way up to those with doctorates. "We have a few rocket scientists," joked Sheila Varnado, administrative analyst at A2Research, which operates the labs for NASA.


  Companies pay to use the facilities, but they benefit in multiple ways, including not having to put up the money to buy their own equipment or pay for expert personnel. And if something happens to lab equipment, it's the responsibility of the lab to get it fixed, not the users.


   On top of that, the scientists and technicians can work at a customer's site, and the lab capabilities can be included in companies' proposals, according to A2Research.


   The environmental lab uses a networked system of over 40 computers. Testing includes organic and inorganic biological analysis. The lab routinely turns over sample reports within 24 hours, and in some cases the same day. Over 90 percent of the employees at the environmental lab have a minimum bachelor's degree.


   The gas and materials laboratory has two parts. One is the gas analysis area, which conducts general and non-routine analysis on gas and cryogenic propellants, pressurants and hydraulic fluids. The other is the materials area, which conducts failure analysis and evaluates contaminates on metallic and non-metallic materials.


   Both areas of the gas and materials lab provide data necessary to understand and solve gas and material problems associated with rocket engine testing, plume analysis, and material compatibility issues by performing in depth laboratory and field studies.


   The measurement standards and calibration lab is a 22,600 square-foot facility that contains some of the most modern equipment available for electronic, physical and mechanical calibration, measurement, and repair service. It has a staff with an average of some 20 years of test equipment calibration and repair experience.


   "NASA is very supportive of MSET and their laboratory contractor, A2Research, conducting outreach events to inform others of the lab's vast capabilities and easy accessibility," said Beasley.


   "It is a clear benefit to both NASA and outside customers when the laboratory is utilized to its maximum extent. It's an honor for MSET to be able to present such a valuable national resource through this series of lab tours."


 - David Tortorano

MSET hosted Stennis Minority Business Expo


Sponsored by the Mississippi Development Authority, the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MSET) hosted a Minority Small Business Expo on March 29, 2012 in the atrium of Building 1100 at Stennis Space Center. The expo allowed local prime contractors and agencies to learn more about the capabilities of minority-owned companies in the area. Hillary Nicholson, co-owner, Mobidigiads was excited about the opportunities stating: "The Expo experience was more than I had ever expected. The interest, counseling, and consideration for small businesses were very much demonstrated. I thank MSET for such an opportunity and I'm looking forward to the next one."

The Expo featured exhibits from companies with owners of various ethnicities, woman-owned businesses, as well as Alaskan/American Native firms. Exhibitors participating in the one day expo included companies providing project management, staffing, scientific and engineering services, IT products and services, construction, security, waste management, janitorial, and laboratory services. "Each agency and prime contractor has contract goals for various types of small disadvantaged businesses," said MSET President and CEO Charlie Beasley. "The Expo serves to support minority companies in finding new business opportunities at Stennis."

Working in conjunction with the Stennis Business Consortium, MSET asked the procurement specialists from local agencies and prime contractors to attend the expo, as well as off-site procurement specialists who are doing business at Stennis. "These specialists are key people responsible for meeting their organization's targeted small business goals," said Beasley. "And we help them find the right companies to meet those goals."

Immediately following the expo, MSET worked with the South Mississippi Contract Procurement Center (SMCPC) in conducting one-on-one interviews with company representatives to access their level of preparedness in doing business with the government or government contractors. "I was greatly pleased that many had taken the opportunity to register in CCR, SBA, ORCA, and other federal programs.  These companies have certainly prepared themselves as companies to participate in the federal solicitation process," said Mel Estrade, Procurement Advisor with the South Mississippi Contract Procurement Center in Biloxi. Recommendations such as registering in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database and various vendor databases were made by MSET and SMCPC personnel based on the status of each company.


 Contact Chris Narcisse (228-688-3061) or christine.m.narcisse@nasa.gov for more information.

In This Issue
MSET hosted Stennis Minority Business Expo
Upcoming Events
Stennis Business & Technology Digest

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Upcoming Events



April 12, 2012
MSET Lunch & Learn - Alexis Lugo-Fernández, BOEMRE
Herman Glazier Conference, Bldg 1103, Stennis Space Center, MS


May 22, 2012

Agency and Prime Contractor Meet & Greet - 10:00-12:30

SBC Quarterly meeting -1:00-3:00   Featured topic: Navy Research


Watch our Website for more on these Events and future Events


About Mississippi Enterprise for Technology


Mississippi Enterprise for Technology is a unique economic development organization within Stennis Space Center.
MSET is also a technology transfer office and incubator uniquely positioned to grow companies by providing a supportive environment, business services and access to federal agencies and research facilities.
The organization is charged with developing and attracting new business and employment opportunities to John C. Stennis Space Center and the region.
The organization seeks to improve and strengthen the center's business climate utilizing business resources from the region. For more information on MSET, or to see upcoming events visit www.mset.org.

Stennis Business & Technology Digest


With the Stennis Business & Technology  Digest MSET monitors and pulls together in digest form all the announcements and notices coming from NASA, the Navy, NOAA, the universities and any of the other organizations that call Stennis home. The news is provided in a brief format, with links to the original source of the information.

You'll be amazed by the contributions made by Stennis Space Center that benefit the region, the nation and the world. Visit the MSET Web site Home page to subscribe to the news feed and increase your understanding of Stennis Space Center.


Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MSET) is located at John C. Stennis Space Center, the foremost center for innovation in Southeast Mississippi and one of the nation's largest federal cities. MSET is uniquely positioned to facilitate your company's growth by providing a supportive environment, business services and access to federal agencies and research facilities.

We are currently offering prime office space and affiliations at low rates in the heart of Stennis Space Center. Seize this rare opportunity and put your start-up or small business on the fast track to success.

Contact us today. Space is limited.


Contact: Belinda Gill, Facilities Manager, belinda.n.gill@nasa.gov, telephone: 228-688-3144