For the fourth year in a row, DVIRC has been awarded a grant from the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment to help strengthen the capabilities and competitiveness of small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) critical to the DoD supply chain. Through the project—known as the Manufacturing USA Access Project, or MAP— DVIRC will help SMMs learn about and invest in Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (AMTs), engage in internships to support their need for talent, and put in place cybersecurity systems to protect their operations.

The project builds on the successful work DVIRC completed in prior years, which put in place a regional and national ecosystem working to support and strengthen SMMs in the defense supply chain, spur innovation, and enhance their competitive advantage.

Through the MAP project, DVIRC will continue to focus its efforts on the following areas:

  • Market outreach and education on the importance of adopting AMTs
  • Working with SMMs on AMT-related project work, including helping them identify innovation opportunities that support DoD needs
  • Workforce development and education to support SMM’s critical needs for talent
  • Activities that support value-added work between and among the individual and institutional assets in the manufacturing ecosystem

The project will engage other technology resources—designers, makers, hardware entrepreneurs, institutions of higher education, Manufacturing USA Institutes, and third-party technology integrators—to help SMMs with one of the major constraints hindering AMT adoption: the lack of technical expertise necessary to fully realize the benefits of investing in new technologies.

For more information on how DVIRC can help SMMs further their AMT efforts, contact us.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA), provides opportunities for entrepreneurs working on advanced technology to connect to new markets within federal governments offices and agencies. DVIRC and partners are working to remove barriers to identifying SBIR opportunities and applying to research and development grants as well as to helping build manufacturing partnerships to implement new product developments. Educational webinars and one-to-one project support is being offered to interested business owners.

Technology Development & Innovation / Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program

If you have a burning desire to conduct innovative research and development, and a desire to develop a viable product that you want to bring to the marketplace, DVIRC and its partners may be able to match your interests and talents with the specific needs of the Department of Defense, enabling you to secure funding to conduct research and development with no strings attached.

About SBIR

The purpose of the SBIR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.

The program’s goals are to:

  • Stimulate technological innovation.
  • Meet Federal research and development needs.
  • Foster and encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by women and socially or economically disadvantaged persons.
  • Increase private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development funding.

There is over $4B spent a year and over 5,000 awards.

A high-level summary of DOD’s technology focus areas is presented in the table below.

Focus Area



Technologies enabling the 5G spectrum to increase speed over current networks, to be more resilient and less susceptible to attacks, and to improve military communication and situational awareness.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)/ Machine Learning (ML)

Systems that perceive, learn, decide, and act on their own. Machine-learning systems with the ability to explain their rationale, characterize their strengths and weaknesses, and convey understanding of how they will behave in the future.


Technology that can deliver value by mitigating operational challenges such as: rapid decision making; high heterogeneity and/or volume of data; intermittent communications; high complexity of coordinated action; danger to mission; and high persistence and endurance.


Biotechnology is any technological application that harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes. Most current biotech research focuses on agent detection, vaccines, and treatment. Future advances in biotechnology will Improve the protection of both the general public and military personnel from biological agents, among numerous other potential applications.


Prevention of damage to, protection of, and restoration of computers, electronic communications systems, electronic communications services, wire communication, and electronic communications, including information contained therein, to ensure Its availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and nonrepudiation.

Direct Energy (DE)

Technologies related to production of a beam of concentrated electromagnetic energy, atomic, or subatomic particles.


Innovative concepts or technologies that enable, or directly support, weapons or aircraft that fly at or near hypersonic speeds and/or innovation that allows for enhancing defensive capability
against such systems.


Critical microcircuits used in covered systems, custom-designed, custom-manufactured, or tailored for specific military application, system, or environment.

Networked Command, Control, and Communications (C3)

Fully networked command control and communications including: command and control (C2) interfaces, architectures, and techniques (e.g., common software interfaces and functional architectures and improved C2 processing/decision making techniques); communications terminals (e,g, software-defined radio (SDRs)/apertures with multiple networks on the same band and multi-functional systems); and apertures and networking technologies (e.g., leveraging/managing a diverse set of links across multiple band and software defined networking/ network slicing).


Technologies supporting the nuclear triad-including nuclear command, control, and communications, and supporting infrastructure. Modernization of the nuclear force includes developing options to counter competitors’ coercive strategies, predicated on the threatened use of nuclear or strategic non-nuclear attacks.

Quantum Science

Technologies related to matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level. Areas of interest: docks and sensors; networks; computing enabling technologies (e.g., low temperature amplifiers, cryogenics, superconducting circuits, photon detectors); communications (i.e., sending/receiving individual photons); and manufacturing improvements.


Technologies supporting space, or applied to a space environment.

General Warfighting Requirements (GWR)

Warfighting requirements not meeting the descriptions above; may be categorized into Reliance 21 areas of interest.

For more information on SBIR descriptions, click here.

Additional non-DOD opportunities are available from the Department of Energy (DOE). For more information, click here.

The DVIRC Difference

DVIRC and its partners, a former NAVSEA Naval Commander and the former Boeing Chinook Government Contract Leader will provide no-cost comprehensive support in all facets of project selection, development and submittal of their proposals.

Companies that participate in the program receive:

  • Support selecting the project
  • Connections to defense department project points of contact
  • Guidance completing all registration requirements
  • Assistance navigating essential websites
  • Assistance from former defense department experts in preparing a responsive proposal


By applying for and winning an SBIR award, you will receive funding to conduct R&D, retain the rights to the intellectual property, and have the opportunity to obtain additional funding to continue the development of the technology. The SBIR program provides a unique opportunity for scientists and engineers to develop and grow a small business.

  • Phase I Funding: $50k to $250k for 6 months to 1 year for concept development
  • Phase II Funding: $500k to $1.5M for 2 years for prototype development


By applying for and winning an SBIR award, you will receive funding to conduct R&D, retain the rights to the intellectual property, and have the opportunity to obtain additional funding to continue the development of the technology. The SBIR program provides a unique opportunity for scientists and engineers to develop and grow a small business.

Patricia Woody Reeves is the founder of PWR Consulting Group, LLC, a woman-owned small business that provides technical expertise and specialized solutions in technology, research, engineering, program management and executive leadership. She spent 34 years at NAVSEA Philadelphia, culminating in her role as Senior Executive/Technical Director and Chief Engineer for Machinery Research and Engineering for the last 10 years. She led nearly 1,400 engineers and scientists and an additional 1,000 contractors, administering a budget of nearly $1B. She has a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and a M.S. Engineering Management from Drexel University.

Mike Rolecki owns JMR Program Management (JMRPM), a small business that specializes in federal government contracting and program management. Prior to starting JMRPM, Mike was an executive at a Fortune 50 aerospace manufacturing company where he led several development and manufacturing programs. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in financial management from Villanova University.

Contact Us if you are interested in pursuing a SBIR proposal in 2021.

In order for small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) to stay relevant, create a more diverse and stable customer base, and predict market demand, they need to build relationships with the next generation of businesses. By providing much needed insights into manufacturing to entrepreneurs and introducing new businesses to SMMs, we increase the number of business interactions, technology investments, and overall stability of the regional ecosystem.

There is a great opportunity to build new connections between the manufacturing community and entrepreneurs that are developing physical products and are dependent on contract manufacturing to help get their ideas to markets. The barriers faced by entrepreneurs and small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) often face the same barriers:

  • There are missed understanding of capabilities and demand:
    • Entrepreneurs aren’t aware of the manufacturing capabilities are in the region
    • Manufacturers aren’t aware of the demand for production in the region
  • Entrepreneurs often lack capital to make a leap in business development:
    • For entrepreneurs in the form of costs associated with scaling
    • For SMMs in the form of costs associated with technology investments
  • Information is siloed, making it difficult for SMMs to see new market opportunities and for product developers to learn about cost saving strategies.

Bringing two parts of the manufacturing ecosystem together can leverage resources, information, and insights, and deliver new educational programs and new product development services, which can remove barriers and stimulate new investments and growth. Since 2019, DVIRC and partners have been piloting new programs and services to help bridge these gaps.

Connecting Entrepreneurs

DVIRC has built a network of manufacturers over our 30-year history. This has generated a deep knowledge of what capabilities exist in the region. DVIRC is now exploring ways to share these insights with the entrepreneurial community. As a follow-up to the Manufacturing 101 events, DVIRC has started offering recommendations and referrals to entrepreneurs based on their individual manufacturing requirements. Product developers are interviewed and a manufacturing request is generated, which can include manufacturing requirements and supply chain development services. Those requests are then compared to the capabilities in the region, recommendations generated, and shared with the entrepreneurs. This match-making process is saving entrepreneurs hours of research and providing SMMs with potential new customers with no effort on their part.

Manufacturing 101

DVIRC and partners have been engaging with entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia region through “Manufacturing 101” presentations hosted by local incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurial hubs. These educational events are focused on demystifying manufacturing and helping product developers gain insights into how to communicate with SMMs and evaluate opportunities to work with contract manufacturers.

AMT Webinars & Training Courses

DVIRC hosts a wide array of no-cost webinars designed to educate small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) on the benefits of AMTs. We also offer training courses to upskill you and your employees on how to use and implement AMTs. Topics include:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Digitization
  • Automation
  • Robotics

Upcoming Webinars & Training Courses:


Check back often for new program information and details!

Industry 4.0/AMT Consulting Services

Through our own internal expertise, best practices from our vast MEP Network, and the expertise of our 3rd party providers, DVIRC can support you through any AMT initiative you may have. Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (AMTs), also known as Industry 4.0, are equipping today’s manufacturers to take their operational performance to the next level.

Benefits for Small and Midsized Manufacturers (SMMs):

  • Reduce manual data entry and collection
  • Eliminate re-work
  • Capture more data from the shop floor or machines
  • Enhance data visibility for decision making
  • Monitor conditions and assets
  • Automate visual inspection
  • Train employees in virtual environments or augment operations with visual guidance
  • Reduce or eliminate absenteeism
  • Create less paper
  • Improve ergonomics

Consulting Services:

Learn more about how we can help you assess your company’s AMT needs.

Manufacturer & Supplier Needs Research Report

In October 2020, DVIRC engaged Alan Newman Research (ANR), a national marketing research and consulting firm, to conduct a survey and interviews among small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) in the Delaware Valley region to learn how their businesses were affected by COVID-19 and what opportunities arose.

The research was developed as part of a grant DVIRC received from the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment to help strengthen the capabilities and competitiveness of small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) critical to the DoD supply chain.

The research sought to:

  • Understand the impact of COVID-19on regional manufacturers
  • Identify constraintsmanufacturers are facing, especially in light of COVID-19
  • Assess the current needs of manufacturers (e.g., workforce/hiring, continuous improvement initiatives, investment in technology, etc.)
  • Identify sales growth opportunities and business priorities for 2021

Download the Research Report

DVIRC Establishes Manufacturing Advisory Council to Support Technology and Workforce Needs


As an economic development organization focused exclusively on the manufacturing sector, DVIRC received an award from the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) to help strengthen the capabilities and competitiveness of the region’s small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) critical to the economy* and our national security. Through the DOD OEA project—known as the Manufacturing USA Access Project, or MAP— DVIRC is helping SMMs learn about and invest in Industry 4.0, (also known as Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, or AMTs), to improve their operations, and their workforce.

DVIRC has convened a diverse group of leaders to determine how best to support regional small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) and catalyze a “manufacturing renaissance” based in the Delaware Valley.

Although the Advisory Council was formed to support the education and integration of new technologies – robotics, automation, digital analytics, cybersecurity, etc., – the members determined the most pressing issue to address are the current and future workforce challenges. As a result, the Council will:

  • address the current workforce gap and determine how to help the manufacturing ecosystem find and attract talent at all levels,
  • build a future talent pipeline by educating and encouraging middle-school and high-school students to pursue careers in manufacturing,
  • undertake a sustained public relations campaign to generate awareness among parents and students of careers in manufacturing.

In addition to supporting the workforce issues, the Advisory Council will share best practices using new technologies through plant tours, presentations, videos, conference panels, webinars, and networking events, and will provide input into consideration of a physical manufacturing hub to support the entire ecosystem.

“As an economic development organization committed to the growth of manufacturers in the region, DVIRC is committed to helping them become as competitive as possible, and to accelerate the rate at which they invest in Industry 4.0 and in the continuous improvement of their workers and their businesses,” said Barry Miller, DVIRC’s President and CEO.

AMT Advisory Council Members

Business Community Members

Michael Araten, President & CEO, The Rodon Group

Michael Cook, Director Global Academic Partnerships, Rockwell Automation

Tony Forte, Vice President Manufacturing, Globus Medical

Al Frattarola, Director Global Engineering & Technology, Southco

Mark Goodman, Director, North American Industry Sales, Amatrol, Inc.

Michael Luber, Vice President Business Transformation & Operations, Liberty Coca-Cola

Christin (Cardone) McClave, former COO, Cardone Industries, Chief Coach/Consultant, Orange Star Ventures 

Marco Musto, Account Manager – OEM Business, Rockwell Automation

Brian Shaffer, Director of Operations, Harold Beck & Sons

David Taylor, CEO, Tavo Packaging

Jim Williams, President, All Points Additive

Luke Wuthrich, Executive Vice President Operations, United Safety

Mike Giantomaso, Vice President, HR, Philly Shipyard

Department of Defense Members

Dr. E. Michael Golda, CTO, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division

Manufacturing USA Institute Members

Jennifer Pilat, Vice President, Strategy & Engagement, MxD (Manufacturing & Digital)

John Balchunas, Workforce Director, The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL)

STEM Education Development Liaison Member

Nancy Peter, Director, McKinney Center for STEM Education, Philadelphia Education Fund


To learn more about or become involved in the Advisory Council contact Mark Basla, Chief Marketing Officer at, 610-585-9969

DVIRC is prepared to answer your questions and provide support for DOD programs and initiatives.

Contact us today to get started.