DARPA Holds Training for Utah Small Businesses at the University of Utah

On Thursday, Apr. 30, Utah small businesses are invited to attend a presentation by the Defense Advanced Research Projects (DARPA) at the Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building on the University of Utah campus from 9:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

Hosted by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR), Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and Logistics Specialists, Inc. (LIS), the presentation will feature Susan Nichols, program director of the DARPA Small Business Programs Office. Small businesses will have the opportunity to learn firsthand for what technologies DARPA is looking, and will also have a chance to ask questions specific to their research and development.

Nichols began her 26-year career with the Department of Defense (DOD) at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers where she held a variety of positions in financial management, personnel management, program analysis/management, computer information systems development, and training from 1988 until 2004. She served as the U.S. Army SBIR program manager at the U.S. Army Materiel Command from 2004-2008, where she developed and successfully implemented several program and system modernization initiatives.

In her current role, Nichols focuses on creating an environment that considers small business concerns as a primary source of innovative solutions, expanding small business relationships and training opportunities within the DOD and other federal agencies, and enabling the small business community to create and transition radical game-changing technologies that benefit the Warfighter, the federal government, and the commercial marketplace. 

Mike Newton, LSI program manager for the Utah Procurement Team, said this is a valuable opportunity for Utah companies to find out how to do business with agencies such as DARPA.

“As part of this event, LSI has prepared a course that discusses in depth how to do business with DARPA,” said Newton. “The combination of Susan Nichols’ presentation with this course will be a valuable resource to the attending companies.”

DARPA is an agency of the U.S. DOD and is responsible for the development of emerging technologies utilized by the military. Night vision goggles, unmanned aerial vehicles, precision guidance and navigation, and stealth are areas in which DARPA made key early investments. The agency relies on a diverse array of innovative technology to apply to multi-disciplinary approaches advancing knowledge through research, and creating innovative technologies that address current practical problems through applied research.

As the DOD’s primary innovation engine, DARPA undertakes projects that are finite in duration but that create lasting revolutionary change. The agency is working to achieve new capabilities related to the following challenges: assuring dominance of the electromagnetic spectrum; maintaining air superiority in contested environments; leading the world in advanced hypersonics; asserting a robust capability in space; enhancing maritime agility; exerting control on the ground; augmenting defense against terrorism; delivering meaning from big data; building trust into information systems; accelerating progress in synthetic biology; outpacing infectious diseases; mastering new neurotechnologies; applying deep mathematics; inventing new chemistries, processes and materials; harnessing quantum physics and improving position, navigation, and timing (PNT) with GPS.

Registration and parking for the event is free. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. RSVP to Laurie Pless, 801-593-2232 or [email protected] or Branddy Stevenson, 801-593-2231 or [email protected]