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2022 - Business Development

Posted on: October 13, 2022

Ogden’s National Security Innovation Event Highlights Unique Growth Challenges and Opportunities

NSI Sign Landscape

Bringing together key leaders from government, military, business and education to engage in a robust dialogue regarding national security innovation in northern Utah, Ogden City Business Development recently hosted the Northern Utah National Security Innovation Symposium. In collaboration with Weber State University, Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI), and the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF), the engaging symposium discussions at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center ranged from the challenges associated with sustaining legacy defense systems to the opportunities for the development of leading-edge solutions via the private sector – all strongly indicating that national security defense innovation is developing quickly in northern Utah. 

082522_NSIS_Speaker_Congressman-Blake-MooreU.S. Congressman Blake Moore speaking about the importance of collaboration between government and the private sector to address defense innovation challenges at Ogden City’s Northern Utah National Security Innovation Symposium. (Photo: Ogden City Business Development)

U.S. Congressman Blake Moore kicked off the August 25, 2022 event with comments on the importance of the defense industry and ecosystem in Utah. Moore started by stating, “I just want to sincerely say thank you for working in such a collaborative way within this community.” Thanking Ogden City, Hill Air Force Base and Weber State University, the Congressman indicated he was “…very optimistic to see that…the federal government is recognizing that we need private sector solutions and innovation to…solve some of our biggest challenges going forward. …I am relentlessly focused on making sure that small business and…private sector innovations have a place in our defense aerospace industry. We’ve seen good come from this already, and we need to embrace it and continue to find ways to make that procurement and operations process more efficient.”

082522_NSIS_Speaker_Mark-Johnson_croppedMark Johnson, Ogden City Chief Administrative Officer, highlighted the city’s vision for national security innovation at the Northern Utah National Security Innovation Symposium (Photo: Ogden City Business Development)

Ogden City Chief Administrative Officer, Mark Johnson, discussed Ogden’s key position of support for Hill Air Force Base and its positive economic impact on the entire area. Johnson stated, “What an amazing thing we have in our city. We have…strong (business) clusters that are forming and developing in the aerospace and defense industry. Ogden has been working on the placemaking (improvements) for 20-plus years … intended to cultivate a quality place where businesses and talent want to be. In close cooperation with our partners, Ogden City is actively working to support the northern Utah defense ecosystem…creating quality places and supporting the development of resources and networks for small business. We are thrilled by the defense innovation momentum that is building in our community.” Ogden Airport Manager, Bryant Garrett, followed Johnson and laid out the city’s strategic plan for the Ogden Airport, including new opportunities available now for aerospace related companies to develop sites with unique access to the airport’s updated runways and related new infrastructure. 

082522_NSIS_Speaker_Bryant-Garrett_1Bryant Garrett, Ogden City Airport Manager, presented updates regarding development opportunities at the Ogden-Hinckley Airport during the Northern Utah National Security Innovation Symposium (Photo: Ogden City Business Development)

The symposium also featured several panel discussions including: 

  • Planning for Advanced Air Mobility in Utah; 
  • Avenues for Delivering Innovation in National Security; 
  • eVTOL and Advanced Air Mobility; and 
  • Perspectives from the Department of Defense Towards Modernization and Innovation. 

Regarding the importance of planning for advanced air mobility in Utah, Jared Esselman, Director of Aeronautics for the Utah Department of Transportation, indicated that “There are new air transportation systems being developed, and therefore new supporting infrastructure that needs to be put in place. Advanced urban air mobility can impact Utah communities on a very local level. So, we have to have local communities on board and doing their internal process … to make this work. The innovation is coming fast. Now we have to put the policy processes in place.” 

Symposium panelists from private defense and aeronautic companies in Utah, included: 

  • Dan Zumbo, Additive Manufacturing Manager, Parker-Hannifin Aerospace Group; 
  • Nate Millecam, CEO, EP Systems; 
  • Alan Davis, Founder and CEO, i5 Systems; 
  • Jacob Leder, Anika Systems; 
  • Aaron Organ, Aviation Instructor, Jordan Academy for Technology and Careers; 
  • John Manning, Co-Founder, ElectraFly; 
  • Timothy Bean, CEO, Fortem Technologies; and 
  • Chris Pfeifer, Flight Operations Lead, Zipline International.  

082522_NSIS_Avenues-for-delivering-innovation-in-national-security_Davis-Zumbo-Leder-Millecam-Trego_Symposium panel discussion: “Avenues for Delivering Innovations in National Security.” Pictured left to right: Alan Davis, Founder and CEO, i5 Systems; Dan Zumbo, Additive Manufacturing Manager, Parker-Hannifin Aerospace Group; Jacob Leder, Anika Systems; Nate Millecam, CEO, EP Systems; Dr. Angela Trego, Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative  (Photo: Ogden City Business Development)

Alan Davis, Founder and CEO of i5 Systems, sees a growing a relationship between private industry and government forces due to the swift changes in innovation happening now. “Go back to World War II, the (positive) amount of innovation that we had in our country, …because we came together – government, academia, industry – all of us working together to solve a problem. We’re at a similar inflection point now, although it looks very different than it did back then. We need to come together and by so doing, we’ll solve the problems. We’ll make sure small businesses can deliver and we’ll make sure our regulations aren’t preventing us from doing the right thing.” 

082522_NSIS_Panel_eVTOL-Advanced-Air-Mobility_ChrisPfeifer-Zipline_TimothyBean-Fortem_JohnManning-ElSymposium panel discussion: “eVTOL and Advanced Air Mobility.” Pictured left to right: Chris Pfeifer, Flight Operations Lead, Zipline International; Timothy Bean, CEO, Fortem Technologies; John Manning, Co-Founder, ElectraFly; Aaron Organ, Aviation Instructor, Jordan Academy for Technology and Careers (Photo: Ogden City Business Development)

Panelists that focused on topics related to the Department of Defense during the symposium, included: 

  • Colonel Timothy Bailey, F-16 Systems Program Manager, U.S. Air Force; 
  • Jeffrey Wandrey, Engineering Technical Director, Ogden Air Logistics Complex; 
  • Daniel Posch, Director, 309th Electronics Maintenance Group, Ogden Air Logistics Complex; 
  • Lieutenant Colonel Alex Constantine, Deputy Group Director, 309th Software Engineering Group, Ogden Air Logistics Complex;
  • Colonel James Buessing, Utah Test and Training Range Commander
  • Devin Gongora, Business Development and Marketing, Ogden Air Logistics Complex, and 
  • Pennie Nott, Defense and Aerospace Innovation Ecosystem Consultant, K2MS Consulting. 

082522_NSIS_Perspectives-from-DoD_DevinGongora-JeffreyWandrey-TimothyBailey-JamesBuessing-AlexConstaSymposium panel discussion: “Perspectives from the Department of Defense Towards Modernization and Innovation.” Pictured left to right: Devin Gongora, Business Development and Marketing, Ogden Air Logistics Complex; Jeffrey Wandrey, Engineering Technical Director, Ogden Air Logistics Complex; Colonel Timothy Bailey, F-16 System Program Manager, USAF; Colonel James Buessing, Utah Test and Training Range Commander; Lt. Colonel Alex Constantine, Deputy Group Director, 309th Software Engineering Group, Ogden Air Logistics Complex; Daniel Posch, Director, 309th Electronics Maintenance Group, Ogden Air Logistics Complex; Pennie Nott, Defense and Aerospace Innovation Ecosystem Consultant, K2MS; David Sawyer, Deputy Division Manager, Ogden City Business Development (Photo: Ogden City Business Development)

As part of the “Perspectives from the Department of Defense Towards Modernization and Innovation” panel discussion, Colonel Bailey highlighted the importance of Hill Air Force Base and its partners as the U.S. continues to build up national security. Colonel Bailey stated, This is the fighter depot of the U.S. Air Force. ...we need the...workforce skills…locally instead of having to go across the country to find those skill sets. On a bright note, with Sentinel, or Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), it’s changing the makeup of Hill Air Force Base. Hill has been thought about for decades as a depot. It will remain a depot, but now it also has the Defense Department’s largest development program. It’s happening here. This is a huge opportunity.” Additionally, panelist Daniel Posch indicated that, “We’re right at the epicenter of everything going on and an integral part for what is needed for this competitive environment we’re in going forward.”

082522_NSIS_Panel_Perspectives-DoD-Towards-Innovation_JeffWandrey-TimothyBailey-JamesBuessing-AlexCoAir Force Colonel Timothy Bailey, F-16 System Program Manager (second from left), speaking during the symposium panel discussion, “Perspectives from the Department of Defense Towards Modernization and Innovation,” spoke about the importance of innovation partnering to support national defense. Also pictured: Jeffrey Wandrey, Engineering Technical Director, Ogden Air Logistics Complex (left); Colonel James Buessing, Utah Test and Training Range Commander (second from right); Lt. Colonel Alex Constantine, Deputy Group Director, 309th Software Engineering Group, Ogden Air Logistics Complex (right) (Photo: Ogden City Business Development)

Key take-aways from the symposium were highlighted by comments from several participants. 

  • Aviation instructor, Aaron Organ, stated that “It’s perhaps a lofty goal, but many of us in this field believe in it and are passionate about it. We’re trying to take advanced air mobility and correct some wrongs that have been done in the past and just better the transportation system, better our lives, for it to be equitable for all.” 
  • Clint Harper, Urban Air Mobility Fellow with Urban Movement Labs said, “You never know where you’re going to find the person that’s going to launch you forward, your vision, your ideas. One of the things I love about Ogden is that it’s one of the most diverse communities within the state of Utah. To really get those great ideas, that different perspective, and add that angle to your innovation, you need that diversity in thinking.” 
  • And Sara Meess, Business Development Division Manager for Ogden City, summed up the day’s activities by saying, “I’m struck by the unique moment of opportunity we’re at. It’s really important for all of us to understand how critical the need is for innovative technologies for our national defense. It’s also exciting to hear the willingness to transform the way we all do business to make sure we’re delivering that innovation. We know we have the small businesses here in Ogden and Utah that can deliver the technology innovation. We have so many amazing collaborative ecosystem partners that are here and active in this area that are trying to facilitate those connections.”

082522_NSIS_Recap-Panel_Gongora-Esselman-Organ-Meess-Harper-Nott-SawyerSymposium panel discussion: “Current  Opportunities – Where Do We Take It From Here.” Pictured left to right: Devin Gongora, Business Development and Marketing, Ogden Air Logistics Complex; Jared Esselman, Director of Aeronautics, Utah Department of Transportation; Aaron Organ, Aviation Instructor, Jordan Academy for Technology and Careers; Sara Meess, Division Manager, Ogden City Business Development; Clint Harper, Urban Air Mobility Fellow, Urban Movement Labs; Pennie Nott, Defense and Aerospace Innovation Ecosystem Consultant, K2MS; David Sawyer, Deputy Division Manager, Ogden City Business Development (Photo: Ogden City Business Development)

About the National Security Ecosystem in Northern Utah – Ogden  

The national security innovation industry is rapidly growing in Northern Utah, and Ogden City was pleased to sponsor the inaugural Northern Utah Security Innovation Symposium to highlight this growth and a positive path forward. Ecosystem partners such as the Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI), Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF), Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation (CCTI), and Weber State University (WSU) are working with defense agencies and private industry to deliver innovation in support of the national defense. Northern Utah is home to national security innovations in areas ranging from additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping to digital engineering and cybersecurity.  

Ogden’s vibrant downtown is an ideal location for the defense tech sector, and is the proud home to SkiCAMP, a United States Air Force software development factory, and Catalyst Campus. Additionally, the Ogden-Hinckley Airport (OGD) offers a unique opportunity for aerospace R&D, manufacturing, and sustainment activities. With a recent eleven-million-dollar investment in infrastructure, nearly 100-acres of runway adjacent land at OGD will be ready for development in 2023. These assets, along with Ogden’s proximity to Hill Air Force Base, make Ogden a prime location for current and future growth in the national security innovation industry.  

About Ogden 

An innovative mindset, stunning location, and undeniable momentum make Ogden a perfect place for business and home for employees. Home of Weber State University and adjacent to Hill Air Force Base, Ogden is Northern Utah’s regional center for technology, industry, education, healthcare, and recreation – certainly, the perfect place for business! The labor force within 35 miles of Ogden is more than 450,000, and local universities and technical colleges develop and contribute to a highly skilled workforce. The Ogden community offers major metropolitan advantages while maintaining an affordable cost of business and living, high quality of life, and unparalleled access to outdoor recreation. Visit www.ogdenbusiness.com to learn more about Ogden – city on the rise! 

Ogden City Business Development