Opening of the original DefTech Center in 2018. (Courtesy photo)

Entrepreneurs seeking to innovate in the mid-Atlantic’s aerospace and defense sector now have some extra consolidated support thanks to the State of Maryland and federal government.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation granted the Maryland Department of Commerce $641, 573, with part of the funds being used to restart the Defense Commercialization (DefTech) Center. The resurrected program will now be administered by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the state-connected investment vehicle for tech companies across the state.

The DefTech Center was originally founded in 2018 as a space for entrepreneurs to use federal resources for development of commercial products that could also be used by the government. The Center was funded by the DoD, Harford County Office of Community & Economic Development and U.S. Army labs at Aberdeen Proving Ground. In 2019, it was funded via a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

The program ended after funding ran out at the end of 2021. Lisa Swoboda, senior director in the Maryland Commerce Department’s  Office of Military and Federal Affairs, told that “at the time, it was unclear if the DoD federal funding opportunity would again be offered.” 

Swoboda added that the program is being reinstated not only because of the success it saw during its first few years, but also because the DoD wants to keep up with an evolving tech industry by diversifying its partnerships.