Dakota Defense Alliance Holds Kickoff Event for Power & Energy Cluster

Posted 12/20/10 (Mon)

The Dakota Defense Alliance (DDA’s) held its “Advanced Power & Energy Cluster (APEC) Kick-Off Business Matchmaking & Dinner” on Thursday. This was the DDA’s first public effort to highlight the new Advanced Defense Technologies (ADT) Cluster initiative for which it is the key partner in North and South Dakota. The Cluster is operated by the Defense Alliance, and is funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to connect innovative solutions to power and energy technology needs of the Department of Defense. 

The highly successful event was held in the afternoon and evening at the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Alumni Center, and was attended by dozens of high technology manufacturing and service businesses and entrepreneurs who are seeking to bring their innovations to the defense market. The “matchmaking” portion of the day was dedicated to connecting technology providers with key business, academic and government stakeholders in the defense industry, including: SBA, prime defense contractors like General Dynamics, Raytheon and General Atomics, the Defense Alliance, the Trade Assistance Center, TechLink and various angel investment firms and consultants.
The matchmaking session was followed by a reception and dinner, and included brief remarks from:  Kristin Hedger, Director of the DDA; Chip Laingen, Director of the Defense Alliance; and Terry Downing of Raytheon. The evening’s keynote presenter was Sylvan Melroe of Potomac Energy Products who spoke about innovation for technology advancement. The evening concluded with Dakota Defense Alliance awards being presented by Dean Bresciani, President of NDSU, to four individuals: Sylvan Melroe, Gene Griffin (Director of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute), Don Hedger (President of Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing) and Major General Darrol Schroeder, U.S. Air Force (Ret.).
Details about the growing Advanced Power & Energy Cluster, including membership details and upcoming events can be found on the initiative’s new website,