Fall greetings! Most Michiganders tout our great state as one of the best places in the world in the fall—crisp, colorful, sunny—Pure Michigan! But, those of us tied to Michigan’s defense and homeland security business believe that “pure Michigan” doesn’t just refer to the wonderful leaf circle tour guides and scenic waterfront drives, but also the pure intentions and commitment by our workers to our nation’s defense and our country’s heroes. Whether you are a Michigan engineer developing an integration system for the wheeled vehicle that will carry our soldiers to places no one really wants to go, or a large OEM like Kellogg’s, producing the food that sustains our troops, “Pure Michigan” means so much to the industry and men and women that depend on our success as a state.

The Michigan Defense Center (MDC), an operation of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has been hard at work for several years engaging stakeholders, elected officials and the public to tell the Michigan defense story and to create economic gardening tools and programs that will create sustainability and growth in these sectors.

Since fall is the harvest season, it seems right that we share with you some of the important accomplishments we have been experiencing as the early fruits of our team’s labors.

In this edition of Arsenal of Innovation Quarterly, you will hear from Michigan’s Senior Senator, Debbie Stabenow  who has emerged as a great advocate for Michigan’s defense industry, federal assets and National Guard missions around the state. Senator Stabenow recently led many members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation on a 2-day tour of our state’s military facilities. The Michigan Defense Center joined this first-of-its-kind tour hosted by the Michigan National Guard and the Army’s Detroit Arsenal—a learning experience for all, holding great promise for the future!

We will update you on “Protect and Grow”, the state’s effort to develop a sustainable and consistent strategic plan with real and actionable recommendations to engage stakeholders, protect the industry and assets that currently exist in Michigan and identify a path forward to growth in current and emerging markets—the future of Michigan’s defense interests.

Michigan, like the rest of the nation has experienced contraction due to the winding down of military operations, federal budgets and the looming sequestration talk in Washington D.C. But, here, the Michigan Defense Center teamed with regional partners like Advance Michigan, Macomb County, WIN and Michigan Works! to develop a proposal to the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment which was funded to the tune of $5.97 million dollars—a terrific nod to collaboration and a spirit of working together to build Michigan’s future. Read more about this grant in this edition

Michigan cannot move its defense markets forward without an aggressive position on emerging markets. In just a few short years, with a focus from Governor Snyder on commercial cyber security markets, The Michigan National Guard’s defense cyber range initiatives and investment and guidance from the Michigan Defense Center, Michigan can lay claim to more unclassified cyber ranges than any other state in the nation. With the considerable resources that the MDC will bring to this movement through the Protect and Grow initiative as well as the DoD OEA grant, now is the time to understand the “Cyber Ecosystem” by reading the article on Pure Cyber.

And finally, experience the success of a Michigan defense company as they share their story and their reasons for staying–