The Michigan Defense Center | Arsenal of Innovation


These 3 steps that are listed below have been pulled out of the MDC Online Resource Guide.

The Michigan Defense Center created the resource guide for Michigan companies and innovators who are interested in doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The purpose of the guide is to provide information on the various organizations, tools and other resources available locally and at the state or national level that can help you win federal contracts. These resources are free or available at a low cost for Michigan companies.

Why Get Into Defense Contracting?
• Diversify your portfolio to reduce risk and weather economic downturns
• Create opportunities for steady work and revenue
• Defense, defense aerospace and homeland security cross over into every industry
• Grow your business

Getting Started
There are three main paths to get into defense contracting. Perhaps the easiest way to enter the federal supply chain is to become a Subcontractor where you provide your goods or services to a company that already has a contract with the federal government. If you have an innovative idea that you would like to develop, prototype or produce, you can get a federal contract through Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs). Finally, you can become part of the federal supply chain by providing your goods or services directly to the federal government as a Prime Contractor. Whatever path you take to win a federal contract or become part of the federal supply chain, you must first do the following things:

  1. Register your company with the U.S. government through the System for Award Management (SAM) at SAM is a federal government-owned and operated website that allows companies to register and do business with the U.S. government. You must complete your SAM registration in order to bid on federal contracts, work as a federal contractor, or apply for federal grants.
  2. You also need to comply with NIST 800-171, a federal cybersecurity requirement. This requirement ensures that government contractors are able to protect the confidentiality of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). Contact your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at or the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) at to receive assistance with NIST compliance.
  3. Connect with your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at to receive free or low-cost support for entering the federal supply chain such as individualized business counseling, training, registration and certifications, bid proposals, and matchmaking.

The Michigan Defense Center, an operation of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), is the lead voice for Michigan’s defense and homeland security economy. It has galvanized 34 academic institutions and local, state, and economic development organizations to become partners in protecting and growing the defense assets and industry in the state. To date, the Michigan Defense Center has distributed $6.5 million in grants to these partners and small businesses in Michigan including the Upper Peninsula. The tools and resources that the Michigan Defense Center has developed to assist Michigan businesses such as the Bid Targeting System (BTS) and Proposal Writing Services (PWS) has resulted in 400 new Michigan small businesses becoming engaged in the defense industry, and winning $500 million in contracts.

Download the full version of the Online Resource Guide Here.

Bid Opportunity of the Month- August 2020

Furniture Installation and Transportation
Department of Veterans Affairs – Sources Sought

Solicitation: 36C25020Q0951
Primary NAICS Code: 484210 – Used Household and Office Goods Moving
Status: REQUST FOR INFORMATION ONLY – Base+4 – 10/01/2020-09/30/2025
Summary: ***THIS IS A REQUST FOR INFORMATION ONLY*** Furniture Relocation/Installation Please complete the Vendor Information Document and email to NLT Noon 08/04/2020. No phone calls shall be received. The Department of Veterans Affairs, Network Contracting Office 10, 24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, Lobby M, Suite 2200, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, is seeking contractors who can provide all parts and hardware (including toggles, zip ties and related installation equipment), labor, on-site supervision, uniforms and identification, equipment, tools, transportation, supplies, and materials necessary to perform all tasks related to the transportation of furniture/equipment, installation/de-installation, reconfiguration of all government owned new and used freestanding, wall mounted and modular furniture for the following locations: Clinic: Location: Pontiac CBOC 44200 Woodward Ave., Suite 208, Pontiac MI 48341 Detroit Warehouse 8747 Brandt Street, Dearborn, MI., 48126 Piquette Square HPACT 301 Piquette Street, Detroit, MI, 48202 Detroit VET Center 4161 Cass, Detroit MI 48201 Dearborn VET Center 19855 West Outer Drive, Dearborn MI., 48127 Pontiac VET Center 44200 Woodward Ave., Suite 108, Pontiac MI 48341
View full opportunity here:

Architect Engineering and Design Services
Department of Defense – Pre-solicitation
Solicitation: W911XK20R0005
Primary NAICS Code: 541330 – Engineering Services
Status: Partial Small Business Set-Aside
View full opportunity here:

Search more opportunities at

Michigan Defense Center Proposal Writing Services Grant Recipient

In Fall 2019 KEO and Associates, Inc. were approved for the Proposal Writing Services (PWS) grant, which they used to hire one of the PWS pre-qualified proposal writers, JetCo Solutions, to develop and submit their federal contract proposal. 

In March 2020 they were awarded a GSA Schedule contract to sell their services to the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other federal agencies.

KEO and Associates, Inc. was founded in 1994 to provide General Contracting, Construction Management, Design-Build and Construction Technical Services.

The Michigan Defense Center would like to Congratulate KEO and Associates, Inc. on their success!

To learn more about KEO and Associates, Inc., visit their website at

Your company can apply for Proposal Writing Services grant funding to hire a professional proposal writer to pursue a federal contract too!

Visit to sign up for a free Bid Targeting System (BTS) account and apply for grant funding today.

Email for more information.

From the Executive Director Vicki Selva – July 2020

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”


I confess, I don’t know much about Antoine de Saint-Exupe’ry, but, I believe in his admonition that a team can talk about lofty goals, what should, could be done, but, there must be a plan to engage supporters and partners and keep the train moving on the tracks.

It is with this understanding that the Michigan Defense Center created the state’s first strategic plan in 2016, Protect and Grow.

The first thing that had to happen to move Michigan forward was to coordinate all of the agencies and high level decision-makers that touched all of the different components of defense in Michigan.

By creating a clear and prioritized path, state and federal leaders, regional and industry stakeholders were willing and able to support the state’s defense effort which included state funding.

This also allowed us the ability to coordinate federal resources and grants and created a great ROI for Michigan.

The next step was to build a network of stakeholders and partners around the state that would help us in building the recognition this sector deserves and to create the grass root effort in every part of the state. To do this, MDC developed the Defense Community Grant and offered funding for each economic region to identify and work with their companies, colleges and local leaders to create the eco-system that would allow defense companies and R&D to thrive.

These grants continue now as we support financially and work with partners in Mt. Pleasant, Wayne County, National Guard and others to build their local activities that fall under the MDC’s State of Michigan Protect and Grow 2.0 Initiative.

These efforts and the ground work that has been laid over the last 4 years has led to a significant rise in return on investment and in economic numbers.

The importance of unity of effort and partnerships together with a well thought out strategy cannot be understated–or underestimated.

In this edition of the Michigan Defense Center communication, you will be able to dive into the strategic plan, hear more about the implementation projects undertaken by the Michigan Defense Center and our partners around the state and how these projects and programs can assist and benefit your work.

We have determined that a comprehensive and executed strategic plan is a must for success…and, in the end the goal is to support Michigan’s defense companies, missions and community.

If you need support to increase your defense portfolio or are just beginning to consider defense as a business strategy, please check out our Online Resource Guide that lays out the steps to get you started. 

In addition to the Resource Guide, we encourage you to register your business on the Bid Targeting System (BTS).  BTS was developed by MDC exclusively for Michigan companies to provide business intelligence support that help companies better assess which contracting opportunities to pursue, as well as keep track of the status of current and past bids. 

We are proud to serve the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform and those of you who support our armed services with the tools and services they need to do their jobs safely. As always,contact the MDC team with question or comments at

Vicki Selva

Bid Opportunity of the Month- July 2020

A pre-solicitation notice has been released by the government for an 8(a) set-aside contract worth up to $50 billion. The notice is for computer design system services, and the government is requesting proposals for a tailored solution.

The Michigan Defense Center has several programs that can assist qualified Michigan companies compete for this contract, you may even qualify for a Michigan Defense Center  grant to help you hire a pre-qualified professional proposal writer to work with you as you develop a winning bid.

You can apply for grant funding with a free Bid Targeting System (BTS) account at
You can find the opportunity details below.

Pre-solicitation Notice for the 8(a) STARS III Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC)

  • Notice ID: 47QTCB20R0005
  • NAICS Code: 541512 – Computer Systems Design Services
  • Set-Aside: 8(a) Companies
  • Estimated Value: Ceiling value of $50 billion
  • Description: The Government is requesting proposals for the next generation 8(a) Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). GWAC is an information technology (IT) contract and concentrates on IT services and IT services-based solutions. Read more.

Supporting Michigan’s Defense Communities

As part of its mission and Protect & Grow 2.0 strategy, the Michigan Defense Center supports the state’s defense communities to increase military value, readiness and quality of life. Most recently, the MDC worked with the Michigan National Guard, their host communities and military installations throughout the state to pursue federal grants for infrastructure projects that impact military installations, military personnel and their families. As a result, on June 26 the City of Alpena and the City of Grayling submitted federal grant proposals to improve infrastructure under the Defense Communities Infrastructure Program (DCIP).

The City of Alpena submitted a grant proposal to improve the water plant, which provides all of the water used by the city and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC). The city also submitted a proposal for the development of the Maritime Heritage Waterfront Park that will provide recreation and improve quality of life for the residents as well as the men and women serving the nation at the Alpena Training Center.

In the City of Grayling, home to the Michigan National Guard All Domain Joint Training Center, the Michigan Defense Center assisted community leaders in submitting a proposal to develop a trailhead for better and safer access to a popular trail that provides recreation and fitness opportunities for the community as well as those at the installation. The Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) is scheduled to announce grant awards in September.

The Michigan Defense Center is proud to support our military communities by introducing them to federal opportunities and providing resources and funding to strengthen our community partners.

Stakeholders, Lawmakers and Experts Talk Defense in Michigan

On June 18, 2020 the Michigan Defense Center (MDC) held a virtual Community Discussion on the state of Michigan’s Protect and Grow 2.0 Defense Strategic Plan.  Protect and Grow Strategy meetings are held on the quarter and are always well attended by military leaders and staff, Legislators and staff, industry, academia and stakeholders. The P&G 2.0 Community Discussions will highlight the efforts of partners from around the state that contribute to fulfilling the state’s strategic plan for the defense, aerospace, and homeland security economy.

During the meeting, MDC Executive Director, Vicki Selva, announced the new impressive 2019 economic impact numbers for the state of Michigan:

“Since we implemented Protect and Grow in 2016, Michigan has been experiencing unprecedented growth in contracts, gross regional product and employment numbers associated with the DoD and DHS.” Said Selva. “Although it is hard to predict what 2020 numbers will look like, we don’t expect to see the same type of economic devastation in this sector that other parts of the economy will experience as defense was an essential service, the federal defense dollars continue to flow during this crisis and Michigan companies will benefit from the re-shoring efforts that will now take place.”

  • 14,270 Michigan Companies Registered to do Defense
  • 155,000 defense-related jobs
  • $12.7 Billion in Personal Income
  • $13.4 Billion in Gross Regional Product
  • $24 Billion in overall Activity for Defense in Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer kicked off the meeting with her remarks to the Defense Industry here in Michigan.  State Senator MacDonald followed to share the progress his Legislative Defense Caucus is making to support P&G 2.0 and the Associations that make up an important part of the state’s stakeholders.

The MDC would like to thank Governor Whitmer, State Senator MacDonald, MG Rogers and all of the other partners for their support of Michigan’s Defense Community and the Michigan Defense Center. 

With over 130 partners and businesses registered for the event, The MDC was able to share the ongoing projects our partners are implementing to strengthen the state. A Q&A break out session following the event hosted more than 25 participants who engaged directly with the presenters and MDC experts in congressional and Pentagon actions and economic impact.

If you would like to watch the meeting to learn about these projects, click here.

This quarter’s presenters and highlights:
Vicki Selva, Executive Director, Michigan Defense Center
—Protect and Grow 2.0 Briefing, program, and project announcements
Dustin Frigy, Resource Program Manager
—Announcement: Cybersecurity Compliance Program
Major General Paul D. Rogers, Adjutant General, Michigan National Guard
—The future of the Michigan National Guard
Cynthia Hutchison, Vice President, Automation Alley
—Industry 4.0 and the “New Normal”
Jim McBryde, President and CEO, Middle Michigan Development Corporation
—Industry 4.0 Rapid Response, Workforce Development Pilot Projects for Defense
Vicky Rad, Director, Department of Planning and Economic Development
—Macomb County Robotics Collaboration and Innovation Center

“We are builders and makers, and pivot to defense during this time with COVID” – Jim McBryde, President and CEO, Middle Michigan Development Corporation

The Michigan Defense Center congratulates the following Michigan companies on their DoD Contract Awards!

Company/Location:  Avon Protection Systems Inc., Cadillac, Michigan
What the contract is for:  Joint Service General Purpose Mask systems and spare components for the Army
Contract amount:  $49,621,502
Estimated completion date:  June 22, 2025

Since the 1920’s, Avon Protection Systems has been a world leader in manufacturing respiratory protective equipment.

With the contract estimated completion date of June 2025, Avon is able to see the next five years of production.  In response to COVID-19, manufacturing masks at Avon Protection Systems doesn’t expect to decrease anytime soon.
Learn more about Avon Protection Systems Here

Company/Location:  GM Defense LLC, Detroit, Michigan
What the contract is for:  Infantry Squad Vehicle, installation kits, ancillary hardware and logistical support
Contract amount:  $214,297,869
Estimated completion date:  June 24, 2028

Company/Location:  GM Defense LLC, Detroit, Michigan
What the contract is for:  Infantry Squad Vehicles and integrated product support
Contract amount:  $8,580,666
Estimated completion date:  June 24, 2021

The GM Defense ISV is built utilizing 90% of the commercial off-the-shelf parts for the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize truck platform.  The ISV can deliver what the Army needs with its occupant and cargo superstructure that is powered by 186-horsepower, 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel engine, and six-speed automatic transmission.

“GM Defense is driving the future of military mobility by leveraging the best-in-class capabilities of General Motors for unmatched innovation, proven performance and breakthrough life-cycle economics.” GM Defense

To learn more about this award, read GM Defense’s Press Release from June 27, 2020 here.
Learn More About GM Defense Here

From the Executive Director Vicki Selva – June 2020


Opportunities are the theme for this month’s newsletter! We all have been struggling to stay safe, and stay solvent simultaneously through these trying times. But, now is the time to begin to look forward in our businesses and develop new strategies, seek out new customers and create new revenue streams,  and we hope the information in this communication will help.

On the right you will see that each month we leverage our Bid Targeting System (BTS) to highlight hot or new bid opportunities that fit into the capabilities of Michigan companies. We urge you to bid on these or other posted contracts that can be found in the BTS. Speaking of which, if you want to see how contracting officers score your company using publicly accessible information, sign up for the BTS webinar to learn how to utilize that information and the contract offerings  that match your company’s capabilities.

Also, in this edition we’ll recap the NDIA Michigan Defense Exposition (MDEX) and the Advanced Program Briefings to Industry presented by every buying organization at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal held on May 20 and 21st. Because of the current COVID crisis, this newly renovated opportunities conference had to undergo even more changes to become a virtual event in only 3 weeks—but the great NDIA leadership and MDEX committee pulled it off, building a brand new web platform that showcased 60 Army speakers, defense exhibitors and sponsors, and even creatively  offered direct engagement between attendees, presenters and colleagues. Take a look at the article about V-MDEX and stop by to access recordings of the presentations and Army slide decks that will help you position your company to do business with Army Contracting Command, PEO CS&CSS, PEO GCS, Army Futures Command and GVSC for the next several years.

And if you need some help understanding how to capitalize on all of these opportunities, check in with your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTACs of Michigan) who have a video on the MDEX site to guide you in federal contracting.

Finally, we’ll look at the big picture opportunities presented to Michigan in our pursuit of recognition for the assets, talent and capabilities here in the state. Our design and engineering, R&D, and manufacturing is unmatched anywhere in the world, and the opportunities for the state and our companies in defense, defense aerospace and homeland security are boundless. This is why in 2016, the Michigan Defense Center initiated the first Protect & Grow strategic report that created a structure for the state to grow this sector. Last fall we undertook a comprehensive look at the state and matched our strengths to national security needs in a new version of the strategic plan and produced Protect and Grow 2.0. Please give it a read to better understand the role that you and your company or organization can play in Michigan’s success as we strive to provide opportunities to protect and grow our defense missions and industries.

As always, reach out and let us know what you’re working on and if this information is helpful to you!

Vicki Selva

Read Protect and Grow 2.0 Strategic Strategy Here

Meeting DoD contract requirements – NIST SP 800-171 Self Certification

The Michigan Defense Center is the state of Michigan office tasked to protect and grow the state’s defense, defense aerospace missions and industries.

Part of what we do is offer programs, resources and grants to assist Michigan companies navigate the complexities of defense/federal contracting.

One of the most daunting regulations facing Michigan defense and supply chain business are the new federal cybersecurity requirements that need to be met to keep your contracts or to pursue new defense business. The Michigan Defense Center is building a program that we think will help by standardizing the initial costs and the regulation process to make it easier for you to become compliant.

However, first we need your help to understand how these regulations are affecting you and where we can best add value. The need to make our companies and computer systems secure from hackers and other bad actors is understandable, but we know that the regulations to do so can be burdensome.

To better understand where Michigan companies currently stand with cybersecurity compliance, the Michigan Defense Center will be sending out a cybersecurity survey to federal contractors in June. Your answers will help in creating resources and opportunities for your business to remain competitive in the Defense Industry. We will follow up with you in the coming months to invite you to learn more about the programs we will be offering.