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Ohio Picked for Federally Funded Defense Innovation Hub

Parallax Advanced Research has been awarded $1.9 million from the Department of Defense to establish the hub that will be part of a national network, orienting small businesses toward defense needs.

(TNS) — Ohio has been chosen to host a defense innovation hub called Mission Accelerator Center to help get technology from small businesses in the state to the military quickly.

Parallax Advanced Research, a nonprofit research institute in Beavercreek, has been awarded $1.9 million from the Department of Defense to establish the hub that will be part of a national network, orienting small businesses toward national defense needs.

The grant is for one year. If funding continues over a number of years, then 20 to 40 new jobs could be created, not all of them directly with Parallax, said Michael Gessel, vice president of federal government programs at the Dayton Development Coalition.

"It helps grow existing small businesses in Ohio, too," Sen. Sherrod Brown said in a phone briefing with reporters Wednesday.

"It becomes a one-stop shop for technology generators in Ohio," Gessel said in the same briefing.

The idea is to assess companies that "can do the work" and match those companies with Department of Defense (DOD) needs.

This is not a bricks-and-mortar operation, Gessel added.

"The accelerator is going to ensure that we have the talent and the technology to address our greatest national defense challenges," Brown said.

Dennis Andersh, president and chief executive of Parallax, said the institute started work with the funds about six weeks ago. It's a matter of staying in touch with DOD representatives who express a need for a product or service and finding companies who can answer that call.

Parallax has already brought on two new people full-time to shepherd the work.

"We're trying to accelerate technology maturation, and we're trying to de-mystify working with the DOD," Andersh said in an interview Wednesday.

Hawaii, Washington, Kansas and Arizona also received MAC grants.

"It's no mystery as to why Ohio was chosen as one of the top states in the country for bringing innovation to the Department of Defense," U.S. Rep. Mike Turner said.

With funds going to a Dayton-area institute, that will strengthen this part of the state, the congressman believes,

"It certainly bodes well for the future of what we've been trying to accomplish, to not just grow Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and its critical missions, but also to grow businesses and investment outside the fence at Wright-Patterson," said Turner, a Dayton Republican.

Many small businesses don't know how to work with the Defense Department, call participants said Wednesday. The hub will offer, among other services, legal counsel for start-ups, contract support and technical advice for those same businesses.

The idea is to remove "barriers," the senator said.

The next war probably won't take place on the battlefield with bullets, Gessel said. "It will be fought in the laboratory with technology. America is blessed with creative scientists and technology experts."

"We are certain this is going to matter. There are only five of these in the country," Brown said, referring to the new hub.

© 2023 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.