The Crane Regional Defense Group says the inaugural Connect to Crane event provided Hoosier small business owners the chance to connect to the defense industry. The event was created to spur collaboration among small businesses and government and industry leaders who support Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division.

The Crane Regional Defense Group is a subcommittee of the White River Military Coordination Alliance, which was established to boost economic development at Naval Support Activity Crane. The organization says the event, held at the WestGate Academy in Odon, allowed small businesses developing cutting-edge innovations to network with defense strategists, contracting officials, policymakers, and local defense and business leaders.

“We often hear requests from small businesses on how they can gain access and have face time with Crane engineers and large industry partners, especially given the challenges the pandemic has presented,” said Matt Burkett, deputy director of small business programs at NSWC Crane. “This event provided an efficient avenue to make new connections and develop business relationships that, hopefully, turn into mutually beneficial partnerships.”

The organization says it plans to host additional Connect at Crane events as part of its focus on “leveraging Crane’s potential to bring economic growth to southern Indiana.”