Northwest Aerospace News — Issue No. 28 August | September 2022 | Page 43

PNDC is focused on connecting our members with these opportunities and using our well-known high-tech eco-system to make the Pacific Northwest a hub for defense innovation .”
Innovating in the defense market comes through many channels including working directly with the government and business-to-business collaboration . Eric Yates , vice president of business development at Gladiator Technologies ( Snoqualmie , Washington ), a manufacturer of inertial measurement sensors and systems , explained that for some companies , growth in the long cycle of the defense industry can be a long-term process . “ One of our best customers today is based in the U . K . but supplies into a U . S . Army program ; we started the project 10 years ago and have only recently started to support full rate production .”
Yates explained that often for small businesses , getting in front of the DOD and going to market with a product can be very involved and includes developing proof of concept , testing , and , most notably , making connections with partners to get the product or business off the ground .
“ There can be a lot of effort to win a defense program and it may require patience , but there are long term dividends and business that is well defined , based on the budgeting cycle of the DOD ,” Yates said .
Yates is on the PNDC board of directors , where they are focused on ways to provide value to member companies and find ways to support and grow local businesses .
The PNDC focuses on facilitating many different types of collaboration .
Ryser said that the organization is all about partnerships between PNDC members on behalf of the defense industry . She shared , “ Since 2018 , PNDC has participated in pitch days that allow our companies to get in front of technology scouts from across the many branches of the DOD and Homeland Security .” She said there are opportunities to participate in one-to-one pitch programs with high-ranking procurement professionals .
In addition , organizations within the Pacific Northwest are finding ways to succeed together . Patrick Host , communications specialist for Insitu , a UAV manufacturer , said they have been members of PNDC for about seven years . Insitu has locations in Bingen , Washington , and Hood River , Oregon , plus facilities in the U . K . and Australia .
Host said they have about 1,000 employees . While they can provide services to non-governmental organizations , “ We focus on providing the world ’ s best mid-sized unmanned aerial vehicles , software , and support to the Pentagon and its allies .”