Ogden City is experiencing a surge of collaboration, innovation, and increased economic opportunity in the aerospace and defense industry. This boom is bringing more small businesses and entrepreneurs to northern Utah, thirsty for connection and collaboration. Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF) is a national non-profit group run entirely by volunteers, with members from the Department of Defense, academia, private industry, and other non-profits-- all with a focus on promoting creative collisions amongst those working within the national security realm. DEF brings this message to a community level with what they call “agoras”, meaning a gathering place for those passionate about national security innovation, but does so with a relaxed conversation more intent on connection.
Working in collaboration with Ogden City Business Development, Weber State University, Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI), and the Ogden Air Logistics Complex, DEF has established an active agora in Ogden. Trish Martinelli, DEF Executive Director said, “The cool thing about DEF Agoras is they create a neutral place for casual, but important conversations to occur more openly with all the critical stakeholders on a higher level. In my mind, they represent a much needed nationally connected movement enabling breakthroughs in the traditional Aerospace and Defense industry culture we have come to know, which has served us well, but has to be revolutionized to carry us forward into the next era.”
The DEF Ogden Agora is hosting a National Security Innovation Ecosystem Overview event on Thursday, February 16th, from 5-7 pm in Ogden’s historic Union Station. They hope those passionate about greater innovation in the defense and national security community will gather to learn more about and discuss the burgeoning ecosystem happening right here in our state. “Utah has many large and critical emerging DoD Programs that must perform in extreme environments with higher stakes. Much like the 1950s great race to the moon, in order to stay relevant and superior internationally right now, Utah Aerospace and Defense and Material Manufacturing businesses have an important role in advancing new materials and technological capabilities to help our nation win the next global Great Power Competition. DEF is a forum that provides a fresh mindset to initiate and encourage these creative and strategic discussions,” explained Martinelli.
Martinelli, along with Enos Cummings of the 309th Software Engineering Group and Pennie Nott of K2MS Consulting, will spark this critical discussion about Ogden’s role is the evolving national security innovation ecosystem where industry and small business entrepreneurs are accelerating technology advancements. Register for this free discussion and networking event at DEF Ogden Agora Event - National Security Innovation Ecosystem Overview Tickets, Thu, Feb 16, 2023 at 5:00 PM | Eventbrite