NUWC Division Newport hosting virtual Industry Day to engage private business

Story by Public Affairs Office, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport

NEWPORT, R.I. — Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport’s Office of Small Business Program will host virtual Industry Day webinars over several days in October to network and invite industry representatives to learn about ways they can do business with the Navy and Division Newport. Hosted in conjunction with the R.I. Chapter of the National Contract Management Association, the webinars will be held online Oct. 20, 22, 27 and 29, at 1 p.m.

“This is a great opportunity for all businesses in our area and outside to learn about the work we do at the Division and to gain insight into upcoming solicitations,” Sarah Heard, director of Division Newport’s Office of Small Business Programs, said. “Each technical department will present briefs on their organization’s makeup, core competencies and their long-range acquisition forecast during Industry Day.”

The daily schedule of events and registration information can be found at: http://ncma-ri.org/2020-newport-nuwc-industry-day-webinar-series/

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Deputy Technical Director Don Aker will open the virtual event with a welcome and introduction to working at the Navy’s premier undersea research and development organization. Over the course of four sessions, each of Division Newport’s unique departments will explain their capabilities, past performance and contracting needs. The audience will be able to ask questions at the end of each presentation.

Attendees can register for individual department presentations if they have a targeted interest in specific work, or they are welcome to participate in the entire series to learn more about the Division at large. Businesses of all sizes and socio-economic status are encouraged to participate.

With the Navy’s transition from Seaport-e to SeaPort Next Generation (NxG) for multiple award contracts, some of the regional constraints for qualified vendors have been reduced, Heard said.

“I’m getting calls from the Midwest and the South, from vendors outside of our area who have not contacted the Office of Small Business previously, but are now reaching out to us,” Heard said. “We hope to have new participants to Industry Day given the changes to Seaport and the ability to participate from the comfort of your own home or office.”

Webcams, smart phone capability and real-time polling will enhance the virtual experience for all attendees. The webinars are free, but limited to 500 participants. Industry Day, held bi-annually, has moved to the online format because of the coronavirus pandemic. Heard hopes that this new virtual format will allow for greater engagement.

“The use of a virtual chat room and additional functionality, could lend itself to greater participation,” Heard said. A participant who might have been hesitant to ask a question in person may be willing to ask the question over online chat. Presenters will be able to field questions in real time and, with the use of poll data, gauge the interests of the audience.”

“Our goals are to engage with industry in a format that we haven’t used previously, figure out what works and what doesn’t work. This potentially could be a new way for us to network, inform and communicate in a predominantly telework situation,” Heard added. “From the Office of Small Business, we are always looking to cross thread small business and opportunities for innovation. Infusing our business base with new and existing players could only lend itself to greater diversity of thought and the development of best business practices.”

The schedule is as follows, with all webinars beginning at 1 p.m. EST:

Tuesday, Oct. 20 — “NUWC leadership kickoff” and “Code 85, Undersea Warfare Weapons, Vehicles and Defensive Systems Department”

Thursday, Oct. 22 — “Code 02, PEO SUB requirements,” “Code 34, Undersea Warfare Electromagnetic Systems Department” and “Code 70, Ranges, Engineering and Analysis Department”

Tuesday, Oct. 27 — “Code 25, Undersea Warfare Combat Systems Department” and “Code 45, Platform and Payload Integration Department”

Thursday, Oct. 29 — “Code 15, Sensors and Sonar Systems Department” and “Code 10, Corporate Operations Department (to include construction requirements)

More information is available online at: http://ncma-ri.org/2020-newport-nuwc-industry-day-webinar-series/

NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher’s Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

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Luz Motsinger