Volume 12 | December 17, 2020 California, Maryland
Join us! TechPort UAS Incubator and Community Innovation Hub
Announcement: TechPort Facility will be closed to the public December 20 - January 1 for Holidays - See you Next Year!
From the Director's Desk:

Why 2020 Was The Greatest Year Ever

I'll admit that this headline was an easy way to lure many of you into reading my letter. The proverbial "clickbait" has become all too familiar, and I find myself falling for them quite frequently, so don't feel too bad about falling for mine. Now that we've crossed that bridge, please humor me and try your best to open your hearts and minds to the Top 5 Reasons for why 2020 is, in fact, the greatest year ever.

On December 10, Rick Tarr, Director of NAWCAD Tech Transfer Office and Southern Maryland Tech Bridge discussed Commercial Service Agreements (CSAs). Joining the discussion was special guest Amy Kettle, CSA Program Manager at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Technology Transfer Office. Thanks to the TechPort and NAWCAD Public Affairs (PAO) teams for supporting this T2 event, as we continue to learn and improve the program with each iteration on a new and innovative platform.

Join us January 14th for next month's T2 program featuring NAWCAD's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

T2 is a special program sponsored by TechPort and NAWCAD Tech Bridge of Southern Maryland to promote increased access to small business innovators.

NAWCAD is planning to hold a test exercise and experimentation event in May 2021. If you are interested in participating, visit our website here!

With the rapidly changing threat environment, our National Defense Strategy and other guiding strategic documentation identify a need to adapt quickly and rapidly to take advantage of technological innovations. To do this, technologists need a better understanding of the operational challenges and context, and warfighters need a better understanding of what the technological innovations can do for them.

To gain this interaction, innovative organizations across industry, academia and government need forums to allow for technical and operational exchanges. The NAWCAD ADVANCED NAVAL TECHNOLOGY EXERCISE (ANTX) / Advanced Test Exercise (ATE) allows for this type of interaction without much of the bureaucratic restrictions that typically limit interaction, speed to fleet or stifle good collaboration.

The ANTX focuses on bringing relevant opportunities to appropriate transition pathways quickly and is designed as a venue for warfighters, technologists, engineers and sponsors to collaborate and exercise new technology and prototypes prior to government investment. Shape tomorrow's technology today at the lowest resource point practical.

NAWCAD's ATEs are conducted utilizing a comprehensive set of Live, Virtual & Constructive (LVC) resources across the country and will sharply focus on emerging components of Naval Warfare in support of Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO).

NAWCAD's overall ATE supports efforts in the following categories:
• Mission specific annual topic (i.e. Distributed Lethality, Long Range Surface Warfare (LRSUW), Joint War at Sea (JWAS), etc.)
• Demonstrate ability to fill capability gaps or advance technology of NISE-funded projects
• Opportunity to test Naval Air concepts and ideas from the Warfare Center and Naval Test Wing Atlantic (NTWL) Squadrons
• Program of Record (POR) opportunities
• Opportunity for Fleet Forces to risk reduce experiment prior to inclusion in fleet events
• LVC Environment for Programs Capabilities Based Test and Evaluation (CBT&E) Testing
• Inclusion of Industry to Demonstrate New Acquisition Guidance and Opportunities
Don't Miss this Opportunity!

There are two NavalX Tech Bridge Challenges that are currently accepting applications:

  • Palmetto Tech Bridge is seeking innovative technology concepts for Robotic Process Automation (RPA), as well as, Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT). Click here for more information!

Southern Maryland Loves You
TechPort's Featured Client of the Month
December 2020
Southern Maryland is Cooking Crabs and COVID

A heat sanitization box designed and developed by entrepreneurs at TechPort UAS Business Incubator and Community Innovation Hub of Southern Maryland to assist frontline health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic by making personal protective equipment (PPE) reusable was instrumental in yesterday’s announcement on Dry Heat by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Officially titled the Semi-Automated Heat Bioburden Reduction Module, the 16-feet long, 8-feet wide, and 8-feet high “Hot Box” unit has undergone FDA testing while in use at the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center during the past eight months.
“We are thrilled to reach this stage where all our hard work can now become accessible to health care providers throughout our nation,” said Tommy Luginbill, director of TechPort. “What an incredible experience it has been to pull our Southern Maryland community together to produce an essential tool in this battle against the novel coronavirus.”
TechPort's 2020 Impact

Although 2020 was an overwhelming year for many, TechPort found a way to turn negatives into positives. Throughout the year, TechPort held many successful events that had a positive impact on the community. In order to highlight TechPort’s accomplishments and best moments throughout 2020, TechPort Community Manager, Alexandra Walker, interviewed TechPort employees and clients to get their input on TechPort’s impact this year.

When asked what was TechPort’s biggest project this year, the majority spoke about the Southern Maryland Loves You innovative heat sanitization box. “SOMDLY and the ‘Hot Box.’ This work has facilitated real, visibly positive impact in Southern Maryland for healthcare workers and first responders. Southern Maryland Loves You, a nonprofit organization incubated out of TechPort, works to support those combating on the front lines in response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, by providing products, such as the heat sanitization box, also known as the ‘Hot Box’, that can disinfect thousands of masks within an hour.

SOMDLY has also brought positive attention and consideration to TechPort and Southern Maryland on an international scale. By generating these results, the work has also had a positive residual impact on TechPort's tenants and clients. Good news for all!” stated Dominic Fragman, TechPort client and Spirit of Innovation and Freedom Co-Founder.

“The Hot Box!” stated Donna Jordan, Jordan Research and Development Co-Founder and Chief Financial, when asked about TechPort’s biggest project during 2020.

Others were quick to highlight how TechPort had significant impact within the community.  

“Creating a place and atmosphere for innovators to get together and share ideas and tackle current problems together,” stated Matt Hayes, owner of Unmanned Propulsion Development (UPD) and founder of Southern Maryland Loves You.

“The ability to show people that it's ok to take risks and fail. Not every project or opportunity that we took was a success. At the end of the day, nobody will remember the things we failed at. On the other hand, they will always remember the projects we succeeded at. We showed a risk-averse culture that it's possible to take chances, and when you do, great things can happen,” said Tommy Luginbill, TechPort Director.
“While SOMD Loves You was the biggest project; it was not my favorite. I did it out of necessity and loyalty to helping others. My favorite project was ‘Maryland's First Spirits Delivery By Air.’ This was one project where I didn't have to do any of the work, and I got to have fun,” said Luginbill.

“The most exciting project for me as a TechPort Intern was the launch of a new intern-led program called "Intern Hours". The program has given myself and the other interns a fantastic opportunity to get to know our clients, as well as interesting members of the community in a fun and interactive format” said Tabitha Dunn, TechPort Community Liaison. Intern Hours is a biweekly video series hosted by the TechPort Interns that features discussions on various activities with a new guest every other week.

“My favorite TechPort project was the "Paint with me - Bob Ross Live Stream" hosted by the TechPort interns. It was a great activity for the community and had good outreach,” stated Alec Dobbins, TechPort Technical Liaison. The Intern’s livestreamed themselves following Bob Ross tutorials while also inviting the social media audience to follow along.

Another favorite event highlighted the most recent episode which was a TechPort-themed Jeopardy. “Jeopardy! - more games, more collaboration with tenants, interns, director,” said Donna Jordan. In celebration of the last episode, the Interns had on the majority of TechPort clients to celebrate.

A huge favorite among the community was Progress Culture, a weekly happening in the TechPort airplane hangar sharing live improvised music and conversations about the significance of human imagination and creativity in the progress of art, science, politics, freedom, and beyond, hosted by multi-instrumentalist Dominic Fragman and master drummer Paul F. Murphy.

“I particularly like The Spirit of Innovation and Freedom!” stated Brian Jordan, Jordan Research and Development President and Co-Founder. Hayes also agreed with Jordan, “Progress Culture, that was my favorite”.

“The Hot Box project has been a lot of fun for me and SIF. Getting together videos, doing interviews, being on the news . . . there have been so many things happening as a result of the box. Of course I'm biased, but Progress Culture has also been a favorite!” stated Fragman, co-founder of SIF.

Lastly, the group was asked what they think TechPort will accomplish in the new year. Everyone had a lot of optimistic and positive thoughts for TechPort’s goals for 2021.

“TechPort is set up to accomplish many exciting things including continuing support to SOMD Loves You now that they have received authorization from the FDA to operate the hot box. However, I am also excited to continue getting to know our current and incoming clients as well as participate in TechPort's food drive supporting St. Mary's Caring Soup Kitchen,” stated Dunn.

“In 2021, TechPort will continue to bring positive attention to Southern Maryland in a way that will help to provide a range of people with a place to build a creative, entrepreneurial, innovative, and vibrant community, and attract people inside and outside of Southern Maryland to the exciting things happening in the area,” said Fragman.

With all the growth and support that TechPort had received this year, it is safe to say big things are in store for them in 2021.

We all could follow Brian Jordan’s words for the new year, as he stated “Keep pressing! Success is on the other side of hard work!”

Featured article written by: Alexandra Walker
TechPort Community Manager and SIGNALS E-News Assistant Editor
Let Us Know What YOU Think!
What Do You Think TechPort's Biggest Project/Impact Was in 2020?
Intern Hours?
Progress Culture?
Southern Maryland Loves You's 'Hot Box'?
TechBridge @ TechPort?
Don't Miss This!

On January 22, 10 - 1 p.m., in collaboration with SBDC, TechPort will be hosting a virtual Hacking the Traditional Business Plan Modeling Process for Tech Startups Webinar
Panelists include: Donna Jordan , co-founder of Jordan Research and Development; Erin Harrigan and Tisa Clark, Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Southern Region; and Wynne Briscoe, Regional Director of Small Business Development Center, Southern Region.

The workshop will address unique challenges of tech companies face while building their business plan, common mistakes or pitfalls, important topics and areas of concentration including the value of participating in the ICORP program.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Topics Pre-Released

The DoD issued its 21.1 SBIR Broad Area Announcement (BAA) pre-release on December 8, 2020, which opens to receive proposals on January 14, 2021, and closes February 18, 2021.

The BAA is inclusive of 100 standard Navy SBIR topics, and 2 Direct to Phase II topics from 7 of the Navy's SYSCOMs. Topics include cloud based air traffic control training systems, aircrew body armor, and lightweight thermal protection to name just a few.

To review all 26 NAVAIR SBIR topics, Click Here!
Jeopardy Showdown!
The final episode of Intern Hours for the year is a wrap!

In this year-end wrap-up episode, we honor the memory of Alex Trebek by playing our very own TechPort UMD themed Jeopardy game complete with daily doubles and final jeopardy at the end! Our many guests including our cameraman and host all had a great time playing and we all hope to do it again sometime!

Intern Hours is a biweekly video series hosted by the TechPort Interns that features discussions on various activities with a new guest every other week!
Please subscribe to our channel so that all of our future videos show up on your news feed!
Help the St. Mary's Caring Soup Kitchen!

TechPort is currently serving as a donation drop-off point for any individuals or businesses in or around the St. Mary's County Regional Airport Innovation District to benefit the St. Mary's Caring Soup Kitchen!

The mission of St. Mary's Caring Soup Kitchen is to provide free meals to anyone in need, no questions asked, serving all with a spirit of compassion, dignity and respect.

Currently the St. Mary's Caring Soup Kitchen is in need of holiday supplies such as HOT CHOCOLATE PACKETS, GRAHAM CRACKERS, coloring books, and other dollar store stocking stuffers for their special Christmas Cheer boxes.

Please reach out to us on Facebook or email as at info@techportsomd.org for more information on how to support this effort!

TechPort will be accepting food donations through the end of February and we will keep the community updated on high priority items.
Interactive Innovation
Progress Culture Tuesdays
Last Week's Episode: Episode 32 - What Age Are We??
Narda (Healer and Herbalist), Brian Jordan (Jordan R&D), and Paul F. Murphy & Dominic Fragman (SIF)

If you are what you eat, how do you nourish your soul?? Fresh food? Meditation? Amazonian Tree Frogs??

This Week's Episode: Episode 33 - What Age Are We??
Brian Jordan (Jordan R&D), Matt Hayes (UPD and SoMDLY), and Paul F. Murphy & Dominic Fragman (SIF)

What will history/historians call the time in which we are living? What are the qualities, characteristics, and ideas that define this era into a nice little label? What would you name this age?? What Age Are We??

Visit www.ProgressCulture.org to learn more and tune in to their weekly programs on SPOTIFY, YOUTUBE, and FACEBOOK.

This group originally performed at 5 p.m., Tuesday evenings at TechPort, and hope to begin offering the opportunity for live participation. Tickets will be available through TechPort's Events Calendar.

December 17, 12 p.m. - Starting a Small Business Webinar
This informative workshop is a great place to begin planning to start your business on the right foot. Topics for this one-hour session include: Legal requirements and regulations,sources of financing, and free business resources.

December 18, 10 - 10:30 a.m. - "How to do Business with GSA" Webinar
Webinar is open to all small businesses looking for additional information and guidance on GSA and our opportunities. This webinar is a comprehensive overview of GSA, which includes discussion on the GSA Schedule program and Public Building Services (PBS).

December 19, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Holidays Farmers Market (St. Mary's County Airport)
Shop local for holiday goodies! This outdoor, socially-distanced market will feature fresh local food and products in a place where visitors of all ages can watch airplanes and future aviators take to the skies!
(If the weather forecast looks iffy, the market may be cancelled the day before 12/18)

December 20 - 28 - TechPort Facility Closed for Holidays

December 26 - National Candy Cane Day
National Candy Cane Day gives candy lovers a day to celebrate the red and white striped candies found abundantly during the holidays.

January 5, 10 - 11 a.m. - QuickBooks Eight-Session Series
Each Tuesday and Thursday in January 2021, a Business Coach from the Kentucky SBDC in Covington will be hosting a no-cost eight-session series on QuickBooks. These sessions address Navigating QuickBooks, Chart of Accounts, Items, Vendors, Accounts, Payroll and Timesheets, and more.

January 14, 1 - 1:30 p.m. - TechBridge @ TechPort - Fourth Installment
Join the discussion! Navy Small Business Innovation Research Programs and Small Business Technology Transfers – Don't miss this chance to ask questions directly with NAWCAD!

January 22, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m - Hacking the Traditional Business Plan Modeling Process for Tech Startups Webinar
The workshop will address how to improve a business plan, common mistakes or pitfalls, important topics and areas of concentration including the value of participating in the ICORP program.
What does the TechPort Innovation Hub mean to you?
Let us know at www.techportsomd.org
Or on our social medias!
TechPort is now seeking for sponsorships for 2021 Programming

If interested, please contact TechPort Director Tommy Luginbill here!

TechPort is a public-private sector initiative supported by: