Naval Research and Development Stakeholders Seek Regional Talent

Catapult Aligns Hampton Roads Tech with Naval Opportunities on June 5-6

Thursday, May 03, 2018

​Catapult—the Naval Technology Discovery-to-Deployment Forum and Expo—will be held at the Virginia Beach Sandler Center on June 5-6, 2018. This two-day expo will showcase the region's technology capabilities; map them to Naval warfighter needs for leading-edge innovation; describe accelerated partnering vehicles; and identify Naval opportunity on-ramps for regional tech talent.

Catapult is a landmark event to connect Hampton Roads' academic and business tech talent pool with the renowned Naval Research Enterprise (NRE), as it serves a powerful and growing Naval fleet and force.

NASA will also be participating in this first-of-a-kind expo. Regional talent will have an opportunity to discuss the areas of unmanned systems, cyber security and modeling and simulation (big data analytics). NASA's tech transfer team will have a booth that will support NASA, Small Business Innovation Research and other collaborative processes to engage industry.

Keynote speakers will be U.S. Rep. Robb Wittman; U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor; State Sen. Frank Wagner; Rear Adm. David J. Hahn, chief of naval research; and Dr. David Walker, ONR portfolio director. Other speakers include U.S. Sen. Mark Warner; the Hon. Karen Jackson, former Virginia Secretary of Commerce; the Hon. Ron Villanueva, Catapult partner and former member, Virginia House of Delegates Raymond White, Virginia Beach Economic Development; Jeff Palumbo,Y!RM Technologies; Robert Rea, unmanned and autonomous ambassador; William Donaldson, PhD Christopher Newport University; Chuck Rigney, assistant director Norfolk Economic Development; Nancy Grden, executive director Strome Entrepreneurial Center; and Pat Hull, CEO Phull Holdings.

Discussion groups about Unmanned and Autonomous Technology, Modeling and Simulation, Cyber Security and Data Analytics, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Naval Contracting will include subject-matter experts and opportunity for Q&A.

This marketplace will give local companies, including start-ups and entrepreneurs, the ability to meet with Naval technology experts and decision makers, learn how to be a Naval supplier, gain visibility and recognition as leading technology solutions providers, and maintain relationships. Hampton Roads – site of the Navy's largest global installation – was challenged by Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. David Hahn to model its talent pool for an aggressively innovative Navy and Marine Corps.

"The Hampton Roads region is a powerful emerging tech hub, located within the largest concentration of U.S. Navy facilities in the world," said Hahn. "We depend on innovative technologies from companies in the region to give our Sailors and Marines the capabilities they need—and we look forward to this event."

Catapult is a broad collaboration of regional stakeholders. Panels will include members of various economic development departments and alliances as well as the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and partners from many Virginia colleges and universities. 

"An event like Catapult provides a unique opportunity for our regional small technology companies and entrepreneurs to meet with Navy decision makers to discuss and showcase their capabilities that could one day be utilized by our warfighters," stated Virginia Beach Director of Economic Development Warren D. Harris.  "The Defense Department serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurs to develop business applications and solutions."

In addition, Navy programs that accelerate invention, including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR/STTR) and the Rapid Innovation Program (RIF), will be on display at Catapult.

To register or exhibit at Catapult, go to or call (757) 777-9340.  Space is limited, and registrations are on a first-come, first-served basis. Exhibition space for local businesses to display products/services will be capped at 150 participants.

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