VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AFNS) — A mentor-protégé team earned the Nunn-Perry award March 2 for achievements in cyber applications for the Air Force, officials from the service’s office of small business said here March 4.
Ball Aerospace, Colorado Engineering, Inc. and Florida International University were recognized at the annual Mentor-Protégé Conference in Virginia Beach.
The mentor firm, Ball Aerospace, specializes in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, space science and tactical systems. The protégé small business, CEI, provides advanced engineering services in the design, development and testing of software and hardware systems. FIU, a participating minority-serving institution, emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. Ranked first in the nation in awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students, FIU also is one of the 25 largest universities in the nation.
“The Air Force Office of Small Business Programs ensures the mentor-protégé program develops small business capabilities in areas linked to the Air Force’s mission and priorities,” said Karen Holloman, Air Force Office of Small Business mentor protégé program director. “The program is designed to focus on mentor-protégé agreements that provide innovative, state-of-the-art technology transfers in the domains of air, space and cyberspace.”
The award-winning team is one of six active Air Force mentor-protégé contract agreements. Ball Aerospace, CEI and FIU are developing capabilities in digital processing technologies and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
All eligible protégés are certified by officials with the U.S. Small Business Administration as small disadvantaged businesses or minority-serving institutions.
The mentor-protégé program encourages large-business contractors to assist in developing the technical and business capabilities of small disadvantaged businesses.
Mentor firms benefit by establishing long-term business relationships with qualified suppliers. Mentors also receive reimbursements or credits for their developmental costs as well as a boost in meeting their small business goals.
Protégé firms gain valuable expertise in technology and business-knowledge transfer, which increases their competitiveness in the marketplace as well as their access to other subcontracting opportunities.
News Source: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123245572
Please visit the Mentor Protege Program website for more information.