Georgia’s Defense Sector Lands in London
Thursday, September 14th, 2017
One of the world’s leading defense and security events is underway this week in London and the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s trade team is on the ground spreading the word about one of Georgia’s key industries. Defense Ministers, international military and armed forces, major industry players and private sector companies from across the globe have assembled at Defense and Security Equipment International with total estimated attendance reaching more than 34,000.
Home to nine U.S. Armed Forces military bases, a world-class logistics infrastructure and innovative defense technology research and training centers, it should come as no surprise that eight of the top ten U.S. defense contractors maintain operations in Georgia. The state’s robust aerospace ecosystem makes it even more attractive for companies looking to take advantage of growing opportunities in defense-related aerospace innovation.
New investments in training and research centers continue to position Georgia as a hub for the security and defense sector. Just last year the U.S. Army opened its new Cyber Command headquarters at Fort Gordon in Augusta bringing more than 1,400 cyber security experts to the state. The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, also hosts its headquarters in Georgia with a 1600-acre campus used for training law enforcement personnel from more than 90 federal, state and local agencies. Academic institutions such as the Georgia Institute of Technology and Columbus State University provide innovative programs in defense technology and training research with specialties in areas such as electronic warfare, cyber security and radar and systems engineering.
Opportunities abound for Georgia defense and security companies, especially those that are willing to look beyond our own borders. Georgia’s defense and security exports grew by 43 percent over the last ten years and companies like those attending this year’s DSEI event are taking advantage of the lucrative opportunities available in international markets. GDEcD’s Senior International Trade Manager, Taube Ponce, works closely with Georgia companies in the defense and security sectors and helps connect them with opportunities to increase their global reach. Part of that process involves bringing companies to the forefront by attending events like DSEI where industry innovators and game changers assemble. Such events allow Georgia companies to showcase their products and increase their visibility on an international scale.
The four Georgia businesses represented at this year’s DSEI show include American Panel Corporation, DRD Tactical, Meggitt Training Systems and Polycase Ammunition. Over the next few days, these companies will network with some of the biggest players in their fields, hear from keynote speakers, attend sector-themed presentations and benefit from personalized matchmaking appointments coordinated by GDEcD’s trade representative in the U.K., Mike Harling. With the last DSEI show welcoming more than 1,600 exhibitors and attendees from 108 countries, there is no doubt that this year’s iteration will offer Georgia company attendees a wide range of opportunities to make connections and pave the way for future international growth.