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September 24, 2017

Congressional, Defense and Innovation Leaders to Speak in Newport at Defense Innovation Days


The Rhode Island Congressional delegation and other Defense leaders are set to speak at the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance’s (SENEDIA) Fourth Annual Defense Innovation Days conference at the Newport Marriot on August 28 – August 30.

“Industry leaders look forward to this event each year, as it provides a forum where policymakers and business leaders can engage and learn from one another,” said Molly Donohue Magee, SENEDIA Executive Director.

Two prominent business leaders from the Defense and Undersea Technology sector: Wes Kremer, President, Integrated Defense Systems, Raytheon and Dirk Lesko, President, Bath Iron Works, General Dynamics will participate on the Industry Innovation Needs Panel.

“Raytheon and General Dynamics are not only leaders in the Defense sector, but they are also Rhode Island companies who help fuel our economy.  Their participation in Defense Innovation Days helps to secure our state as a leader in Defense and Undersea Technology innovation,” said Magee.  Both Raytheon and General Dynamics are Platinum Sponsors for the event.

Wes Bush, President and CEO of Northrop Grumman – a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide – will be keynoting on Day Two of Defense Innovation Days.

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Bush as a Keynote Speaker at Defense Innovation Days.  Northrop Grumman is a company that leads Defense innovation,” said SENEDIA Executive Director Molly Donohue Magee.   Northrop Grumman is a Silver Sponsor of the event.

Governor Gina M. Raimondo (D-RI), a key supporter of the Defense industry and focused on strengthening Rhode Island’s STEAM education, will give remarks on Day Three. Congressional leaders speaking include: U.S. Senator Jack Reed (RI), Ranking Member Senate Armed Services Committee; U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI); and U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin (RI).

“The Rhode Island Congressional leaders who attend Defense Innovation Days provide meaningful discussions that elaborate on Defense topics from the policy perspective,” said Magee.  “Having their input is essential to solidifying relationships between key innovators in the industry.”

Leaders from the Department of Defense who will be speaking include: VADM Michael Gilday, Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/ U.S. 10th Fleet and COL Michael McGinley, East Coast Military Lead, Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx).

Other Defense leaders to speak include: Don McCormack, Executive Director, Naval Surface and Undersea Warfare Centers; Frank Kelley, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Unmanned Systems; RDML James Pitt, Commander, Undersea Warfighting Development Center; Dr. James Bellingham, Director, Center for Marine Robotics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and; William Bray, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation.

“We look forward to hearing these innovation influencers’ insights at Defense Innovation Days.  We thank all of this year’s speakers,” added Magee.

Defense Innovation Days is SENEDIA’s annual three-day event highlighting innovation and technology in the defense arena – from undersea technology and cybersecurity, to the warfighter’s perspectives.  Bronze Sponsors include:  Evans Capacitor Company; iXblue; Mercury Systems; Navatek, Ltd.; Progeny Systems; Purvis Systems; Rite-Solutions; and SAIC.

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