Breakout Sessions

North Carolina: Frontline of the Future
This session highlights the infrastructure, strategic and operational programs and resources available to businesses and military to grow the innovation ecosystem in North Carolina – the Frontline of the Future.  Speakers will showcase activities and resources of the Board of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Defense Technology Transition Office and the One North Carolina Small Business Program, including incentive and matching funds available to businesses pursuing and winning DoD SBIR/STTR awards for defense innovation.

  • Michael Cunningham, Chairman, North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation
  • John Hardin, Executive Director, Office of Science, Technology & Innovation, North Carolina Department of Commerce
  • COL (Ret) Denny Lewis, Director, North Carolina Defense Technology Transition Office (DEFTECH)

Panel: Defense Research and Development Resources
Moderated by Dr. Stephen Lee, Chief Scientist at the Army Research Office, representatives from the Army and universities’ defense-related centers of excellence will discuss existing and emerging R&D capacity in North Carolina across numerous dual-use industrial sectors.  This panel will reveal today’s developments in science and technologies that will shape the solutions for tomorrow’s national security challenges

Participating organizations: 

  • Moderator: Dr. Stephen Lee, Chief Scientist, US Army Research Office
  • Kathie Sidner, University of North Carolina Federal Relations
  • Dr. Veena Misra, Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) Center ERC
  • Melissa Vetterkind, Assist VP, Office of Government Relations, Duke University
  • Jeffrey Krolik, PhD., Managing Director, Athena: AI Institute for Edge Computing
  • Dr. Michael Mazzola, Director of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) and the Duke Energy Distinguished Chair in Power Engineering Systems at University of North Carolina Charlotte

Panel: Government Innovation Initiatives

Representatives from the XVIII Airborne Corps Chief Technology Office, Army Futures Command, and the Defense Innovation Unit will discuss their ongoing programs, trends, needs, and how innovators may connect with them to provide potential solutions to current and emerging national defense problems.

Participating organizations: 

  • Moderator: COL (Ret) Denny Lewis, Director, North Carolina Defense Technology Transition Office 
  • Captain Lauren Hansenarmendariz, Chief Technology Officer, XVIII Airborne Corps Technology Office
  • Art Trevethan, Director of Corporate Ventures, Army Applications Lab (AAL)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Glenn McCartan, Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)

Military Technology Needs and Trends
Representatives of military commands will discuss their organization’s current and anticipated military problems/challenges, and how they identify, nurture, transition and acquire targeted technologies. The panel will include science and technology and force modernization representatives from military commands and defense Agencies in and outside of North Carolina.

Participating organizations:

  • Moderator: Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Rob Robinson, North Carolina Defense Technology Transition Office
  • Tom Earnhardt, J7 – Technology Innovation & Information Operations, Joint Special Operations Command
  • Justin Helton, Office of Naval Research Global Science Advisor to II Marine Expeditionary Force
  • Y. Sammy Choi, MD, Chief, Department of Research, Womack Army Medical Center
  • John Whitetaker, Strategic Engagement Director - North Carolina, National Security Innovation Network
  • SSG Kyndal Lievano, Chief of Innovation / Gryphon Spark, SPARK Cell, AFWERX Fellow, 43d Air Mobility Operations Group