In San Diego, where the economy has long relied heavily on the Navy and the major defense contractors that support the various programs and bases, small businesses are increasingly a major part of the economy and are always seeking to tap into the growth opportunities presented by a government contract.
Lockheed Martin's Technology Collaboration Center - West (TCC - West) helps bridge the gap between small businesses and the Navy.
Small businesses employ approximately 50 percent of America's work force and have created 65 percent of the new jobs in the country since 1993, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. They also produce 13 times more patents per employee than large businesses.
The Pentagon wants to take better advantage of the new perspectives and niche capabilities that small businesses bring to the table. To support the Pentagon's goal of increasing small business participation, Lockheed Martin opened TCC-West in San Diego in 2007.
TCC-West offers a unique resource for government, academia, industry and business to collaborate, creating a win-win-win situation for small companies, Lockheed Martin and the Navy. It enables small businesses to work alongside Lockheed Martin and test leading-edge and open architecture technologies in an effort to ensure the fleet continues to meet growing threats and accelerate the deployment of new capabilities to the warfighter.
The Center blends the roles of a small business incubator and a new technology evaluation laboratory. Fostering partnerships with small businesses allows them to gain access to the systems currently used by the fleet, which increasingly results in new business for those companies. Lockheed Martin benefits from evaluating both small business innovative technologies and the latest commercial off-the-shelf technologies that help it provide more cost-effective and leading-edge solutions to the Navy.
The broad spectrum of capabilities within TCC-West spans many elements of the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence (C4I) domain, including current Navy baseline systems. TCC - West also enables small businesses maximum flexibility, interoperability and testing in an unstructured environment, all at no cost to them.
In addition to TCC-West, Lockheed Martin supports the Navy through its work on a number of major programs. Lockheed Martin currently is executing on the System Design and Development phase of the Consolidated Afloat Networks & Enterprise Services (CANES) program, which will consolidate many of the Navy's afloat information systems networks.
The USS Freedom, the nation's first Littoral Combat Ship and made by a Lockheed Martin-led team, is home ported in San Diego. The company provides a maintenance team in San Diego as boots-on-the-ground support for Freedom. As the systems integrator for the MH-60 Romeo, Lockheed Martin also provides support for the maritime helicopter that plays an important role with LCS and the San Diego-based fleet.
As the world's largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin has had a long presence in San Diego, dating back to the 1950s, and continues to expand its operations here, relocating 150 additional jobs to the area over the next two years.
San Diego is a military community like no other. Whether collaborating with small business at TCC - West or executing on programs such as CANES and LCS to ensure mission success, Lockheed Martin remains committed to supporting the fleet in San Diego and around the world.