New defense-focused center to open at the downtown Arcade ‘Hub’

State and local leaders on Friday will celebrate the opening of a new downtown Dayton haven for national defense-focused problem solvers.

The Great Lakes Mission Acceleration Center will open at the Dayton Arcade between Third and Fourth streets that is funded by federal Defense Innovation Unit and National Security Innovation Network dollars.

The site will be a place where business people, researchers, academics and government representatives from across the Great Lakes region can meet, said Mark Bartman, who is vice president for advanced development for Beavercreek’s Parallax Advanced Research.

The idea here will be to work on Department of Defense technology problems, shortening the time between finding solutions and getting those solutions into the hands of warfighters, avoiding formal contracting hoops along the way, said Bartman, who is a retired Ohio National Guard major general.

Ohio in October became one of five states (with Hawaii, Kansas, Washington, and Arizona) chosen to stand up these “mission acceleration centers,” he said.

Initial contract funding for the center is for a year. Bartman is confident funding will be extended.

Parallax Advanced Research, a nonprofit research institute, was awarded $1.9 million from the DOD in October to establish the hub as part of a national network, orienting small businesses toward national defense needs.

“It’s a little bit of a test case, I guess you could call it,” Bartman said in an interview. “We’re pretty confident that because of the depth and the breadth of the innovation that goes on here in Ohio, and the large manufacturing base that we have, the large academic research, as well as of course the military ... this is something that will continue.”

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The center will be located in The Hub, powered by PNC, in the Arcade, 31 S. Main St. The Entrepreneurs Center and its member businesses, the University of Dayton and others have a presence there already.

Speakers at the Friday event are expected to include Parallax’s Chief Executive and President Dennis Andersh, Dayton Development Coalition’s CEO and President Jeff Hoagland, Entrepreneurs’ Center President Scott Koorndyk, Sen. Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, among others.

About the Author