DOD Supply Base Resilience and Diversification Program

Turn your idea into a product.

The DOD Supply Base Resilience and Diversification Program was designed to provide product development support for small businesses, startups, and inventors. 

Pitch your product idea, and it could become one of the 21 new technologies selected to receive funded technical support from CDME. If chosen, you'll walk away with a prototype, or minimally viable product (MVP). 

The success of your business model hinges on your ability to have a functional prototype. It's the first step that gets your idea noticed, increases your chances of receiving additional funding, and launches the commercialization process. 

The program was developed by CDME and the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment. Our collective mission is to increase the sustainability and resilience of Ohio's manufacturing sector while advancing new, innovative technologies. 

Businesses and inventors interested in receiving ongoing announcements related to the SBRD program can opt-in to receive email updates here

CDME testing lab

double-arrowWatch Our Virtual Kick-Off Webinar

Hosted by CDME, this webinar introduces the second round of the SBRD initiative and walks through the program's selection process, criteria, and intended outcomes. Individuals who attended or watched a recording of our first-round kick-off event are encouraged to tune in. Updates are shared regarding the program's second-round selection process. 

Michael Gentil
The goal of the program is to make companies more sustainable by reducing development costs, speeding up the innovation process, and providing access to viable market opportunities.
– Michael Gentil, CDME Program Manager

The Process

Businesses meeting the criteria shared below can submit solutions to receive funding for CDME technical assistance consistent with prototyping or product development. CDME will pool new ideas, narrow down the field of candidates, and consult with representatives from the U.S. Department of Defense to select participants. 

Projects will be undertaken in three different rounds spanning 18 months, with approximately seven technologies chosen in each round to transition into an MVP.

Participants will be invited to Technology Requirements & Innovation Awareness Days (TRIAD). The TRIAD Program, administered by GDI Partners, provides education, coaching, and opportunity identification to companies looking to connect with the U.S. Department of Defense. All selected participants will have the chance to pitch their innovation directly to defense technology scouts. 

The first-round selection process has concluded. Dates highlighted in the graphic below represent second-round milestones. 
SBRD Timeline

double-arrowIn a Nutshell: SBRD Round 1

In the first round, Ohio State interacted with 35 small businesses presenting 44 new technologies. Seven technology solutions were down-selected, and prototype development is underway. Following the down-selection process, the selected companies and technologies were presented to U.S. Combatant Commands Science & Technology Scouts at the August 2020 TRIAD event. 

One of the seven technologies, developed by NODIS, was picked by the scouts to be fast-tracked for deployment to our warfighters. 

The Value for Your Business

Student development at CDME

We want to turn your idea into reality. 

It has been shown that once a company has a prototype, the chance for additional funding increases dramatically. This may happen commercially through investors' state funding, or within the U.S. Department of Defense through small business grants. 

By participating in this program, your product will receive the funding and technical support to increase its Technology Readiness Level.

We'll help you reduce development costs, speed up innovation, uncover viable marketing opportunities, and identify dual-use applications. You'll also gain access to our playbook for accomplishing this feat, which can be used in the future to advance technologies. 

Submitting this idea now will improve your future business ventures. In the down-selection process, you'll receive direct feedback from university and military-technical experts. The right people will become aware of your technology and, perhaps more importantly, you'll become aware of future opportunities through the professional connections you make. 

Why Work with CDME

CDME’s mission is to enhance the manufacturing competitiveness of the United States.

We aim to achieve this goal by focusing on product and student development. Through industry-funded product development projects, undergraduate students gain hand-on, mentor-based experience integrating new technology into market-ready applications. The center operates at 28,000 square-foot, ITAR compliant manufacturing facility on the West Campus of The Ohio State University, and houses more than $12 million worth of advanced manufacturing equipment. 

CDME works with more than 150 national partners and has participated in over 350 applied engineering projects in the last five years, advancing product commercialization, economic impact, and workforce development. 


CDME Capabilities

Our projects bring ideas and foundational science into industry practice. We're the manufacturing port of entry into Ohio State — bringing together researchers, faculty, industry professionals, government representatives, and students to solve problems, improve operations, and develop new technologies. 

Each project at CDME is assigned a project manager and follows a New Product Introduction (NPI) model. This industry-tested method supports task and gated models, providing clear deliverables with project plans and deadlines for completion. 

The center employs two dozen industry hardened experts with over 425 years of combined engineering experience. With access to more than $12 million in manufacturing equipment, engineers are capable of advancing projects involving:

  • Additive manufacturing (metal, ceramic, polymer)
  • Robotics
  • Welding
  • Materials
  • Joining
  • Assembly
  • CNC and machining
  • Biomedical and biomechanical devices
  • Cybersecurity
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning manufacturing applications 
  • System design
  • Sensing
  • Automation
  • Injection molding
  • Composites
  • Die casting
  • Stamping and forming
  • Testing and characterization
  • Simulation
  • Electrical and controls

A majority of CDME work targets the aerospace and defense industries. CDME operates an ITAR-compliant manufacturing facility and can administer projects for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Why Work with GDI Partners

Fostering entrepreneurship through community engagement.

Growth, Development, and Innovation, those are the goals of GDI Partners. Their strategy is simple, connect the dots between need and opportunity to bring prosperity to the communities and businesses served. Whether it’s organizing TRIAD events to showcase innovators to federal agencies or acting as a trusted resource in the development of a new plan for growth, GDI is there. They're your partners for long term success.

GDI Partners forms collaborative partnerships with communities, local governments, and economic development organizations to identify ecosystem gaps, align existing assets, and provide resources that support company growth, innovation, and job creation.

The Technology Requirements & Innovation Awareness Days (TRIAD) Program offers companies an opportunity to improve communication with the Department of Defense (DoD), make personal connections to DoD Science & Technology (S&T) Scouts, and increase the exposure of their innovations to a broad network of federal decision-makers and buyers.

GDI Partners is hosting an "Intro to TRIAD" webinar on Thursday, October 15, at 1 p.m. This virtual event will highlight how the TRIAD Program connects companies to the Scouts by learning how to provide the right information in the right format to catch the right people's attention. Click here to register

Lisa Delp, GDI Partners

Who Should Apply

The DOD Supply Base Resilience and Diversification Program is open to individuals and businesses who meet the following criteria:

  • Small companies and startups submitting must have under 100 employees
  • The submitter must have a clear connection to the state of Ohio (offices, manufacturing, services, or operations). An Ohio mailing address will be requested. 
  • The invention should have or be eligible to receive a U.S. Patent.
    • CDME will perform applied engineering to complete the MVP. We will not create intellectual property.
  • The inventor must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Submitted projects should fit CDME capabilities to result in a prototype or minimally viable product (MVP).
  • The estimated CDME labor cost award value of MVP development will be approximately $50,000 and five months in duration using CDME engineering resources. The submitter will be required to supply a 10% cash cost share plus materials. 
    • Larger projects will be considered but need to be compelling.
    • Before work begins, a detailed, fixed-price project scope-of-work with expected deliverables, costs, and timelines will be presented to the inventor by CDME. CDME will implement the project. The grant will cover the labor for CDME personnel at no cost to the inventor.
      • The inventor will pay the costs of all materials (scope provided by CDME). 
    • The invention must have a military application — either combat or non-combat use. CDME engineers and representatives from the U.S. Department of Defense will select dual-use technologies that support the defense mission. 

If you'd like to discuss criteria, capabilities, or projected costs further, please email CDME Program Manager Michael Gentil. 

How to Participate and Next Steps

Participation requires a completed submission of a web-based form. Submissions can be issued by any individuals or businesses that meet the criteria illustrated above. 

The DOD Supply Base Resilience and Diversification Program will follow the below process:

  • The submission period for the second round of ideas will remain open until Monday, November 16, 2020. All submissions after 5 p.m. ET of Nov. 16 will be considered in the third round.
  • Submissions should be made through our web-based form.
  • The CDME evaluation team will review all submissions and select the top 15-20 projects. Department of Defense representatives will make final recommendations. Seven final projects will advance into MVP development. If selected, the project owner will also receive an invitation to the TRIAD Program event, hosted by GDI Partners
  • Communication to all successful and unsuccessful teams will be sent by December 15, 2020 for the second round.
  • A TRIAD Program event, hosted by GDI Partners, for second-round selections will be held the week of Jan. 25, 2021.
    • Please note this event will be held virtually based on COVID-19 restrictions. 
  • The TRIAD Program will offer project owners the opportunity to meet and pitch their idea to military representatives.

All dates are subject to change and will be communicated here. Dates for the third round of submissions will be shared after the deadline for second-round submissions has passed. 

Submit Your Idea

The second-round submission period will remain open until Monday, November 16, 2020. All submissions after 5 p.m. ET of Nov. 16 will be considered for the third round.