Meet the Navy System Commands

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) | Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC)

Through a partnership with the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, NIWC Pac, SBIR@Connect hopes to promote economic growth in our region by fostering connections between government, industry, and academia.

SBIR@Connect in Partnership with NAVWAR and NIWC Pacific

Join us to meet representatives from NAVAIR and NAVFAC, and learn more about their commands, their areas of interest, and about their SBIR/STTR programs! 

Tuesday, March 21st, 2022
1pm – 2pm PST

SBIR@Connect is excited to highlight the different Navy commands through a series of workshops. During these workshops, small businesses can learn about the commands and their respective areas of responsibility, with an emphasis on their SBIR/STTR programs. This workshop will highlight the following commands:

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC). 

NAVAIR, Naval Air Systems Command, delivers  integrated air warfare capabilities to enable the fleet to compete, deter and win – tonight, tomorrow and in the future. NAVAIR develops, acquires and supports aircraft, weapons and related systems which can be operated and sustained at sea. Additionally, NAVAIR provides the analysis and decision support for cost/ schedule/ performance trades and investment decisions for these systems in order to increase Navy and Marine Corps capability, readiness, and affordability in a joint coalition environment. 

NAVFAC, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, is the United States Navy’s engineering systems command, providing the Navy and United States Marine Corps with facilities and expeditionary expertise. NAVFAC’s EXWC (Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center) provides research, development, testing and evaluation, and in-service engineering to deliver specialized facility and expeditionary solutions to the warfighter.

Workshop Agenda:

1300-1305:  Intro, Gretel von Son
1305-1310:  SBIR & SYSCOMS, Shadi Azoum
1310-1330:  NAVAIR Overview, Kristi Wiegman
1330-1345:  NAVFAC Overview, Gladis Aispuro
1345-1400:  Q&A

Meet the Speakers

Connect San Diego 2021 SBIR STTR Small Business Innovation Research Technology Transfer Americas Seed Fund OrgPartnership Event Speaker Shadi Azoum 01

Shadi Azoum

NAVWAR SBIR/STTR Program Manager
Mr. Shadi Azoum is the current Program Manager for the NAVWAR Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), and Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) Program Management Offices. He has served in this position since June 2016. Prior to this position, Mr. Azoum led the Science and Technology (S&T) portfolio for PEO C4I, PMW 130 (Information Assurance and Cyber Security Program Office) as the Assistant Program Manager (APM) for Science and Technology (S&T) since May 2011. Mr. Azoum has Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science and Master of Science (MS) in Information Security from Florida State University.

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Gladis Aispuro

Deputy Director for RDT&E Programs, NAVFAC Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (EXWC)

Ms. Gladis Aispuro joined the government workforce in Sept 2000 at the Naval Facilities (NAVFAC) Engineering Service Center (NFESC), which later became NAVFAC Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (EXWC) located in Port Hueneme, California.  She holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California – Santa Barbara and has a mechanical engineering Professional Engineering License.  

Although she held various engineering roles and responsibilities at EXWC for many years within the Expeditionary department, she is currently the Deputy Director for RDT&E programs under the Technical Director’s Office. Some of the RDT&E programs she helps oversee and manage are the Navy Shore Energy Technology Transition and Integration (NSETTI) program, Facility Shore Readiness (FSR) program, and NAVFAC Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.

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Kristi Wiegman

Program Manager, Small Business Innovative Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Programs, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)

Ms. Wiegman became the Program Manager of NAVAIR’s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transition (STTR) program in February of 2022.  The SBIR program was established by congress to stimulate technological innovation via small business.  Ms. Wiegman is responsible for the management and implementation of DoD, Navy, and Command policy aimed at stimulating innovation, technical development and the successful transition of SBIR/STTR Science and Technology (S&T) research and products into the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE).  Over 300 companies participate in the NAVAIR SBIR/STTR program through multiple broad agency announcements (BAAs) each year.   

Ms. Wiegman has over 20 years of experience serving NAVAIR, during which she has directly supporting or managed S&T investment programs and also served as an Intelligence Analyst for the NAVAIR S&T Intelligence Liaison Office (STILO).  Ms. Wiegman has a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Business and Public Policy from the University of Maryland and graduated from the United States Naval War college Joint Professional Military Education program (JPME).

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Gretel von Son

Connect SBIR/STTR Director
Gretel von Son is the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Director at Connect, a position created to support the SBIR/STTR Program by helping make connections between government, industry and academia, more accessible. Gretel previously supported the NAVWAR SBIR/STTR Program Office, and has experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. She has published work in Advanced Materials, ACS Nano and Nature Communications. Gretel has earned a Bachelor’s in Chemistry, and a Master’s in Business Administration.


SBIR@Connect is Connect’s new program to drive innovation through collaboration with government agencies. 

In partnership with the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC Pac), SBIR@Connect hopes to promote economic growth in our region by fostering connections between government, industry, and academia. 

The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program aims to bring non-dilutive funding to eligible companies to help address government research and development needs, while striving for innovation and the commercialization of products/efforts. Although there are multiple agencies that participate in the SBIR/STTR Program, the DoD makes up a large percentage of participation. SBIR@Connect’s partnership focuses on the Navy, specifically, the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NAVWAR.

To boost interactions and promote collaboration — SBIR@Connect is developing a set of workshops introducing the various programs and opportunities to work with the Navy. 

For more information, please visit the SBIR@Connect page.