Navy Experimentation & SBIR

Thursday, May 27th, 2021
1pm – 2pm

Learn how to get Navy feedback and gain exposure for your innovation via Experimentation.

SBIR@Connect in Partnership with NAVWAR and NIWC Pacific

Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NAVWAR
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.

This workshop will feature the Department of Navy (DoN) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Experimentation Cell (DoN SEC), and explain the benefits of using experimentation to expose and validate innovative technologies created by small businesses.

Providing small businesses the ability to plan, prepare and successfully execute an experiment.

Experimentation Cells such as the DoN SEC support you with tools necessary to succeed.

Functional business areas to focus on

Connections to the right subject matter experts (SMEs)

Best practices to navigate the acquisition process

By facilitating the communication between small businesses and the government, the small business can create a strategic direction for their experimentation efforts in support of the warfighter’s needs.

The overlap between experimentation and the SBIR/STTR program establishes an efficient transition path between Phase II and Phase III awards by creating a timeline early on and ensuring the required resources are accounted for from an early stage. This overlap can also expose and connect SBIR awardees with the fleet, and help drive more efforts that are able to rapidly transition.

Although experimentation can seem like a complex and long journey, programs like the DoN SEC can help you through the process. This workshop will highlight the benefits of experimentation, and how it works with the SBIR/STTR Program. Register for the workshop.

Workshop Agenda:

1300-1305:  Intro
1305-1330:  Christopher Dillman, DoN SEC Lead Planner, Navy Experimentation
1330-1350:  Shadi Azoum. NAVWAR SBIR/STTR PM, SBIR & Experimentation + Program Updates
1350-1400:  Q&A

In this workshop, Christopher Dillman, the DoN SEC Lead, will help demystify the installation and operational processes of experimentation. Shadi Azoum, the NAVWAR SBIR/STTR Program Manager, will expand on how SBIR awardees and participants can work with the DoN SEC and benefit from it, as well as share a few updates on the current SBIR/STTR cycle.

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.

Chris Dillman

Chris Dillman

Department of the Navy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Experimentation Cell (DoN SEC) Lead. Virginia Beach, Va

Chris Dillman has supported Naval Experimentation through venues such as Trident Warrior and Fleet Experimentation. A retired Senior Chief Electronics Technician (1987-2008), Chris has over 35 years in naval tactics and technical experience. He has completed tours on Aegis Destroyers and Amphibious ships as well as staff tours with Navy Network Warfare Command and US Fleet forces. Since retirement, Chris has been a program manager at AUSGAR Technologies and leads Naval Experimentation as an Experiment Planner, Engineer and Analyst. Chris’ vast knowledge of naval experience spans 15 years in all aspects of naval experimentation. His most recent program, DoN-SEC, was created to support small businesses in all facets of experimentation as they navigate the processes involved. Chris earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (specializing in Technology Management) and a Master of Business Administration with a Project Management Concentration from Saint Leo University.

DoN-SEC connects SBIR innovators with the DoN experimentation community to deliver innovative solutions for the warfighter. Their mission is to support the SBIR community by offering facilitation, mentoring, and training in the extensive areas of experimentation. Chris’ team seeks to demystify the installation and operational processes required to conduct objective-based experiments on ships, aircraft and submarines as well as surrogates using unmanned/manned craft.  

SBIR STTR Director Gretel von Son

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.

Register for the Workshop


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.