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Michael Best Joins Defense Alliance to Focus on DoD/NDAA Priorities and SBIR/STTR Funding for Small Businesses

On Thursday, November 30, principals from Michael Best’s Defense and National Security team will join the Defense Alliance of North Carolina (DANC) for a Science & Technology Forum in Research Triangle Park. This forum will focus on national security challenges, Department of Defense (DoD) priorities, and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for small businesses, as well as SBIR/STTR funding and matching through the One North Carolina Small Business Program.

Panelists include Erik Berdy, Lucia Alonzo, and Jenette Morell, while Lyle Gravatt will serve as moderator. Phil Williams, Chair of the Science & Technology Committee for DANC, and Dr. Brandon Conover, Science & Technology Committee co-chair are hosting the event.

“We’re proud to collaborate with the Defense Alliance of North Carolina for this important forum, where we'll delve into critical discussions about national security challenges and how they apply to our nation’s small businesses,” said Lyle Gravatt. “Our firm’s core values of innovation, collaboration, and community underscore our dedication to addressing the fast-evolving landscape within the defense sector. This forum aims to help not only our clients, but the entire small business community in navigating the intersection of law, technology, and national security—coming together to tackle challenges and drive positive impact for North Carolina and beyond.”

This DANC forum comes at an opportune moment as the NDAA continues to move through Congress, reshifting funding priorities for businesses of all sizes. In addition, a new round of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 solicitations is expected to be released just prior to the forum, creating a timely opportunity for participants to gain expert insights into defense-related funding and priorities. The presentation will also delve into pressing issues such as:

  • Drones and aerospace, with a specific focus on the Replicator program; 
  • Artificial intelligence, including its implications within the context of national security; 
  • NC SBIR fund-matching programs, notably One North Carolina Small Business;
  • General intellectual property protections as they relate to government contracting. 

This comprehensive discussion will provide attendees with valuable information on funding opportunities and strategic pathways for small businesses. Erik Berdy will take the lead in discussing national security challenges and DoD priorities, while Lucia Alonzo will tackle the fiscal year 2024 NDAA, appropriations and other key legislation. Jenette Morell will lead the charge on small business considerations and preparing for success, and Lyle Gravatt will tackle intellectual property concerns.

The DANC Science & Technology Forum will take place on Thursday, November 30, from 1 PM to 5 PM EST at The Frontier at RTP. To secure your complimentary ticket and confirm your attendance, please click here. We look forward to seeing you!


north carolina, ai, defense and national security, government relations, ip