Defense firms coordinate attack with Michigan Security Network

--This story originally appeared on September 10, 2009

Call it a plan of attack or a confederation of defense-minded interests preparing for war. Regardless of the description, its proper name is the Michigan Security Network.

In a coordinated effort to win more investment (and jobs) in the homeland security sector, a bakers' dozen and then some (16) of prominent firms, universities, and other groups have have banded together to create the new group.

"We have a lot of moving parts and they'll all result in some sort of job creation in Michigan," says Leslie Touma, president of the Michigan Security Network.

Homeland security is a $113 billion market. Touma believes Michigan can become a major player for a big piece of that pie. The Michigan Security Network has identified three key areas offering the greatest potential: cyber security, border security, and biodefense. It will serve as a networking hub, database, and market research for leveraging this growing sector.

Michigan also holds a number of inherent advantages. It has a large number of patent holdings, it is the country's busiest international border, and ranks second among states for overall research and development spending. Last year, Michigan earned approximately $37 million in homeland security grants while states such as California and New York each received more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

The Michigan Security Network is planning its first technology conference in November in Dearborn.

Source: Leslie Touma, president of the Michigan Security Network
Writer: Jon Zemke
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