State gets $2.4M federal grant for defense supplier cybersecurity

LANSING—Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and officials of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded the MEDC’s Michigan Defense Center a $2.4 million grant to assist Michigan defense suppliers with cybersecurity efforts.

The defense center will use the grant to enhance its Michigan Defense CyberSmart program, a one-stop shop to assist small- and medium-sized companies doing business with the DoD, by helping those businesses achieve federal cybersecurity compliance.

“This grant provides critical resources as we continue our efforts to support small business across the state and create a competitive defense supply chain to protect and grow Michigan’s defense, defense aerospace and homeland security missions and industries,” Whitmer said. “With the help of the Michigan Defense CyberSmart program, Michigan companies will be more resilient and will continue to be an essential part of the defense supply chain.”

Companies currently doing business with the Department of Defense or interested in expanding their business into the defense industry are required to meet specific cybersecurity requirements. This grant will ensure Michigan companies are able to meet those requirements, providing additional growth opportunities here in Michigan. The Michigan Defense CyberSmart program is one of the first in the nation to provide a comprehensive, accessible and affordable business solution for achieving DoD’s requirement for cybersecurity.

The grant will also provide funds to the University of Michigan Economic Growth Institute for the continuation of services from its Defense Cybersecurity Assurance Program, which will allow program participants to pursue activities for achieving Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Levels 1-3 and succession planning.

Current offerings under Michigan Defense CyberSmart include:

  • the ability for a company to obtain a gap analysis report as the first step toward compliance and Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification;
  • Participating companies can then hire a pre-approved service provider to correct deficiencies identified in the gap analysis and receive financial assistance;
  • Companies further along in their cyber-maturity journey can take advantage of University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute Concierge Service to connect them to an appropriate Cybersecurity Service Provider;
  • Companies that have met the current federal compliance requirements can self-certify in the state’s federal supplier database, The Bid Targeting System which will help promote Michigan companies to the federal and prime contractors using BTS to identify supply chain candidates.

“Michigan is a key contributor to the national defense Industrial base, with approximately 4,000 defense suppliers generating more than $30 billion of total economic activity annually in the state,” said Vicki Selva, MEDC senior strategic adviser and executive director of the Michigan Defense Center. “While DoD’s cybersecurity requirements are needed for national security, many smaller companies don’t have the time, money, and staff to become cyber-compliant, thereby threatening our supply chain. The Michigan Defense CyberSmart program is a business solution for these small- and medium-sized defense companies that provides standardization, accountability and cost-effectiveness throughout the process for achieving cyber maturity.”

The Michigan Defense CyberSmart program is a comprehensive, statewide resource that ensures all Michigan companies at any level of cybersecurity maturity have access to information, education, tools, and services to assist with cybersecurity compliance in a way that is more efficient and effective than if they were to navigate the process on their own. For more information on Michigan Defense CyberSmart go to

The Michigan Defense Center is an operation of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., funded by the state of Michigan. Its mission is to support, protect and grow Michigan’s defense and homeland security missions and the Michigan businesses that support our nation’s security and our military’s safety. As the State of Michigan’s lead voice on the defense and homeland security economy, the MDC guides the state’s policies and programs to protect and grow this important sector of the economy. The MDC acts as a liaison between the state and defense interests in the federal government, defense agencies, the defense industry, academia and the defense community and supporting organizations.

The MEDC is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit


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