Supporting businesses by leveraging cutting-edge technology, facilities, equipment, and expertise found in the Maryland Department of Defense Labs.

TEDCO Federal Programs - DefTech


TEDCO and MD Commerce The Maryland Defense Technology Commercialization Center (DefTech) is a joint initiative between TEDCO, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that connects businesses to the DoD labs in Maryland for product development, testing, IP licensing, and more to help businesses bring their innovation to market faster.

DefTech provides proprietary business services to its member companies that are developing or are interested in developing commercial products and services using DoD Laboratory intellectual property, equipment, facilities, and expertise. Members receive proprietary professional services, including access to technical experts, intellectual property and technology due diligence, business support services, and research tools to support business creation, growth, and operations. In addition, DefTech will work with the Federal Lab Education Accelerator (FLEX) program to provide DefTech members with well-researched market and tech assessments of selected DoD IP. 

Through DefTech, Maryland companies receive the professional expertise they need to work with DoD labs while driving the growth of Maryland’s innovation-based economy and strengthening the defense industrial base.

Please note: DefTech membership is highly competitive, limited to 30 companies each year, with a focus on high technology and bio innovation sectors. 

Once completed, graduate companies are eligible for alumni membership.

DefTech Member Services 

Proprietary DefTech services are available to members only.

  • DefTech Academy & Certification: 

Credentialed courses on technology transfer and government-related contracting, open only to Members.    

Completion of the program allows the Member to be DefTech Certified. 

DefTech will “certify” to DoD labs and partner programs that the Member has met criteria demonstrating the capability and capacity to advance technological objectives through engagement with the DoD lab. This criterion has been defined in partnership with DefTech DoD partner labs.

  • Pre-Lab Engagement Training: 

Applicants who need additional knowledge and/or resources will be admitted as DefTech Members and connected to support with TEDCO’s Entrepreneur & Ecosystem Empowerment (E3) Programs and other ecosystem services. 

  • Access DoD Funding Opportunities:

Proprietary monthly distribution of DoD funding notices and other industry engagement opportunities.

Initial distribution will include information on DoD lab programs and opportunities specific to technology companies that are non-traditional defense contractors. 

  • Private DoD Lab Engagements: 

Private meetings with DoD labs for DefTech Members only. 

DoD labs will present preferred work structures and requirements, featuring collaborative research areas, in addition to competitive intellectual property available for license. 

Partner DoD labs are notified that Members are vetted and receiving professional-level education and services related to technology transfer and government-related contracting. 

  • DefTech Executives in Residence: 

Members are eligible to apply for technical and professional subject matter experts - at no additional cost - to provide support in all phases of working with the labs.

Executives in Residence (EiR) will be selected by Members through a subject matter expert (SME) referral process.

Members can work with one or multiple EiRs throughout their project.  

  • Private Office Hours: 

Members may participate in DefTech virtual monthly office hours, where EiRs and other SMEs will be available to assist companies working with federal labs.

*Program cost waived for initial 30 companies in the first program year only due to funding through the DoD Office of Local Community Cooperation (OLDCC), the Maryland Department of Commerce, and TEDCO.

Application Procedure

Online application follows an initial screening by a DefTech Advisor.

Accepted applicants go into one of two categories:

1.    Resource-ready for immediate DoD engagement and commencement of DefTech services.
2.    Preliminary training followed by the commencement of DefTech services. 

Program Objective

  • Awareness and Network Building
  • Education and Training
  • Technical Assistance and Mentoring

Mentor Programs

Two innovative programs within DefTech will support, diversify, and connect with innovative entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout Maryland. 

  • DefTech Executives in Residence (EiRs) will be comprised of experts from diverse industries with wide experiences working with the federal government. 
  • DefTech Ambassadors will reach underserved areas of Maryland where a rich, untapped pool of technology-based startups, small businesses, and DoD labs reside. These ambassadors will help businesses and entrepreneurs connect with federal labs in their area, offering connections and resources for successful commercialization efforts.

Connect With Us

Monthly Office Hours

Join us every month for office hours to learn more about what DefTech has to offer. 

Register here