Utah Delegation Returns from the Dubai Airshow

Utah aerospace and defense companies showcased products and services at the global airshow

Salt Lake City — Returning to Dubai for the second time this year, a delegation of Utah businesses—this time representing the state’s aerospace and defense industry—exhibited at the Dubai Airshow on Nov. 14–18, 2021. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, excitement filled the air as activity bustled on the ground of the global airshow. The 2021 edition featured more than 1,200 exhibitors, over 145 countries, and a stunning aircraft display of over 160 commercial, military, and private jets, including the latest Boeing 777x, Bombardier’s Global 7500, and many more.

The Utah delegation consisted of five companies and was organized by the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, and World Trade Center Utah. With an exhibitor booth in the USA Pavilion, the delegation showcased the state’s aerospace and defense industries and their companies to help build Utah’s global brand, grow Utah businesses, and strengthen Utah’s network of partners worldwide.

It is no secret that Utah is one of the top states in the nation for aerospace and defense. Utah is home to companies like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, L3 Harris, Parker Hannifin, and Hexcel. The state’s aerospace and defense industry has an employment base of more than 28,000 Utahns.

At the airshow, the delegation connected with a network of global brands and counterparts, found opportunities to expand their cutting-edge technologies and products beyond the U.S., and identified potential investment partners.

Based in Bountiful, CONNEX Marketplace powered by i5 Services provides an increasingly critical service: identifying U.S. manufacturers based on their manufacturing capabilities, and offering supply chain solutions. “While at the show, WTC Utah personally introduced us to the Vice President of International Business Development at Lockheed Martin,” shared David Rudd, CFO of CONNEX Marketplace powered by i5 Services. “Within six hours of this conversation, we received a call from Lockheed Martin’s Global Supply Chain director, and we are now in meaningful discussions.”

Utah County’s Fortem Technologies—a leader in airspace awareness, security, and defense for detecting and defeating dangerous drones—utilized the global platform to announce a new software release and spoke on a keynote panel sponsored by Boeing about how to build a successful company through large strategic partnerships.

“We announced to the world—everyone was there—our unique ability to stop larger drones safely with our SkyDome System 3.7,” said Timothy Bean, CEO of Fortem Technologies. “The AI and autonomous technology developed here in Utah has already been deployed to protect venues, campuses, and large cities from hostile and terrorist drone attacks, which are increasing across the world using off-the-shelf technology purchased online at Amazon.com or Alibaba.”

“What a great opportunity it was for our office and partners to participate in the Dubai Airshow,” said Dan Hemmert, executive of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. “With Utah’s robust and growing aerospace and defense industry, this was a great way for our state to showcase to the world all that Utah has to offer in the industry.”

“We are thrilled with the success and momentum of the airshow. Bravo to the ingenuity of the Utah companies who represented the state in Dubai. They showcased innovative products and services while advancing Utah’s global position in the industry,” said David Carlebach, COO of WTC Utah, who led the delegation on behalf of Utah.

Representing the state at the global airshow were:

  • ATEK Defense Systems is a Spanish Fork-based defense company that began as a ballistics protection manufacturer in 2017 and is now a worldwide ballistic solutions company.

  • CONNEX Marketplace was developed by Bountiful-based i5 Services, LLC. The platform is a cloud-based, industry-designed software platform that connects all U.S. manufacturers into a single, accurate, searchable scouting database.

  • Fortem Technologies is a Pleasant Grove-based company that sells physical security solutions around the globe. With Boeing and Toshiba as investors, contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, and over 90 other customers, Fortem is a leader in detecting and defeating dangerous drones around venues, campuses, and throughout entire metro regions.

  • Steribin is a St. George-based company with a patented high-intensity ultraviolet light device that disinfects security bins found in airports and other buildings.

  • Xyklus is an Ogden-based consulting company with broad experience in government acquisition and a substantial network of experts with access to current opportunities.

The Utah exhibitor booth and company participation were supported by the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant, a federal initiative that assists eligible small businesses in increasing exports internationally. STEP is funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration and is administered by WTC Utah on behalf of the state.

This fiscal year, WTC Utah has a record-high $1,050,000 to administer to Utah small businesses. The STEP Grant application window for the current fiscal year is open until September 30, 2022. Learn more and apply for a STEP Grant at wtcutah.com/step-grant. For any questions about eligibility or accepted activities, email WTC Utah’s STEP Project Director Nicole Sherwood at nsherwood@wtcutah.com.