FirePoint selected to operate new Defense Innovation OnRamp Hub, connecting small business with defense innovation opportunities

The FirePoint Innovations Center at Wichita State University announced it has been selected to deliver Defense Innovation OnRamp Hub programming for the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) through the newly established Great Plains Mission Acceleration Center (MAC), an innovation and collaboration hub designed to connect small businesses, academia and the Department of Defense (DoD) to support defense-focused technology development.

One of five facilities in the national network operating a Defense Innovation OnRamp Hub program, the new Wichita State location will bring together small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across Kansas and the Great Plains region to partner with the DoD, academia and even venture capital investors to accelerate tech innovation and manufacturing to meet national defense and security needs. The network of OnRamp Hubs serves a mutual benefit of helping SMBs tap into DoD contracting opportunities, which can be tough for small organizations to access, and enabling DoD to source groundbreaking new technologies and find supply chain and manufacturing partners in the region.

“The OnRamp Hub program is designed to tear down barriers between the private sector, defense and homeland security operations to accelerate technology deployment,” Steve Cyrus, FirePoint executive director. “We’re extremely excited to bring this new opportunity to businesses here in Kansas and the region to give them a competitive advantage.”

The only OnRamp Hub in the nation located on a university campus, FirePoint was chosen to operate the program over two other facilitators in the state. The site, located on the Innovation Campus at Wichita State, also leverages the university’s applied learning model that helps collaborators source up-and-coming talent and innovation in the university’s high-tech programs.

“FirePoint was chosen to host this facility based on our agnostic approach and ability to work across different sectors, plus our capacity and expertise with the U.S. Army Futures Command to support aviation innovation,” Cyrus said. “This program allows us to be part of a national network to expand opportunities for both local business and DoD partners.”

Cyrus says Wichita State is the ideal location for this kind of innovation and collaboration hub. With a heavy presence of aviation and manufacturing in the region, Wichita boasts one of the highest populations of engineers per-capita, and it is a manufacturing powerhouse with regional growth in manufacturing expected to exceed 7%, despite a nearly 7% decline nationwide.

“It’s really a perfect fit, and we’re grateful for the support of everyone at Wichita State, the DoD and Senator Jerry Moran’s office for helping us to make this happen,” he said.

To learn more about the Great Plains MAC program, visit, and for more information about FirePoint’s other programs, visit

About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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About FirePoint

FirePoint is a partnership between Wichita State University and the U.S. Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command, Aviation and Missile Center (DEVCOM, AvMC) that accelerates joint technology development, transfer, and commercialization among CCDC, universities, industry and other government organizations. FirePoint aims to support the educational, commercial and workforce development necessary to drive innovation and collaboration across the key Army modernization priorities. FirePoint initiatives support collaboration, partnering, and STEM workforce development to ensure modern Army combat readiness and overmatch in the multidomain battlespace. For more information, visit

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