For release: 10/23/02
Release #: 02-266
NASA program lends knowledge, expertise to Huntsville companies
With the signing of an agreement, Jacobs Sverdrup Technology, Inc., of Tullahoma, Tenn., and ERC, Inc., of Huntsville, Ala., have become the newest participants in NASA's Mentor-Protégé Program at the Marshall Center. The companies are joining NASA's premiere small-business development initiative designed to enrich and increase participation of disadvantaged companies in the nation's space program.
Photo: Marshall Center oversees small business development program with area companies (NASA/MSFC)
With the signing of an agreement, Jacobs Sverdrup Technology, Inc., of Tullahoma, Tenn., and ERC, Inc., of Huntsville, Ala., have become the newest participants in NASA’s Mentor-Protégé Program at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.
The companies are joining NASA’s premiere small-business development initiative designed to enrich and increase participation of disadvantaged companies in the nation’s space program. The agreement brings new capabilities to Sverdrup’s existing contract under which it supports the Marshall Center’s research and aerospace programs.
Sverdrup, which won its first Marshall Center contract in 1989, will serve as the mentor to ERC, placing them in a joint venture designed to benefit both businesses. Sverdrup is working in the third year of a Marshall contract, providing engineering, scientific and technical services. Under this new agreement, ERC will furnish simulation programs and other software, supporting Sverdrup’s prime contract.
“The Mentor-Protégé Program truly acknowledges the importance of teamwork, which is one of the key NASA values,” said Art Stephenson, director of the Marshall Center. “Our relationship with Sverdrup and ERC is vital in developing our technology, science and engineering goals. This teaming agreement can only enhance that successful partnership for all involved.”
The program was established in 1995 at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and has a protégé company operating as a subcontractor, doing work for the mentor company, while meeting certain developmental goals. In turn, the mentor company provides the expertise, training and support that enables the protégé company to achieve the program’s goals. To participate as a mentor, a company must be a prime NASA contractor or be competing for a contract, and name the protégé company as a subcontractor.
This is the second time Sverdrup has served as a mentor company under the NASA and Marshall Center program. The company’s earlier involvement as a mentor resulted in its being selected by NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 2001 to receive the Goldin-Stokes Award a prestigious honor given for outstanding performance in the Mentor-Protégé Program. The award is named for previous NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin and former Congressman Louis Stokes for their role in establishing the program.
Jacobs Sverdrup, Inc., is a subsidiary of Jacobs Engineering Group, with 35,000 employees worldwide. Founded in 1947, the company focuses on engineering design and testing while serving commercial ventures in the auto industry and government agencies like NASA and the Department of Defense.
ERC, Inc., was founded by Susan Wu in 1988. The company employs 350 people, providing a range of technology services including software development for commercial customers and government agencies such as NASA, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force.
The Marshall Center is carrying out its vision of being the world leader in space transportation systems. With its rich history spanning more than four decades, Marshall remains one of NASA’s largest field centers, occupying over 1,800 acres and employing more than 2,700 civil servants. More than 23,000 contractor personnel are engaged in work for the Center, which has an annual budget of more than $2.3 billion.
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