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Charleston: A Hub for Defense & Tech Securities


December 22, 2022
By Jamie DeMent, Talent & Strategic Initiatives

I had the opportunity to attend my first Charleston Defense Contractors Association Defense Summit. After two days of connecting with regional and national companies and listening to world-class military speakers, I walked away with an even better understanding of how strong and innovative Charleston’s defense tech and cybersecurity sectors are.

The list of reasons to land in Charleston is long  – including the Port of Charleston (now the deepest harbor on the east coast), 1,100+ tech companies residing in the region, and recent defense wins like Elbit.  Elbit Systems of America is establishing a new, 135,000-square-foot operation at Crosspoint at Palmetto Commerce Park and will support contracts awarded by the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD). The company also plans to base the assembly and integration efforts of other future programs for both the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security at the facility.

Below are a few more “did you knows” about our region’s cyber and defense sectors:

  • Home to Joint Base Charleston, one of 12 joint facilities operated by the Department of Defense.
  • Naval Information Warfare Center employs 3,700+ people and supports an estimated 100 local defense contractors.
  • NIWC is one of the Navy’s only two cyber mission engineering centers.
  • The Palmetto Tech Bridge (PTB) announced a partnership with the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness to increase economic competitiveness in the state and support innovation ecosystems that help develop critical capabilities for the warfighter.
  • Defense tech makes up 42% of the 1,100+ tech companies in the Charleston metro area.
  • Charleston is also home to many cyber and defense private companies, such as Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, Sentar, and Scientific Research Corp to name a few.

Here are some of the top resources to get connected with the region’s defense and tech sectors.

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