The Strategy Starts with People

Research Day Crowd-min

On Wednesday, November 15th, CCAM wrapped a two-day event focused on Strategies for Supply Chain Resilience. Over 100 people attended this event which highlighted supply chain challenges and opportunities across many industries, including ship building, aerospace, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Matt Sermon, Executive Director, Program Executive Office, Strategic Submarines for the Navy, provided the keynote address on the National Security Imperative of Scaling Advanced Manufacturing in the Submarine Industrial Base. Mr. Sermon was emphatic about the importance of the United States ensuring the integrity of its sub program and the need for an educated workforce to get new subs in the sea and developing new ways of thinking and working to accomplish these goals.

An article in the Wall Street Journal dated November 20th echoed these sentiments as China bids to dominate the seas. The Navy currently projects that it needs 66 nuclear-powered attack subs to meet its global missions but that without significant investment in talent and resources, it will not reach that goal until 2049.

Mr. Sermon believes that a combination of meeting the needs of a changing workforce, along with removing obstacles to innovation in the form of unnecessary or outdated regulations, will be the only way the U.S. will be able to reach its goals.

Jan de Nijs, Lockheed Martin Tech Fellow for Enterprise Digital Production, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, followed up with a presentation and the value of Enabling Advanced Analytics and Use Cases for Retention of Analytics Data. He provided an overview of the current state of manufacturing. Data may be used in development and for compliance but after a solution is shipped, underlying data is lost over time. Mr. de Nijs envisions a future whereby this data will be collected throughout the lifecycle of a product, and that raw data collected in process will be combined with analyzed data during testing and lead to greater manufacturing insights, provided that data is stored and shared throughout the supply chain.

Joy Polefrone, PhD, Executive Director, Alliance for Building Better Medicine, reviewed the current state of medicine within the global supply chain and the challenges therein. COVID-19 highlighted the challenges that offshoring has created, including drugs being in short supply in the U.S. and the limited ability for traditional facility inspection during a time of global pandemic. She outlined solutions including reshoring development of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), finding ways to make these more cost effective, and the use of advanced manufacturing processes for development and scale-up of needed end products.

The alignment of a multi-jurisdictional coalition of public and private sector stakeholders actively engaged in R&D, manufacturing, workforce development, and supply chain development along with significant investment by the U.S government has moved the needle forward on this. As a result, the Richmond-Petersburg MSA (the Region) has been designated as an Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (APM) Technology and Innovation Hub (Tech Hub).

The afternoon focus was on the three “T’s” of supply chain manufacturing transformation: Technology, Talent and Transition and was followed by a panel that included Matt Sermon, Jan de Nijs, Dennis Brandl, President, BR&L Consulting, Inc., and Eric Edwards, MD, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Phlow.

The panelists were all asked for their lessons learned and some of the highlights included:

  • Our industrial base must reflect the diversity of our country.
  • We must push projects to failure faster so we can learn and adapt more quickly
  • We must all adopt consistent digital formats and standards that will allow data to be effectively shared and utilized throughout the supply chain

The event ultimately allowed folks from many industries and interests to come together and share ideas and learn from each other. CCAM would like to thank everyone who participated!

Some presentations available upon request. Please email

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