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Textron Systems and RE2, Inc. Enter Mentor-Protégé Program
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Dec 04, 2006
More Security and Defense stories
RE2, Inc. (Robotics Engineering Excellence), a woman-owned Carnegie Mellon spin-off company specializing in mobile defense robotics, and Textron Systems Corporation, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company and provider of innovative global aerospace and defense technology solutions, announced that the companies have been accepted into the Department of Defense (DoD) Mentor-Protégé Program. The Mentor-Protégé Program encourages large prime contractors, such as Textron Systems, to share their technical expertise and knowledge of government contracting with minority and women-owned small businesses. The Textron Systems and RE2 Mentor-Protégé agreement was approved by the Army’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization and awarded by the Air Force Research Labs at Tyndall AFB, FL.

“We are thrilled about being accepted into this prestigious program,” stated Jorgen Pedersen, president and chief executive officer for RE2, Inc. “We forged a Mentor-Protégé relationship with Textron Systems due to our complimentary products and skills. For example, we focus on developing JAUS compliant unmanned systems and robotic technologies, whereas Textron Systems creates manned vehicles, such as the Armored Security Vehicle (ASV), and sensor technologies. Together, we will be able to create applications to benefit the DoD’s unmanned systems programs.”

“At Textron Systems, our goal is to understand the needs of our military customers and provide the best possible solutions. The Mentor-Protégé Program allows us an opportunity to access new technology areas, like those provided by RE2, and pursue exciting new programs and capabilities. Together, Textron Systems and RE2 will gain insight into improved processes, expand the scope of knowledge within the realm of defense contracting, and learn how to access new and expanding markets,” stated Dr. John Boness, Textron Systems’ vice president for applied technology.

A key goal of this program is to develop a technology baseline, which will allow the Mentor-Protégé team to successfully bid and win DoD programs. It is anticipated that combined, both organizations will be able to expand their capabilities into ventures in which they would not ordinarily be able to participate. One of the specific objectives of this program is the submittal of proposals for joint contract award. The specific technology focus for the partnership will be to advance and evolve the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems (JAUS). In turn, Textron Systems will receive DoD funding to support the training and knowledge transfer necessary to achieve these goals.

“This Mentor-Protégé relationship is considered an important long-term partnership for both Textron Systems and RE2,” said Jessica Jordan-Pedersen, chief operating officer of RE2, Inc. “We look forward to collaborating on DoD programs with Textron Systems and gaining new knowledge regarding their proven processes and procedures. In turn, we will provide Textron Systems with our unmanned systems expertise, including access to our JAUS Software Development Kit, tele-operational and autonomous navigation experience, and talented team of robotics engineers.”

In addition to the mentor and protégé, the program also benefits from the participation of the Center for Applied Research and Technology Transfer (CART) at Bluefield State College (BSC). BSC is a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) located in Bluefield, West Virginia. CART at BSC was selected to partner with Textron Systems and RE2 for its in-depth knowledge of unmanned systems and mobile robotic technologies. Team CART was an entrant in the 2005 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge and has a proven track record of success in international Intelligent Ground Robotic Vehicle competitions. The role of CART in the Mentor-Protégé relationship is to provide the protégé with education and training opportunities. Such training includes courses in technical project management, engineering economics, and advanced robotics topics.

“Bluefield State’s CART is certainly excited about the opportunity to work with Textron Systems and RE2, Inc. in facilitating the development of their Mentor-Protégé relationship,” stated Bruce Mutter, vice president of operations, Bluefield State College Center for Applied Research and Technology. “It is an honor to be part of a project that will continue to strengthen our national defense contracting capabilities, while working with talent of their caliber.”

The obvious benefit to the DoD from this Mentor-Protégé relationship will be the development of a woman-owned small business in the field of robotics, qualified and experienced in working on DoD programs, ready to pursue and execute contracts or subcontracts, while concurrently expanding the domestic U.S. industrial base.

“The new Mentor-Protégé relationship between Textron Systems and RE2, Inc. is representative of the type of collaborative partnerships between small, innovative agile robotics technology companies and major defense industry corporations that are critical to the growth of the defense robotics industry base in Pittsburgh’s RoboCorridor and beyond,” remarked Bill Thomasmeyer, president of the National Center for Defense Robotics and executive vice president of The Technology Collaborative.

About RE2, Inc.
RE2, Inc. (Robotics Engineering Excellence), is a Carnegie Mellon spin-off company specializing in mobile defense robotics with an emphasis on JAUS software development and unmanned systems components. RE2’s feature products include the RE2 JAUS Software Development Kit (SDK) and the SHERPA unmanned ground vehicle platform. RE2 also provides a broad range of unmanned systems services, including system integration, software development, robotics engineering and semi-autonomous navigation. RE2’s expertise lends itself to several markets, including defense, law-enforcement, homeland security and EOD. For more information, please visit or call (412) 681-6382.

About Textron Systems
Textron Systems Corporation ("Textron Systems") provides innovative technology solutions to meet the needs of the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities. The company is known for its precision smart weapons, surveillance systems, complex intelligence, information and communications systems, aircraft control components, piston engines, specialty marine craft and armored vehicles. Textron Systems is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Avco Corporation. Avco Corporation is wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at

About Textron
Textron Inc. is a $10 billion multi-industry company operating in 33 countries with approximately 37,000 employees. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others. More information is available at

About CART at BSC
CART’s mission is to produce outstanding financial returns by providing efficient and effective research contracting, program development, and revenue generation for the BSC School of Engineering Technology and Computer Science. CART, Inc. will focus on innovation through applied research, transferring technologies to markets, continuing education, and raising funds that will enhance the overall competitiveness of Bluefield State College


Jessica Jordan Pedersen
COO, re2, Inc.

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