What do you get when you combine global defense and technology leader Raytheon with 15 Massachusetts companies offering world-class technology and processes in everything from materials to computer software?
“A really great opportunity to do more business and to grow,” said one participant in the inaugural BuyMass supplier matchmaking event yesterday in Springfield.
Raytheon met throughout the day at the Springfield Technology Park with companies it had selected for their ability to address the company’s interest in sonar technologies, command and control systems, renewable energy storage and other areas. The strict pre-qualification process meant that Raytheon will follow up with virtually all of the companies with which it spoke.
Raytheon representative also attended a luncheon at which Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and regional development executives discussed the economic assets of the Pioneer Valley.
BuyMass is a joint business-development initiative of Associated Industries of Massachusetts and Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. The collaboration is intended to encourage Massachusetts companies to develop regional supply networks and commercial relationships with other employers in the commonwealth.
Yesterday’s matchmaking event was conducted in partnership with the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts (EDC).
“The matchmaking event gives Raytheon the opportunity to find innovative and world-class suppliers in western Massachusetts while allowing companies here in the Valley to speak directly about their technologies and products to one of the world’s foremost companies,” said Allan Blair, President of the EDC.
Raytheon has 1,700 subcontractors in the state doing about $600 million a year in business, said Dennis G. Austin, director of state government relations for Raytheon.
Richard C. Lord, President of Associated Industries of Massachusetts and Chief Executive of the BuyMass initiative, said the idea of regional matchmaking events comes directly from the companies such as Raytheon, Procter & Gamble|Gillette, General Electric and Solutia that support and advise BuyMass.
“These companies want efficient opportunities to establish relationships that will create revenue, growth and jobs throughout the Massachusetts economy. The fact that Raytheon stepped forward to participate in the Springfield event underscores the company’s longtime dedication to improving the Massachusetts manufacturing economy,” Lord said.
Bialecki told the group that the matchmaking events are intended to help both larger companies and smaller potential suppliers from Massachusetts discover legitimate opportunities for doing business. The Patrick administration, according to Bialecki, will not pressure companies like Raytheon to buy goods or services that are not in the best interests of their companies, but rather invite them to participate because there is measurable benefit.