Leading global aerospace companies are thriving in Mississippi as a result of the state’s skilled and productive workforce, comprehensive workforce training programs, supportive business environment, strategic location, low startup and operation costs, and cutting-edge R&D capabilities. Our initiative helps support these companies and new start-ups by ensuring that they develop diversified products and sales channels to enhance their business prospects and Mississippi’s economy.
Military UnmannedAerial Vehicles and Diversification Opportunity
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Blue Economy

Mississippi’s Blue Economy is driving the economic diversification of the Gulf Coast region to support innovations that contribute to the global economy based on oceans, seas, harbors, ports, and coastal zones. With maritime — or “blue” — industries dominating Mississippi’s economy and the state’s three coastal counties supporting 35% of its entire workforce through the blue economy, our initiative helps develop synergistic partnerships that will move the state's maritime economy forward into the 21st century.
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National Security

The internet, wireless communications, semiconductors, and a host of other innovations on which the modern U.S. high-tech economy is built are derivatives of early defense investments. With Mississippi seeking to ensure that its companies are well positioned to deliver the next generation of innovations that benefit national defense, private industry, and consumers, our initiative develops partnerships to support civil-military innovation.
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The Mississippi Defense Initiative (MDI) is a program from the United States Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment, The University of Southern Mississippi, and public and private sector partners that believe in the promise of a diverse Mississippi economy.

The MDI unites federal labs, defense companies, other private businesses, Mississippi entrepreneurs, Mississippi educational institutions, Mississippi public entities, and domain experts to design, develop, and roll-out strategies to transition from heavy defense-oriented revenue models to commercial revenue models.

Industry Sectors
GAP Fund
MDI One Pager
How to Identify Defense Contractors in a Region
Innovation Strategies for MDI Target Audience
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Mission Support

Mission Support provides assistance in seven major areas:

For more information on our mission support, please contact us and let us know how to help you and your business or search our list of partners.
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Company Sectors

Mississippi’s thriving industries are influenced by the state’s strategic use by defense sectors. Defense industry sectors, in conjunction with private companies in the state, have led to a diverse industry and workforce makeup. The Mississippi Defense Diversification Initiative Aims to bridge the gap between various public and private industry sectors in order to continue pushing the Mississippi economy forward.
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History of Defense in Mississippi

Mississippi is in a strategic location for the defense industry and military operations. Mississippi started a presence in the defense industry in World War I and has kept its heavy pro-military presence in the state ever since. Mississippi provides the defense industry with various military testing, training, and weapon manufacturing. Construction of defense vessels at Ingalls Shipbuilding, military training exercises at Camp Shelby, and rocket engine testing at Stennis Space Center are just a few examples of what Mississippi has to offer.
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