Sylvia Wower Named “Innovator of the Year” by the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence

At September’s National Manufacturing Conference, Sylvia Wower, Vice President of Consulting and Advanced Technology Research at DVIRC, was honored with “Innovator of the Year”, awarded by the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence. This prestigious award recognizes Sylvia’s outstanding contributions serving the needs of small and midsized U.S. manufacturers (SMMs), and the U.S. Government.

In addition to managing the Business Growth Services Department and Advanced Technology Research Group, Sylvia was promoted to lead all DVIRCs consulting practices this summer.

Sylvia’s background includes studying and working in five different countries across the globe, bringing a unique and invaluable global economic perspective to her work at DVIRC. Her business growth strategy experience, spanning over 16 years at DVIRC, encompasses market development, technology and supplier scouting, and business intelligence management.

“My role is to encourage manufacturers to innovate and change. We provide sound analysis based on primary and secondary intelligence so business leaders can make informed decisions, says Wower.” “With the accelerated pace of change in markets and technology, leaders must innovate and continually look for their next growth opportunity to ensure their company is resilient, and their legacy assured. This means getting outside their comfort zone.”

One of Sylvia’s most notable achievements in recent times was growing the Advanced Technology Research team of research, technology, engineering, process, and information systems experts to assess complex technical landscapes and provide transition and integration roadmaps that feed into our nation’s homeland security and defense infrastructure. Operating as agents of change, DVIRC’s advanced technology group offers the resources and expertise to support the transition from a project recommendation to stakeholder reality.

Technology Scouting projects connect branches of the DOD – Airforce, Navy, Army, and Marines with American and NATO Allied nation’s small and midsized manufacturers, universities, labs and technology commercialization centers to analyze, and accelerate Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), and Manufacturing Readiness Levels (MRLs) thereby fast-tracking the commercialization process. Supplier

Scouting projects assess the needs and identify capabilities, components, systems, and solutions to strengthen the supply chain of our nation’s Defense Industrial Base improving the safety and competitiveness of our warfighters.

Since 2018, under Sylvia’s leadership, the Advanced Technology Research Group has completed over 50 projects assisting the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Defense Health Agency (DHA); as well as serving OEM’s to explore how commercially available solutions, or new technologies developed by domestic SMMs could support and accelerate advancements in the military and commercial markets.

DVIRC’s Business Growth Services and Advanced Technology Research Group have invested over 160,000 hours working to support the needs of over 1,000 unique manufacturing leaders, academic stakeholders, technology transfer offices and governmental agencies.

“Our DOD clients strengthens our capabilities, enhances our processes, and enables us to utilize best in practice tools to help our SMM clients improve their businesses,” says Wower.

Most recently, Sylvia and her team embarked on an ambitious project in collaboration with Liberty Tech Bridge. Their mission: to assess 25 U.S. Navy-developed patented inventions. This endeavor aimed to connect regional manufacturers with these patented inventions, fostering navy-industry partnerships and matching patents with manufacturers capable of commercializing them.

This project not only showcases Sylvia’s innovative mindset but also underscores her commitment to driving collaboration and technology transfer between the military and the manufacturing sector. It’s a testament to her vision and dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the industry.

“Clients must constantly learn and innovate or be left behind. How good you are today is not a guarantee of how good you will need to be in the future,” says Wower. “We help clients determine what to do, and what not to do.”

Sylvia’s recognition as “Innovator of the Year” is a well-deserved accolade, highlighting her exceptional leadership, expertise, and innovative spirit. Her work continues to have a profound impact on the manufacturing sector, bridging the gap between cutting-edge technology and real-world applications.

As Sylvia Wower continues to push the boundaries of innovation and excellence at DVIRC, she remains an inspirational figure for those striving to make a difference in the world of U.S. manufacturing. Her journey is a testament to what can be achieved through dedication, vision, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Congratulations to Sylvia Wower on this well-earned honor!