the DoD Mentor-Protege Program

Since 1991, the Department of Defense (DoD) Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) has offered substantial assistance to small disadvantaged businesses. Helping them to expand the overall base of their marketplace participation has produced more jobs and increased national income.

The DoD Mentor-Protégé Program assists small businesses (protégés) successfully compete for prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with large companies (mentors) under individual, project-based agreements.

Mentor companies:

  • Provide developmental assistance and technology transfer to their protégés
  • Are directly reimbursed for services provided to protégés


  • Establish relationships with major Air Force contractors
  • Develop necessary business and technical capabilities to perform significant work on Air Force and other Department of Defense (DoD) contracts
  • Expand and diversify their customer base

Traditionally, these partnerships have delivered a variety of products and services specialized in: environmental remediation, engineering services, information technology, manufacturing, telecommunications, and health care. Recently, new Mentor-Protégé agreements have focused on corrosion engineering, information assurance, robotics, circuit board and metal component manufacturing. The DoD hopes that future Agreements will focus on new technology areas such as radio frequency identification devices and enhanced security assurance.

Many Mentor firms have made the program an integral part of their sourcing plans; while the protégé firms have used their involvement in the program to develop much needed business and technical capabilities to diversify their customer base. Our protégé participants have established long-term business relationships with providers of government and commercial goods and services.

Successful mentor-protégé agreements provide a winning relationship for the protégé, the mentor, and the DoD.

Several Air Force MENTOR-PROTÉGÉ teams have received prestigious Nunn-Perry awards for superior performance.

In this frame, Lockheed Martin and IERUS Technologies Inc. have signed a three-year agreement; IERUS Technologies, Lockheed Martin subcontractor since 2010, will join efforts for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s medium-range ballistic missile targets contract.

Through this program, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company will assist IERUS Technologies in developing its government contract accounting system, quality and procurement processes and export control processes.

According to Lockheed Martin officials, the company selected IERUS Technologies as a protege company because of its performance, as well as its radio frequency and radar technology capabilities. Lockheed Martin hopes this will help strengthen its supplier base.

IERUS hopes that this partnership will grow its business in missile defense and other markets, as well as providing enablers for opportunities such as the upgraded early warning radar-cobra.

To Note that mentors and protégés are solely responsible for finding their counterpart. The Air Force Office of Small Business Programs does not participate in the teaming of mentors and protégés. Interested firms are encouraged to explore existing business relationships in an effort to establish a MENTOR-PROTÉGÉ relationship.


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