The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), in partnership with Decisive Point, presents NSIN Propel Boston, enabling the development of next-generation applications of emerging dual-use technology for government and defense.

The NSIN Propel Boston accelerator is a collaboration with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), the Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (SOF AT&L), and the Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T) focused on transitioning technologies to provide an asymmetric advantage for Special Operations Forces (SOF) operating across the globe. The program aims to recruit companies with emerging technology solutions that have the potential to address the modernization needs of the SOF community and its partners. The cohort of early-stage ventures will deliver effective capabilities that enable SOF readiness for integrated deterrence, crisis and conflict.

The cohort will directly engage with DoD end-users to better understand real-world challenges, build a foundation for doing business with the DoD, and work closely with the accelerator team to design pilots around the national security applications of their technologies. Selected companies will also gain access to a robust network of private investors and commercial partners.

NSIN Propel Boston Information Session | June 29, 2023

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Key Dates

  • June 14, 2023: Open Call

  • June 29, 2023 Information Session

  • Aug. 8, 2023: Applications Due

  • Aug.-Dec. 2023: Startups in Program

  • Early Dec. 2023 Demo Day

Who Should Apply?

U.S.-based early-stage ventures seeking an opportunity to expand into the federal market with technologies developed for commercial applications. Companies that have solutions with the following attributes are highly encouraged to apply:

  • Integrates with existing commercial products and DoD networks to capture physical world in a digital environment
  • Facilitates collaboration locally and at the enterprise level
  • Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), or mixed reality solutions
  • Has open architectures with maximum interoperability with existing systems
  • Has advantages in speed, ease of use, data capture size, overall size, weight, and power(SWaP), and image quality

Areas of Focus

Digital Mission Engineering

Extended reality solutions paired with novel digital engineering approaches enable a collaborative environment across a geographically dispersed SOF enterprise. All levels of the SOF enterprise from analyst, operator, engineer to senior leaders require solutions for collaboration across mission planning, logistics, training, and operations. Desired capabilities include:

  • AR/VR solutions for visualizing real-time and synthetic data, targets, and mission objectives
  • Neural Radiance Field (NeRF) solutions to digitize the physical world from 2D to 3D object and scene generation
  • Novel software and hardware solutions for 3D scanning or photogrammetry
  • Enabling technologies for digital mission engineering - compute power, capture, digital engineering
  • Categorized Publicly Available Information (PAI) datasets and advanced analytics for real-time situational awareness

Human-Machine Interface

To reduce cognitive workload at the edge, operators require the ability to seamlessly ingest, understand, and share data in an often disconnected operating environment to make decisions faster. Desired capabilities include:

  • Increased capacity for seamless ingestion and data analysis at the edge through solutions that include neural networks, machine learning systems, and heterogeneous data fusion
  • AI/ML modeling and simulations of large data sets for actionable insights
  • Human-machine assisted, extended reality, and data visualization tools for effective decision making
  • Next-generation operator worn electronics, emphasizing power density and charge rate
  • Close range microphone in a small form factor that has the ability to directionally isolate sound and filter background noise
  • Small, compact hardware input methods to control Android devices and touchscreen-based applications for improved operator effectiveness

Unmanned Systems and Supporting Technologies

Portable, mobile, and modular unmanned/autonomous systems to counter targeted air, ground, maritime, and cyber threats. Solutions include:

  • Affordable, attritable unmanned systems with small size, weight and power (SWAP) capabilities to improve mobility and flexibility
  • Low cost, disposable, and easily integrated sensors, components, and payloads to enhance surveillance capabilities and target detection across domains
  • Alternative position, navigation and timing (PNT) solutions, novel waveforms, and RF technologies to support reliable and resilience communication in contested RF environments for unmanned systems
  • Network infrastructure that connects operators and autonomous systems in non-permissive environments

Apply Now

The application period for this opportunity is now closed. To remain up-to-date with opportunities to attend future NSIN events, please subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on LinkedIn.

Intellectual Property Considerations: By participating in this competition and submitting in any of the rounds, participants are granting the US Government and its Partners permanent access to any provided presentations, videos, and white papers with the provision that the US Government and its Partners may store and copy the presentations, videos, and white papers in perpetuity. Participants will retain intellectual ownership of and publishing rights to the presentations, videos, and white papers. Excluding presentations, videos, and white papers and any material considered to be co-produced with the US Government, the US Government and its Partners agree not to share submissions with other entities, including files and tradecraft concepts. Other Transaction Authority: This NSIN Propel Boston public announcement is an open call to small businesses and non-traditional defense contractors seeking innovative, commercial technologies proposed to create new DoD solutions or potential new capabilities fulfilling requirements, closing capability gaps, or providing potential technological advancements, technologies fueled by commercial or strategic investment, but also concept demonstrations, pilots, and agile development activities improving commercial technologies, existing Government-owned capabilities, or concepts for broad Defense application(s). As such, the Government reserves the right to award a contract or an Other Transaction for any purpose, to include a prototype or research, under this public announcement. The Federal Government is not responsible for any monies expended by the applicant before award and is under no obligation to pursue such Other Transactions.

Satisfying Competition Requirements: This Open Call Announcement is considered to have potential for further efforts that may be accomplished via FAR-based contracting instruments, Other Transaction Authority (OTA) for Prototype Projects 10 USC 4022 and Research 10 USC 4021, Prizes for advanced technology achievements 10 USC 4025, and/or Prize Competitions 15 USC 3719. If a prototype OTA is awarded and considered successfully completed, follow-on production may be pursued in accordance with 10 USC 4022(f). The public open call announcement made at NSIN Presents: Propel Boston is considered to satisfy the reasonable effort to obtain competition in accordance with 10 USC 4025(b), 15 USC 3719(e) and 10 USC 4022(b)(2). Any FAR-based actions will follow announcement procedures per FAR 5.201(b) accordingly actions will follow announcement procedures per FAR 5.201(b) accordingly.