This agreement, the first collaboration for NSIN with a state university system, will encourage and promote defense liaisons, applied research, mentorships, and student/faculty engagement within the defense and national security arena throughout Florida.

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A new partnership between the State University System of Florida, the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), and the Florida Defense Alliance, an organization within Enterprise Florida, gives students real-world opportunities to develop innovative solutions to national security challenges. Additionally, the partnership will strengthen the talent pipeline for government and industry.

NSIN is a program of the U.S. Department of Defense and a problem-solving network that adapts to the emerging needs of those working to preserve national security.

“This first of its kind partnership for NSIN will allow the DoD to reach the talented students and faculty that we need to solve our most pressing national security challenges, where they live within all 12 institutions within the State University System of Florida,” said Morgan C. Plummer, NSIN Managing Director. “This partnership will give the DoD access to the problem solving capabilities that exist throughout Florida and expand opportunities for students to work on the real world problems that affect our service members every day.”

This agreement will encourage and promote defense liaisons, applied research, mentorships, and student/faculty engagement within the defense and national security arena.

“This Memorandum of Understanding is an excellent opportunity for our 12 institutions to support an industry critical to the state of Florida,” said Syd Kitson, chair of the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida. “By preparing our graduates for the types of issues and real-world problems facing the defense industry, we build a dynamic talent pipeline for Florida that fosters innovation and problem-solving.”

Some of the current projects include:

  • Helping the U.S. Army 44th Medical Brigade at Ft. Bragg build an app to more accurately track medications - University of Central Florida;
  • Developing streamlined communication tools for squadron commanders to access mission-critical data effectively - Florida Polytechnic University;
  • Developing machine learning models that use data from sonobuoys to improve the Navy’s ability to track submarines - Florida Atlantic University.

NSIN will hire a University Program Director who will report to the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, the first program director ever assigned to an HBCU institution.

The agreement also formalizes and expands existing FDA relationships while addressing one of the Governor’s goals for military and defense organizations: to create a ready workforce that fills critical defense industry jobs and supports our installations with equipment and solutions.

“The signing of this MOU and ground-breaking program is great news for Florida,” said Jamal Sowell, Florida Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida President & CEO. “Florida’s military and defense industry is a key economic driver for the state. Enterprise Florida and the FDA will continue to create opportunities, working with our partners, to support Florida’s military installations and strengthen Florida bases.”

UCF Board of Trustees Chair Beverly Seay played an important role in establishing the partnership, as she is the NSIN southeast region’s senior advisor.

A trustee at UCF since 2013, Seay advises and connects companies, universities, and investors in modeling and simulation, cybersecurity, blockchain and computing technologies. She brings global experience and a Fortune 500 track record in domestic and global business operations, and she is a recognized leader in innovative and creative technologies.

“NSIN works diligently to build strategic collaborative partners who can bring much to the table in helping to meet the defense and national security challenges of today,” said Dr. Tommy Sowers, NSIN’s Southeast Regional Director. “We have worked to establish partnerships with top research universities throughout the country, and Bev is a tremendous help in expanding those partnerships further, in not only Florida but the greater Southeast region of the U.S.”

In the last fiscal year, NSIN has broadened its outreach and services to an additional 500,000 students, 36 states, three territories, the U.S. European Combatant Command, and the U.S. Africa Combatant Command. NSIN programs have brought over 170 new dual-use ventures to the national security ecosystem.

ABOUT - National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)

The NSIN mission is to “build networks of innovators that generate new solutions to national security problems.” NSIN is headquartered in Arlington, VA, and has regional offices in 11 commercial innovation hubs throughout the United States. Through its headquarters, regional hubs, and embedded university partnerships, NSIN builds a national network of innovators and delivers programming that solves real-world, DoD problems through collaborative partnerships with non-traditional problem-solvers within the academic and early-stage venture communities.