Defense innovation and modernization was a key point of discussion during the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks visit to Austin, Texas yesterday.

Regional leaders from the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) participated in the half day meeting and tour of several sites with partner Austin-based Army Futures Command (AFC) to see defense innovation first-hand and strategize about the continued need to pair trained talent with technological advancement.

Jim Rabuck, NSIN Southwest Regional Director, briefed Hicks on the NSIN programs designed to engage exceptionally talented people to help solve DoD challenges. Other DoD partners also highlighted NSIN programs that will help bridge the civilian-military gap – namely Capstone, Hacking for Defense (H4D), hackathon events, and the X-Force Fellowships.

“NSIN supports the mission to build a culture in DoD that engages the private sector more than ever to help solve crucial national security and military challenges,” Rabuck said. “It was important to communicate the NSIN model that helps bridge the innovation and talent gap by partnering with top universities in Texas, such as Texas A&M, Rice, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech, the University of Texas at Dallas, and several others. Our programs are finding this outstanding human capital and helping to move the needle in solving problems with the DoD.”

Hicks was in Texas to visit AFC and meet with Commanding General John M. “Mike” Murray and key personnel about their mission. As reported in the Austin American-Statesman, she was clear about the DoD’s collaborative mission “to harness and acquire technology and train talent.”

NSIN Southwest Regional Director breifs DoD Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks

Jim Rabuck, NSIN Southwest Regional Director, briefs U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and defense innovation partners in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

“There is no question NSIN is aligned with the DoD’s goal of identifying outstanding human capital, training that talent, and partnering those private sector minds with the U.S. military to solve national security problems,” said Rabuck. “Our programs are proving that we can help the DoD get the right people in the right place.”

About 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.