The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) has announced the selection of its next Propel Economic Development Initiative (EDI) program cohort for 2023.

The NSIN Propel-EDI program targets world-class companies in historically under-represented areas – including HUB Zones, Opportunity Zones, and low-income states – and connects these companies directly with key Department of Defense (DoD) stakeholders to address some of the nation’s most pressing national security challenges.

NSIN Propel-EDI is a collaboration between NSIN and national-security innovation boutique ACME General Corp. Prior iterations of the Propel-EDI program have seen remarkable success with three of the five most recent participants selected for Direct-to-Phase-Two (D2P2) SBIR awards totaling $5.25 million.

“As a company with offices in both Morgantown, West Virginia, and New York City, we understand better than most that, while talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not,” said David Bonfili, ACME CEO. “It’s a privilege to support NSIN as they work to level the playing field in the national security space and ensure that the very best solutions get into the hands of our service members whether they’re developed in Silicon Valley or Appalachia.”

For the upcoming cohort, NSIN partnered with the elements of the U.S. Air Force Ellsworth Air Force Base. The 2023 cohort will focus on capability gaps and critical training using augmented reality / virtual reality (AR/VR) and digital rendering for aircraft part manufacturing.

The 2023 Propel-EDI cohort includes nine innovative companies with the goal of helping those participating companies develop a deeper understanding of stakeholder focus areas to secure Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) from Air Force sponsors in support of a company’s pursuit of relevant federal funding opportunities.


Four of the nine companies selected for this iteration will focus on providing Air Force end-users with the ability to conduct critical training using augmented reality / virtual reality (AR/VR) including preparing for crisis situations such as emergency and disaster response. These companies include:

The remaining five companies will focus on leveraging digital rendering in support of providing Air Force end-users with the ability to reproduce aircraft parts that are no longer commercially manufactured. These companies include:

About National Security Innovation Network

NSIN is a government program office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OSD(R&E)) that collaborates with major universities and the venture community to develop solutions that drive national security innovation. We operate two portfolios of programs and services: Talent and Venture. Together, these portfolios form a pipeline of activities and solutions that accelerate the pace of defense innovation.