As we celebrate Earth Day, NSIN is highlighting how our alumni ventures aid the DoD’s sustainability mission.

Sustainability continues to be a top priority for the Department of Defense (DoD) and National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), with initiatives like NSIN’s recent Global Fishing Forecast Grand Challenge and recruiting efforts for programs like NSIN’s Propel accelerator focused on bringing green tech and talent to the Department. The work of our network partners and alumni proves the defense innovation base is with us in a shared commitment to sustainable defense.

This Earth Day, NSIN is showcasing the program alumni and industry, academic, and government partners that are working to impact sustainability, green technology, efficiency, and more. The DoD is countering the destabilizing effects of climate change by committing to environmental stewardship, combatting further emissions, building solutions for efficiency, and increasing energy independence.

“Our national security depends on our ability to adapt,” stressed NSIN Director of Enterprise Services and Venture Portfolio Director Abigail Desjardins. “Each impact of climate change creates new risks to security operations; the NSIN network is helping counter these risks with solutions so our military can maintain a decisive advantage over our adversaries.”

Some of NSIN’s most impactful contributors to DoD sustainability goals are NSIN alumni companies. EARTH XYZ, an NSIN Propel Boston alum, improves intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations by increasing the speed and detail with which the DoD can gather insights from geospatial data. Their generative artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform also holds promise for detecting surface properties such as oil spills, water quality, and more, allowing the DoD to remain informed whether they are planning for action or responding to crises.

Hyperkelp, an NSIN Propel Hawaii alum, provides ocean data through their growing network of smart buoys. Their data not only has applications for naval intelligence and commercial port traffic management, but also for climate science. Since participating in Propel Hawaii, the company has been selected for a Blue Economy Incubator that will see them monitor underwater noise levels, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, and other water quality parameters for the Port of San Diego.

Our student teams are also tackling the issue head-on. NSIN Capstone students from the University of Washington developed a plan to optimize heating and cooling in server rooms and radar domes that were both cost efficient and sustainable. The plan, created for the New Boston Space Force Station and Pituffik Space Base, projects nearly $600,000 in annual savings for the U.S. Space Force through reduced energy use.

NSIN events are another avenue through which our network is creating impact. The Critical Resource Summit, an annual event, focuses on collaboration between academia, industry professionals, and government partners to address the strategic competition for sustained global growth and security for water, food, energy, and more. This event helps identify opportunities for action, highlights emerging challenges, and acts as a catalyst for stakeholders to maximize involvement in critical system dynamics and advanced geo-planning.

Innovators with technologies and solutions for our environment are invited to connect with NSIN to see how their work can be used to promote sustainability in defense. If you are looking for funding for your green technology or idea, follow NSIN’s Funding Opportunities blog to see new grant opportunities, prize challenges, and more, every week.

About National Security Innovation Network

NSIN is a program office in the U.S. Department of Defense, nested within the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). We are set up to collaborate with a wide variety of innovators to include universities, researchers, students, entrepreneurs and start-ups. We create opportunities for collaboration across communities and connect those that might not traditionally work in national security. Together, we help drive national security innovation and develop technologies that directly support the individuals responsible for protecting our country.

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