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National Security Innovation Network
Monday, Jan. 31, 2022
Reading time: 3.5 minutes


The NSIN diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) campaign will raise awareness about the critical role of diversity in national security problem solving and to connect with people from historically underrepresented and non-traditional DoD participant communities. Beginning in February with Black History Month and continuing throughout the year, “Diversity Unlocks Innovation” will align to major heritage and alliance months. The campaign will feature a series of activities including profiles of emerging defense innovation leaders, an educational speaker series for staff and NSIN program alumni, and many opportunities for interested communities to learn more and get involved. Followers on social media have an interactive opportunity using #DiversityUnlocks to nominate pioneers in the industry. 


FEB. 3, 2022, 11 a.m. EST (Virtual)

NSIN is partnering with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to feature small business diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the geospatial industry. The showcase will feature companies able to develop geospatial intelligence in support of NGA’s Technology Focus Areas.


MEDIA: Alison Beatty joins NSIN as the University Program Director at the University of Michigan. In her role, Beatty will connect Michigan’s academic, venture, and military communities to develop networks of defense innovators.

MEDIA: A diverse set of students and startups across the Midwest have found a place for themselves and their ideas within the DoD. NSIN’s Midwest Regional Director, Jake Laktas, shares with the St. Louis Business Journal how NSIN has created a hub for national security innovation between the government, commercial industry, and academic partners.

MEDIA: The University of Louisville (UofL) is expanding its partnership with NSIN to strengthen the country’s cyber defenses and national security strategy as part of two new academic networks with the DoD’s Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).

NEWS: Strengthen national security on your own time by joining the NSIN Tech Squad. Applications are open for the program, matching early-career tech professionals to DoD partners for a part-time, volunteer service opportunity. The cohort runs from March-June, and volunteers can expect to spend 5-15 hours per week working on a specific DoD problem. The program concludes with a presentation day to problem sponsors and industry professionals. 

FEB. 10, 2022, 10 a.m. EST (Virtual)

EVENT: Join us for an industry expert seminar to hear from defense autonomy leadership, including Mr. Maynard Holliday, Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Modernization at the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)), and Dr. Jaret Riddick, Principal Director of Autonomy at OUSD(R&E). Mr. Holliday and Dr. Riddick will present concepts for new sensors, perception, and intelligence algorithms to generate actionable information for an autonomous vehicle to successfully move through a rugged off-road environment. The Day of Autonomy starts at 10 a.m. EST on Feb. 10 and precedes the live-pitch competition for the NSIN Off the Beaten Path hackathon.

MARCH 11, 2022

EVENT: Gain access to breakthrough government technology while solving national security problems. NSIN Foundry, formerly the Defense Innovation Accelerator (DIA), matches cutting-edge DoD technologies with teams of entrepreneurs, who work closely with lab inventors, mentors, coaches, subject matter experts, and DoD end-users to assess market viability and commercialization potential of lab technology. 

MARCH 13, 2022

EVENT: Applications are now open for NSIN-alumni teams to participate in the NSIN Vector program to develop their solutions into dual-use ventures for clients inside and outside the DoD and compete for $25,000. Applications are open to NSIN alumni from Hacking for Defense (H4D), Hacks, X-Force, Foundry (formally Defense Innovation Accelerator), and Maker.


NEWS: The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) released its FY 2021 Annual Report last week with an overview of key performance metrics, descriptions of commercial solutions delivered to DoD partners, and project stories from its six portfolio focus areas: artificial intelligence, autonomy, cyber, energy, human systems, and space.
NEWS: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is leveraging commercial ventures and academic expertise to advance a decades-worth of research on night-vision goggles.

FEB. 3, 2022, 10 a.m. EST (Virtual)

EVENT: Candidates with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), medical, and research skill sets can engage with employers about processes and opportunities to specific jobs within the DoD.

Tuesdays, 1 p.m. EST (Virtual)

EVENT: Find answers to your questions about cybersecurity and information protection in the Department of Air Force (DAF) SBIR and STTR programs every Tuesday during DAF’s ask-me-anything series. On Feb. 1, DAF will discuss resources for small business cybersecurity and authorization to operate (ATO) primer/fast-track ATO.


The Air Force is soliciting proposals for dual-use technology relating to modernization priorities, including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning, microelectronics, quantum sciences, and more. Submissions are due Feb. 10.

The Department of the Navy is closing Phase I and II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) applications for various topics relating to digital engineering. The Phase I solicitation will award up to $6,500, and the Phase II solicitation will award up to $25,000 to proposals focused on digital or visual modeling for experimentation and testing of actual systems. Submissions are due Feb. 10.

SpaceWERX is soliciting proposals for commercial technologies in the emerging on-orbit servicing, assembly, and manufacturing market. The Phase I solicitation will award $250,000 in Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards to small businesses and academic institutions that can help combat the issue of orbital debris. Submissions are due Feb. 17.
Follow the NSIN funding opportunities blog to identify more funding across the defense innovation space. 
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The National Security Innovation Network is a program of the U.S. Department of Defense that collaborates with major universities and the venture community to develop solutions that drive national security innovation. We operate three portfolios of programs and services: National Service, Collaboration, and Acceleration. Together, these portfolios form a pipeline of activities and solutions that accelerate the pace of defense innovation.  
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