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National Security Innovation Network
Monday, Oct. 24, 2022
Reading time: 3 minutes

Problem solvers can receive a contract of up to $500,000, awarded across four phases, to develop innovative solutions with Air Force Research Lab (AFRL). View the open AFRL Grand Challenge opportunities below:

OCT. 26, 2022

Submit a white paper with an innovative solution for artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) systems that can help researchers quickly find the correct conditions for optimizing and discovering new synthetic compounds. Submissions are due Oct. 26.

NOV. 2, 2022

Submit a white paper with an innovative solution for high-rate entangled-photon sources with capabilities to enable global quantum networks, networked quantum sensors, and distributed quantum computers. Submissions are due Nov. 2.

NOV. 4, 2022

Submit a white paper with an innovative solution to recycle additive manufacturing titanium waste such as producing powder from scrap materials, or rejuvenating used/out-of-spec titanium powder. Submissions are due Nov. 4.


OCT. 26, 2022

Hear pitches from 12 startups with emerging tech in autonomous systems, cybersecurity, disaster detection, healthcare, and human performance at this virtual demo day. Audience members will be able to ask the presenting founders questions about their innovations.


Gencores’ novel foam metamaterials reduce vehicle weight, allowing their customers in the DoD and private industry to manufacture more efficient vehicles. The company plans to leverage the new support and funding to accelerate further development of their metamaterial.
Atrevida Science, Inc.; Barrow Green LLC; Blazing Audio, Inc.; Droneconia; Dynamic Dimension Technologies; Jaxon, Inc.; Seasats; SeaWatch Labs LLC; Tiami Networks; and Ultralight Industries are the 10 NSIN alums participating in the accelerator. During the program, companies will learn from established technology experts in the maritime industry, and expand their knowledge of business topics ranging from customer acquisition to funding options.


NSIN won the 2022 Cybersecurity Innovator award from the San Diego Business Journal and the Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) for NSIN’s support of the cybersecurity ecosystem. Earlier this year, NSIN worked with Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) in San Diego to build teams of entrepreneurs who researched ways gaming technology could help visualize, monitor, and track cybersecurity operations for the Navy.
After spending his summer working with the U.S. Air Force on an exercise to refuel and rearm jet fighters on Michigan’s M-28 highway, University of Michigan X-Force Fellow Haazem Turaani decided his future career would be developing innovative spacecraft technology to solve military and commercial challenges.
Mike Seper, NSIN Washington University in St. Louis Program Director, shared his outlook on the role of students, researchers, and entrepreneurs in defense innovation on a recent episode of The Digital Enterprise Podcast.


NOV. 20, 2022

Innovate synthetic generation (SynGen) training data solutions for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to enable computer vision algorithms to automatically identify industrial air conditioning units. Finalists are eligible for a potential award of up to $500,000 in federal funding. Submissions are due Nov. 20.

Access the power of NSIN to tackle the toughest DoD challenges.

NSIN Problem Intake Form


Follow the NSIN Defense Innovation Funding Opportunities Series on LinkedIn to identify more funding across the defense innovation space.
University teams may submit ideas for designing and training algorithms that can trigger ships to automatically schedule and coordinate weapons systems in response to adversarial actions. Student teams selected during the white paper phase will be eligible to compete for part of $100,000 and the opportunity to present their submissions to Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD). Submissions are due Nov. 15.
Army xTech awards emerging technology that can help solve Army challenges. Apply for two new xTech competitions below to accelerate your venture with the DoD:
Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students will pitch innovative concepts and technologies to help the Army solve challenges in areas such as climate change, health, and artificial intelligence and machine learning. Students can receive part of a $65,000 prize pool and may have an opportunity to develop a prototype or seek a patent for their winning solutions. Submissions are due Oct. 31.

Small businesses and sole proprietors with technological innovations of all kinds can pitch their ideas to the Army during this open-topic prize competition. Winners will receive part of the $800,000 prize pool, and each finalist may have the opportunity to submit for a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award of up to $250,000. Submissions are due Oct. 31.


NOV. 13, 2022

NSIN Alumni: Contact for information on waiving your 

application fee

Receive exposure for your venture in front of a live audience and a panel of expert judges at the 15th annual SXSW Pitch Competition in Austin, Texas, March 11-12, 2023. Categories include: artificial intelligence, voice, and robotics; enterprise and smart data; entertainment, media, and content; future of work; food, nutrition, and health; innovative world technologies; metaverse and web3; and smart cities, transportation, and sustainability.
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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 two portfolios of programs and services: Venture and Talent. Together, these portfolios form a pipeline of activities and solutions that accelerate the pace of defense innovation.  
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