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National Security Innovation Network
Monday, April 3, 2023
Reading time: 2.5 minutes
Christy Cardenas, Managing Partner, Grit Ventures


Christy Cardenas, Managing Partner at Grit Ventures, shares her thoughts on how next-gen technologies will be cultivated and how women in venture capital (VC) will play a key role in shaping the future.  

A team from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill won a potential $500,000 contract during the NSIN-sponsored Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Active Artificial Intelligence (AI) Planners for Chemistry/Materials Optimization and Discovery Grand Challenge. The team developed a system that leverages continuous flow chemistry, automation, active machine learning, and reinforcement learning algorithms to help AFRL researchers quickly find experimental conditions for optimizing and discovering synthetic compounds. 


APRIL 12, 2023

Selected entrepreneurs will team up to work with federal laboratories to commercialize breakthrough defense technologies and build new companies during the five-month NSIN Foundry program. Join NSIN for an information session on April 12 to learn more about the application process and desired technologies. Applications close April 28.  

APRIL 15, 2023

Join industry, government, and academia to discuss the challenges and opportunities confronting the defense establishment on April 15 at the NSIN-sponsored Harvard Business School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Technology and National Security Conference. The conference will focus on the technological developments and innovations emerging from the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and explore those technologies’ implications for a potential future China-Taiwan contingency.

NSIN Presents: SynGen Challenge

MAY 1, 2023

Innovate the generation of synthetic (SynGen) training data for military computer vision algorithms. Finalists are eligible for a potential federal funding award of up to $75,000. Applications close May 1.


Follow the NSIN Defense Innovation Funding Opportunities Series on LinkedIn to identify more funding across the defense innovation space.

APRIL 7, 2023

Investors or investment groups with business proposals for enhancing U.S. Air Force installation energy resilience may submit proposals to Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) for a potential contract award through their commercial solutions opening (CSO) process. Submissions are due April 7. 

APRIL 10, 2023

Innovators with compact, mobile hydrogen (H2) production and storage systems that can provide warfighters with a reliable source of clean fuel in remote environments may submit their solutions to Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) for a potential contract award through their commercial solutions opening (CSO) process. Submissions are due April 10. 

APRIL 20, 2023

The U.S. Army xTech Pacific competition offers eligible small businesses from Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington with innovations to help the Army operate across long distances, an opportunity to engage with the DoD, earn prize money, and advance to the xTech accelerator program. Finalists are eligible for part of $800,000 in competition prizes with the potential to advance and earn up to $250,000 in Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards or $1.9 million in Direct to Phase II SBIR awards. 


MAY 10, 2023

Join the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) for a forum on the importance of cybersecurity in securing intellectual property and protecting the defense supply chain. The event will feature thought leaders from government and industry as they share the latest on DoD security requirements and expectations for the Defense Industrial Base. 


Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students interested in geospatial-intelligence (GEOINT) can sharpen their geospatial science and geographic information system (GIS) skills this summer as they work on proposals to address societal challenges and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) key intelligence topics. The immersive program runs June 26-July 30 in St. Louis. Applications are due being accepted on a rolling basis.  

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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: Talent and Venture. Together, these portfolios form a pipeline of activities and solutions that accelerate the pace of defense innovation.   
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