Latest News from DoD National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)

This bulletin is a bi-weekly update on DoD National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) activities. For the latest on our mission and programming, please visit .


Department of Defense Opportunities

NSIN continues to source new DoD problems for our Fall 21 Hacking for Defense program ! Submit your problem to receive 500 hours of free student talent!

Startups Opportunities

NSIN has partnered with NewLab and Decisive Point to help deliver our next Propel accelerator program. We are seeking early-stage ventures interested in expanding into the federal market to participate in a commercial accelerator program. Participating companies receive up to $200k in grant funding, access to $5M of on-site prototyping resources, bespoke defense curriculum to support customer discovery, and the ability to engage leading industry, venture and academic experts. Apply by 19 MAY.

Start-ups and researchers are encouraged to sign up for NSIN’s newest grand challenge in support of AI for Command. Participants will develop AI agents for theater scale, multi-domain operations using a commercial gaming platform – Matrix Games’ Command: Modern Operations. The winner will receive a grand prize of $100k and finalists are eligible for a Memorandum of Understanding in support of their proposals for a $750,000 SBIR or STTR award. Register by May 22 to be eligible for a free professional license (needed to train AI).

Trusted AI Challenge – design, verification, and validation of trusted autonomous systems. Awards: $500k in funding available. $50k – $100k awards. Sponsors: Air Force Research Laboratory, IBM, SUNY, NYSTEC, and NSIN. Eligibility: U.S. and international university faculty, or U.S. small businesses (topic dependent). Deadline: June 4, 2021. Apply:

NSIN is excited to announce that registration for our Combat Feeding Starts event is LIVE and will happen on 24 JUN. Topics include nutrient densification, synthetic biology, biometric sensors, and nutritional interventions for human per Start-ups interested in competing for the $100k grand prize or one of the four $25k prizes should apply by 31 MAY. VCs, academia and other general attendees who aren’t competing can register interest here .

University Opportunities

NSIN invites faculty interested in bringing Hacking for Defense to their university to join our virtual Educators Course happening 16-18 JUN. The course is designed to provide an overview of the H4D program — the curriculum, pedagogy, tools, and community — to ensure a successful program at your university.

NSIN is seeking DoD customers to participate in our Hirethon program. If you have open billets and are seeking STEM talent for civilian service, register your interest here to gain accelerated access to strong candidates from across the country.


Help build a community of defense, academic, and venture problem-solvers in one of the hottest innovation ecosystems in the country – Boston! We are hiring a Northeastern University Program Director ! Apply by 23 MAY!

NSIN is seeking a National Capital Regional Director with proven business development and defense innovation experience to lead our efforts in Washington, DC; Virginia; Maryland, Delaware; West Virginia; and Pennsylvania. This region offers the opportunity to shape a rich customer and academic ecosystem. Apply by 31 MAY.


Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) – does your university or startup want to partner with AFRL to work on autonomy, computer vision, or cybersecurity? Apply for a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with AFRL/RI through Innovare: Deadline: June 4.

Army Applications Lab issued a pre-release for a new SPARTN opportunity for businesses that specialize in sensors, data, or AI: Robotic Combat Vehicle Sustainment (RCV ). This SPARTN topic aims to develop hardware and software components to gather, fuse, and interpret RCV sustainment requirements and operational capabilities in order to deliver actionable information to Soldiers.

Join USSOCOM and NDIA for the 2021 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (#SOFIC) , which will be held virtually from 17-21 MAY.

Army Research Lab also issued a solicitation recently for a short-term BAA to fund solutions related to Next New and Emerging Qubit Science and Technology . White papers are due 18 MAY.

Register for the Hawaii Tech Bridge’s informational session and panel discussion on 18 MAY to learn more about the organization, upcoming events, and opportunities. The vision of the Hawaii Tech Bridge is to establish an innovation ecosystem in Hawaii where the Department of Defense, private industry, academia, state and local governments can collaborate to solve Navy and Marine Corps needs, while being mutually beneficial to all.

The U.S. Army Office of Small Business Programs, in partnership with Federal Computer Week, is offering a workshop on 19 MAY to help government acquisition officials and the contracting community better understand and prepare for the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program. Register here to learn what new requirements for self-certification on security, strategy plans and reporting milestones mean for your organization.

The Army Contracting Command on behalf of Project Manager Intelligence Systems & Analytics (PM IS&A) issued an RFI to help PM IS&A tailor its acquisition strategy to ensure that AI/ML is seamlessly integrated into major programs and effort and identify companies who are developing AI/ML models that address the U.S. Army’s critical technology gaps. Responders are asked to reply by 21 MAY.

The Air Force has issued a pre-solicitation for Remote Controlled Vehicles to support an exercise with the Singapore Air Force (SAF) that will be held at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho this fall. Original responses are due 21 MAY.

NDIA Michigan is hosting the Michigan Defense Exposition 25-26 MAY. The agenda features nine program briefings from Army offices, and government and industry executives in the Michigan ecosystem and beyond will have an opportunity to connect.

DARPA’s Defense Science Office is releasing an office-wide BA to find innovative basic and applied research concepts in the areas of math, computation, and design; limits of sensing and sensors; complex social systems; and anticipating surprise. Register for Discover DSO Day by 9 JUN to learn more about this opportunity and the mission of the DSO.

Army Contracting Command – Rock Island and Army Sustainment Command Office of Small Business Programs will be hosting a Virtual Industry Engagement Day and Outreach Event on 9 JUN. This event will cover Enhanced Army Global Logistics Enterprise (EAGLE) and Small Business program topics. Access the attendee link here .

ATI | Advanced Technology International is hosting a OTA webinar series on 10 JUN. Attendees will receive an overview of OTAs, including information about the history of OTAs, what exactly they are, and what types are currently being used. The webinar will also cover how OTAs are used in partnership with industry consortia and the benefits of this approach for government, industry, and academia.

SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM PEO SOF Digital Applications, is hosting a Virtual Assessment Event on 7 JUL. They are seeking to accelerate the application of commercially‐derived software innovation into deployable warfighting capabilities in support of Special Operations Forces (SOF). Interested respondents who could potentially provide solutions that meet the needs of USSOCOM are encouraged to submit Solution Briefs by 14 JUN.

NSWC Crane has IP available to license! Entrepreneurs are invited to submit a proposal to commercialize patented technologies and concepts developed at Indiana’s only federal research laboratory and present those solutions at the 2021 Crane IP Defense Innovation Pitch Competition on 23 JUN.

Register for the 2021 DoD AI Symposium and Technology Exchange on 22-24 JUN – now featuring a keynote address from Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. The exchange will virtually bring together thought leaders from across the National Security enterprise to discuss themes critical for transforming the U.S. military through the acceleration and integration of AI. Topics include competitive challenges, technological opportunities, Research & Development, Responsible AI, and AI Readiness and Implementation.

Apply for Shift’s Defense Ventures Program to learn from leading venture capital firms and technology companies during an eight-week immersion program designed for the DoD’s aspiring innovators. The program is open to Active Duty and Reserve components of the US Military, members of the National Guard, and Department of Defense civilians. Applications for remaining 2021 sessions are due 30 JUN.

SAF/CMD is interested in the full range & scope of innovative commercial items, technologies, and services. Areas of interest include countering strategic competitors’ malign influence; big data, AI and ML, technologies and processes; and emerging cyber technologies and methodologies.

The Office for Naval Research posts all ongoing Broad Agency Announcements, Funding Opportunity Announcements, and Special Program Announcements for academia here.


For more information, contact:

The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), is a U.S. Department of Defense program office that brings non-traditional collaborators from the defense, academic, and venture communities to solve national security problems.

Dan Madden
Mid-Atlantic Regional Director (contractor)
National Security Innovation Network
U.S. Department of Defense

475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1350
New York, N.Y. 10115 | @NSIN_us | LinkedIn