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Partnership Expands Opportunities for New and Small Businesses to Work With the Department of Defense, Expand National Security Innovation Base

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 March 31, 2021

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP), the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense on small business matters, and the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), an innovation unit within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, signed a memorandum of agreement on March 5 to collaborate on expanding the national security innovation base.

The new partnership links two DOD organizations with a common mission to establish an annual, joint program plan to leverage OSBP and NSIN resources to achieve shared objectives:

  • Collaborate to develop events and programs to engage small businesses in the National Technology and Industrial Base.
  • Prototype operational concepts related to emerging technologies and accelerate the transition of technologies and services into acquisition programs and operational use.
  • Support partnership between DOD and academic institutions, commercial firms, accelerators, incubators, and nonprofit organizations whose missions relate to national security innovation.
  • Enhance the capabilities of the DOD in market research, source selection, partnerships with private capital, and access to commercial technologies.

“The effects of the past year have demonstrated the importance of small businesses in maintaining a strong supply chain and knowledge base within the national security and technology industrial base. The partnership between NSIN and OSBP is an important step towards building a resilient industrial base and engaging innovative small companies.

“In line with President Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) Recovery Plan, the initiatives developed in conjunction with NSIN will provide new pathways to American manufacturers and small businesses to offer critical emerging technologies to the Department,” said Farooq Mitha, OSBP Director.

The OSBP and NSIN partnership enables more DOD collaboration and support between small businesses, academic institutions, commercial firms, accelerators, incubators, and nonprofit entities whose missions include national security innovation. 

Morgan Plummer, NSIN Manager Director explained, “NSIN and OSBP share a deep belief that the ideas, technologies and talent that are needed to build a robust defense industrial and innovation base exist in small businesses and startups across the country, and must be deliberately engaged in partnership with the Department.

“This partnership will combine OSBP’s expertise in leveraging small businesses to close capability gaps for our armed forces with NSIN’s nationwide network of non-traditional problem solvers in the academic and startup communities to create a holistic way to increase the number of small businesses contributing to the work of the Department of Defense.”

Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP)

OSBP is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense on small business matters and maximizes opportunities for small business to contribute to national security by providing combat power for our troops and economic poser for our nation. OSBP is also responsible for the health and resiliency of the small business industrial base, leverages small businesses to eliminate gaps and vulnerabilities in the national technology and industrial base and words to expand the number of small businesses in the national technology and industrial base.

National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)

The NSIN mission is to “build networks of innovators that generate new solutions to national security problems.” NSIN is headquartered in Arlington, VA, and has regional offices in 11 commercial innovation hubs throughout the United States. Through its headquarters, regional hubs, and embedded university partnerships, NSIN builds a national network of innovators and delivers programming that solves real-world, DOD problems through collaborative partnerships with non-traditional problem-solvers within the academic and early-stage venture communities.


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