This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Over the last two decades, the nature of security threats has shifted from the emergence of networked insurgency to the growth of cyber threats, urging governments to build a more agile and adaptive resource to meet the unpredictable threats of the future.

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

Defense innovation got to the frontlines this week, as NSIN ran its first-ever ad during the National Football League’s Super Bowl LV on the Armed Forces Network (AFN) airing of the championship game. The goal was to invite military audiences to share ideas for solving national security problems by leveraging the free resources of NSIN. 

This problem-solving network adapts to the emerging defense needs, bringing together defense, academic and entrepreneurial innovators to solve national security problems in new ways.

“The DoD wants to solve problems differently, better, and more quickly,” said Morgan C. Plummer, NSIN Managing Director, cited by “Our unique approach to solving these problems is to incorporate new problem-solvers by bringing people to the table who had not been there before. We have found that the strength of our network is remarkable. Service members from all ranks and specialties have brought ideas that challenge the status quo and innovate defense. We look forward to hearing new ideas from the AFN audience.”

He added that the NSIN network creates opportunities for communities from academia, the private sector and the military to collaborate and innovate together to solve these challenges. Every day. That is the power of team.”

NSIN’s activities focus on building models of service that account for generational and cultural differences between the military, academic, and venture communities, and that provide flexible pathways to official service within the Department of Defense. 

Among other activities, the programs provide university students the opportunity to collaborate with the military to address real-world challenges that require both technical and entrepreneurial expertise, military sponsorship for university projects, etc.

Watch this intriguing panel on innovation in the IDF – Israel, at the INNOTECH Conference on Cyber Innovation and Homeland Security: