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National Security Innovation Network (Hacking 4 Defense)

The National Security Innovation Network sponsors programs at 50 nationwide universities. Sometime referred to as Hacking for Defense (H4D), it is designed to provide students the opportunity to learn how to work with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) to better address the nation’s emerging threats and security challenges. Interdisciplinary teams of select William & Mary students work with the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community sponsors to create solutions in weeks.

Unlike current practices in the DoD/IC that can stall and in some cases thwart rapid innovation,  this course provides a platform that can develop prototypes that match DOD/IC users’ needs in weeks. Agencies or Commands in the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community may provide follow-on funding to these student teams for further refinement and development of prototypes.

In this class, student teams will tackle a set of problems provided by the DoD/IC community. Although we will assign teams a problem to solve, this class is not a product incubator for a specific technology solution. Instead, it provides teams with a deeper understanding of selected problems and the host of potential policy and technological solutions that might be arrayed against them. Using the Lean LaunchPad Methodology the class focuses teams to:

  • Solve extremely complex real-world problems

  • Rapidly iterate technology solutions while searching for product-market fit

  • Understand all the stakeholders, deployment issues, costs, resources, and ultimate mission value

  • Deliver minimum viable products that match customer needs in an extremely short time

  • Produce a repeatable model that can be used to launch other potential policy and technology solutions

  • W&M's National Security Innovation Network is housed under the Project on International Peace & Security.

WM NSIN involves a three credit course (GOVT 391: National Security Innovation Network). The program is one semester long, and student teams will be selected for the fall and spring semesters. Once selected, students will receive an override for the course.

Learn more about WM NSIN and apply at this link. Watch the videos below to see what solutions students in the Fall 2021 course developed.

{{youtube:medium:center|UPq0XNATMc8, Students Identify Highest-Priority Ways to Support ARSOF Members}}

{{youtube:medium:center|PwXodaV1ewU, NSIN Presentation: Stemming the Attrition of Women from US Army Special Forces}}

{{youtube:medium:center|5GEBxvMXu58, What Role Should the US Play in UN Peacekeeping?}}

{{youtube:medium:center|T1S_vDtJ90I, NSIN Presentation: Re-Examining the US Role in UN Peacekeeping Efforts}}

{{youtube:medium:center|eWh6elaGuTY, Enhancing and Accelerating USAF Acquisition}}

{{youtube:medium:center|vGjcUG4eIa0, NSIN Presentation: Flexible Adoption of Emerging Technology}}