The NSIN Defense Innovation Accelerator (DIA) leverages breakthrough technology to solve the real-world problems of the Department of Defense and commercial customers.


The Defense Innovation Accelerator (DIA) finds breakthrough Department of Defense (DoD) lab technology and leverages it to solve the real-world problems of DoD and commercial customers. Teams of entrepreneurs, working with DoD lab scientists and technologists, assess the market viability and the potential to commercialize DoD lab technologies.

What We Do

The NSIN Defense Innovation Accelerator pairs technology developed in Department of Defense (DoD) laboratories with those interested in starting a high-tech company. Teams are paired with knowledgeable instructors and mentors who have entrepreneurial experience and/or are experts in their field to guide the process. Working with top DoD research labs and inventors, teams will validate whether the technology can be commercialized to solve problems faced by the DoD and beyond. At the end of the cohort, teams will present labs with a market assessment report and may seek to form companies and license the technology.

How It Works

Over approximately two months, teams will explore the commercial viability of a cutting-edge technology from a top-tier research and development lab within the DoD and potentially create a company through licensing the technology. For 2020, the following themes have been prioritized for development and acceleration:

  • Cybersecurity and secure communications
  • Autonomous systems
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Virtual reality and computer vision
  • Sensors
  • Human performance

Lab Technology Selection

Inventors must be able to commit to spending one hour per week working with teams during the cohort, and to attending the Kickoff weekend in the Washington, D.C. area (one weekend in Spring 2020 TBD). Although not mandatory, they should also attend the final Pitch Day in-person.

At a minimum, provisional patents should be filed. Higher TRL technologies (≥4) with demonstrated prototypes are strongly preferred. Recent inventions (within the last 3 years) are also preferred.

Labs interested in the NSIN DIA program can submit interest here:

2020 Cohort Application

NOTE: Please only submit technologies that have not already been licensed or will not likely be licensed by other parties by July 2020.

Questions about DIA?

Please direct any questions to