NSIN has expanded its partnership with BMNT Inc. and The Common Mission Project to further promote and develop the Hacking for Defense (H4D) university program. This expanded partnership enables NSIN to increase the number of universities delivering the H4D program across the United States, thus boosting innovative solutions adopted by the Department of Defense (DoD).
H4D is a semester-long course currently offered at 24 top-tier research universities throughout the United States, with a projected 30 participating institutions by Spring 2020. The program is designed as an innovation capability that builds ecosystems — including academia, industry, and the government — around critical defense and national security problems. NSIN delivers the course in partnership with The Common Mission Project, BMNT’s nonprofit arm.
“The H4D program provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to closely work on real-world national security problems with DoD personnel and agencies in a classroom setting,” said Morgan C. Plummer, Managing Director, NSIN. “This forward-looking program provides DoD leaders with unique opportunities to collaborate with talented student teams to develop innovative solutions to pressing challenges in the national security arena.”
H4D supports the DoD mission by: (1) exposing students to defense and national security issue areas, (2) establishing unique, expert networks around critical defense and national security problems, (3) delivering validated problems and viable solution pathways, and (4) building the National Security Innovation Base.
Using modern entrepreneurial tools such as the Lean Startup methodology and problem curation techniques, H4D students work to solve real-world problems at startup speed. The course was created in 2016 by Steve Blank, founder of the Lean Startup movement; Joe Felter, retired Army Colonel (former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia); and BMNT Inc. CEO Pete Newell, a retired Army Colonel and former Director of the U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force.
H4D students address all types of DoD problem areas. Past examples include safely evacuating special forces under fire, powering radios for downed pilots, developing applications to track and manage mass casualty triage in the field, detecting and countering drones, protecting IoT devices, developing innovative applications for artificial intelligence, and predicting and preventing cyber threats.
“Hacking for Defense gives students a unique opportunity to work with the government, experience what the government really does and touch some of the really wicked, sexy problems they have to solve while learning what our military and intelligence agencies really do versus what they see in the press,” Newell said. “I’m thrilled that our partnership with NSIN will open that opportunity to even more students.”
A full listing of Hacking for Defense resources and universities offering the course can be found at the new H4D website, H4D.us