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Govcon Giants Podcast

Mar 21, 2024

In today’s episode, we had the pleasure of welcoming a returning guest, Wade B. Watts, the University Program Director (UPD) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN). With over 20 years of experience as an Air Force Officer and subsequent roles at Booz Allen Hamilton, Wade brings a wealth of knowledge to the table.

In this episode, we delved deeper into the workings of NSIN, a Department of Defense program office under the Defense Innovation Unit. NSIN, formerly known as the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator, has become a powerhouse in fostering innovation and solving challenges within the DOD through collaborations with universities and community startups.

The National Service portfolio offers individuals a chance to contribute to the DOD without formal membership, while the Collaboration portfolio gathers diverse talent for nationwide problem-solving initiatives. The Acceleration portfolio supports those ready to transition from conceptual solutions to forming companies, building prototypes, or entering government contracts.

Mr. Wade discussed how interested parties can bring solutions to NSIN, emphasizing the role of University Program Directors in establishing local ecosystems. He encouraged engagement with NSIN events, checking their website, or reaching out via email to

Wade clarified the crucial role of university affiliations as civilian think tanks, handling many DOD problems. Whether you're in the conceptual stages or already have a validated solution, NSIN offers mentorship, introductions to hubs and accelerators, and tailored programs to support your journey.

This episode provides invaluable insights into NSIN's operations, making it a must-listen for anyone interested in defense innovation, collaboration, and solving complex problems. Tune in and join the conversation with Govcon Giants!