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IU to bolster Department of Defense partnership through National Security Innovation Network

University program director will lead efforts to create new solutions and applications through collaboration

For Immediate Release Dec 16, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The National Security Innovation Network, a program office within the U.S. Department of Defense, has appointed Mike Dodd as a full-time university program director at Indiana University. This is the first appointment for the National Security Innovation Network within the Great Lakes Region, which includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

Mike Dodd
Mike Dodd.Photo courtesy of the Office of the Vice President for Research

Dodd will work closely with IU faculty and students and industry stakeholders to foster collaborations and partnerships that help solve Department of Defense problems related to communications, data management and other priorities. He will report to leadership both at Indiana University and at the National Security Innovation Network in Washington, D.C.

The National Security Innovation Network works with nontraditional problem-solvers to generate and accelerate new solutions to national security challenges. The organization has program directors on the campuses of six top research universities; the others are the University of Virginia, the University of Colorado-Boulder, Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley and Washington University in St. Louis.

“IU has significant research strengths in many areas relevant to Department of Defense priorities in national security, health and medicine, and other areas,” IU Vice President for Research Fred Cate said. “We are delighted to expand our engagement with DOD, and we’re very pleased to have Mike Dodd at IU to facilitate new and fruitful funding relationships with great potential to yield solutions that serve everyone.”

Dodd’s appointment will expand IU’s partnership with the Department of Defense through programs such as the National Security Innovation Network Hacking for Defense program, known as H4D. The program, which matches teams of students with real-world defense and national security problem, is taught at 24 participating universities nationwide. Throughout the semester, students work directly with end-users to develop a minimum viable product to present to the Department of Defense problem-solver.    

“The addition of Mike to our team not only results in a valuable relationship with IU and the defense ecosystem throughout Indiana, but also gives NSIN a strong presence at a university with a reputation for innovation,” said Morgan C. Plummer, managing director at the National Security Innovation Network. “This is a critical first step into developing the Great Lakes Region, which is important to our overall strategy.”

Dodd served with distinction in the U.S. Marine Corps for 11 years. He has helped clients secure government contracts for 16 years and also invests in and advises early-stage companies. Dodd serves on the executive leadership team for the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, a national nonprofit with more than 3,600 members whose charter is to connect academics and nontraditional defense companies with national security programs.   

Dodd’s appointment is only the most recent in a series of ongoing initiatives to increase IU’s engagement with Department of Defense and other federal agencies in key areas of research, including artificial Intelligence, hypersonics and regenerative medicine. Many of these involve Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane; the Indiana Innovation Institute, established through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.; and the state of Indiana.

IU Research

Indiana University’s world-class researchers have driven innovation and creative initiatives that matter for 200 years. From curing testicular cancer to collaborating with NASA to search for life on Mars, IU has earned its reputation as a world-class research institution. Supported by $680 million in FY2019 from federal and other partners, IU researchers are building collaborations and uncovering new solutions that improve lives in Indiana and around the globe.

About the National Security Innovation Network

The National Security Innovation Network’s mission is to “build networks of innovators that generate new solutions to national security problems.” National Security Innovation Network is headquartered in Arlington, Va., and has regional offices in 11 commercial innovation hubs throughout the United States. Through its headquarters, regional hubs and embedded university partnerships, National Security Innovation Network builds a national network of innovators and delivers programming that solves real-world, Department of Defense problems through collaborative partnerships with nontraditional problem solvers within the academic and early-stage venture communities.

Media Contact

Office of the Vice President for Research

Nicole Wilkins

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