The Emerge Accelerator connects Department of Defense (DoD) mission partners (e.g., operational units, program offices, etc.) with emerging technology teams and startups at our nation’s top research universities.


NSIN Emerge seeks to establish T3 partnerships with universities to spin out new dual-use ventures (one that targets both government and commercial (enterprise and/or consumer) customers), based on existing university intellectual property, which corresponds to the DoD’s urgent and critical areas of technology development.

Emerge is based on the foundational principle that universities do not need to create new programs or resources to participate. Its funding is intended to support university-based technology teams in accelerated technology development and venture formation for commercial and DoD applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does every team fill out an application or just the university? Only the university representative(s) must complete the application.

What’s the incentive for universities? While the teams, not the universities, will receive funding, the universities will benefit from participation in Emerge in two ways. First, this program puts teams in the universities’ tech transfer portfolio in contact with key DoD stakeholders and testing partners, increasing their likelihood of breaking into the DoD market and commercializing their technology. Second, the universities will receive a copy of the analysis produced through our proprietary ML tool, which tells if technology is early, emerging, or mature and where the market for it is.

How many teams can we submit? There is no limit on the number of teams. However, ensure the teams are at least notionally interested in participating and would have a dual-use application.

What stage team do you seek? As this is a pilot program, our selection criteria are intentionally broad. However, ideally, we want teams that plan to form a business around a prototype soon or have already formed a business in the last year.

Do teams need to be fully committed to participating before being nominated by their university? No. While we would prefer that teams plan to participate if selected following submission, it is unnecessary. The initial selection is based on team technology, and during the final selection, a team’s willingness to participate will be determined.

We already have a program that does X, do we have to participate in everything? No, if you’d only like to participate in a part of this opportunity, that’s possible. Just indicate your specific preferences in the application. Also, if you have a unique proposal for collaborating with NSIN, let us know that as well.

Will you match PIs with entrepreneurs? Unfortunately no. Applicants need to bring their team. As there is a demand for this, NSIN is exploring ways to implement it in the future.

How involved must PIs be? Simply put, PIs may be as involved as they want to be. It’s ultimately up to the teams to decide how to take advantage of these services.

How involved must teams be? The expected minimum workload for teams is about two hours per week for the 10 weeks per cohort. In addition to the pre-recorded online modules, the program will include live virtual office hours, pitch presentations, mentoring sessions, customer discovery workshops, and a final showcase event.

Derivative IP? The purpose of the Emerge Accelerator is for new ventures based around university IP to explore the benefits of making their business dual-use. NSIN is a DoD organization that exists to promote dual-use innovation. We are not asking to obtain teams’ equity or IP rights. IP considerations will be up to the parties involved for teams that make separate agreements with our DoD partners. NSIN does not speak for other DoD organizations or the DoD at large.


Please email any questions about this program to