Commercializing breakthrough defense technologies to solve national security problems.


The NSIN Forge program, in partnership with FedTech, matches cutting-edge U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) technologies with early-stage ventures during intensive, twelve-week cohorts. Ventures work closely with lab inventors, mentors, coaches, subject matter experts, and DoD end-users to assess the market viability and commercialization potential of the technologies. Successful ventures license the technologies and develop solutions that impact the DoD and the private sector.

What We Do

The NSIN Forge program identifies, researches, and vets cutting-edge DoD technologies developed in government laboratories, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), and University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs). We recruit the nation’s most innovative early-stage ventures who want to leverage DoD inventions to build new solutions or develop their existing ones. The Forge program brings these technologies and ventures together and provides knowledgeable instructors; access to DoD inventors and end-users; mentorship from DoD and private sector subject-matter experts; and a tailored curriculum to help the ventures succeed. Forge provides a path to commercialization for DoD lab tech and a unique opportunity for early-stage ventures to build and grow their companies.

How It Works

The Forge team will work with each venture to match them with a DoD invention they hope to commercialize. Once matched and accepted into the program, ventures will participate in a 12-week, virtual accelerator to assess commercialization potential, receive a curriculum on licensing government technology, and learn about other topics specific to their requirements. The DoD inventors of their assigned technologies will provide technical consulting, FedTech mentors will provide guidance and networking support, and NSIN will help connect them with DoD end users and subject matter experts. At the end of the cohort, ventures will present market assessment reports to the labs and compete at a “Showcase Day” live pitch event to potential customers and investors.

Calling All Startups

Forge is looking for early-stage, dual-use ventures interested in licensing government technologies:

  • Early stage: incorporated within the past three years, are pre-series A venture fundraising, and have not been awarded a government contract worth more than a total of $1,000,000
  • Dual-use: interested in developing solutions applicable to both the DoD and the commercial markets
  • Interested in licensing government technology: looking to develop new solutions based on government technology, ready to pivot to a new technology, or interested in a technology that could enhance a current solution

If you are ready to explore the possibilities of licensing government technologies to develop solutions that impact the DoD and the commercial sector, apply now!

Applicants must be incorporated in the United States.

Apply Now

Applications are required for consideration for NSIN Forge. Please complete the application on Airtable by clicking the link below. For more information, email

Apply Now

Calling All Labs

Is your invention ripe for commercialization? Do you want to see it make a real impact? Do you want to learn about the commercial marketplace and see what the private sector can do to bring your invention to the next level? If so, Forge may be the program for you.

Forge has broadened its technology pool to include all U.S. government labs (not just DoD labs), FFRDCs, and UARCs. The technology must apply to DoD requirements or DoD customer problems.

At a minimum, the inventor must have filed a provisional patent. Higher technology readiness level (TRL) technologies (≥4) with demonstrated prototypes are preferred. Inventions created within the last three years are also preferred.

Funding for the program comes from NSIN, so there is no direct cost for your lab. However, during the cohort, inventors must commit to spending at least one to two hours per week with the ventures and participate in a few weekend events, such as the kickoff Virtual Summit and final Showcase Day.

Interested lab partners should email

2023 Key Program Dates*

  • April 2023: Application Period Opens
  • April - July 2023: Q&A period Applicants can submit questions throughout the application process to
  • May 23, 2023: Forge Lunch and Learn Watch now
  • June 6, 2023: Forge Lunch and Learn Watch now
  • June 27, 2023: Forge Lunch and Learn
  • July 2, 2023: Application Deadline
  • Aug. 25 - Nov. 15, 2023: Program Cohort
  • Nov. 6, 2023: Down-select to finalists
  • Nov. 15, 2023: Final Showcase Day and Prize Competition; Select and announce winners

*Dates subject to change. All information on this page will be updated as necessary.

Intellectual Property Considerations: By participating in this competition and submitting in any of the rounds, participants are granting the US Government and its Partners permanent access to any provided presentations, videos, and white papers with the provision that the US Government and its Partners may store and copy the presentations, videos, and white papers in perpetuity. Participants will retain intellectual ownership of and publishing rights to the presentations, videos, and white papers. Excluding presentations, videos, and white papers and any material considered to be co-produced with the US Government, the US Government and its Partners agree not to share submissions with other entities, including files and tradecraft concepts.
Other Transaction Authority: This NSIN Forge public announcement is an open call to small businesses and non-traditional defense contractors seeking innovative, commercial technologies proposed to create new DoD solutions or potential new capabilities fulfilling requirements, closing capability gaps, or providing potential technological advancements, technologies fueled by commercial or strategic investment, but also concept demonstrations, pilots, and agile development activities improving commercial technologies, existing Government-owned capabilities, or concepts for broad Defense application(s). As such, the Government reserves the right to award a contract or an Other Transaction for any purpose, to include a prototype or research, under this public announcement. The Federal Government is not responsible for any monies expended by the applicant before award and is under no obligation to pursue such Other Transactions.