NSIN and its partner ACME General Corp., a defense innovation acceleration firm, founded Compass to identify, explore, and accelerate cutting-edge technologies that support emerging DoD needs- including military base energy resilience and secure spectrum management.
The startups participating in Compass represent diverse ideas and unique technical expertise from states often overlooked for engagement by the defense community.
The inaugural Compass cohort - operating from ACME’s Morgantown, West Virginia office - will leverage their existing commercial solutions, and through engagements with stakeholders and Airmen end-users, the ventures will better understand how they can modify their technology for military systems and adapt their technology for military personnel.
“ACME is pleased to be selected to design and operate the Compass program for NSIN,” said David Bonfili, chief executive at ACME General Corp. “We believe in the mission of finding non-traditional companies in non-traditional places and empowering these innovators with the tools to build national security successes for NSIN partners throughout DoD.”
At the end of the program, Compass participants will present a final concept design to stakeholders. The presentations will explain the relevance of the technology for the military, and adaptation strategies of the solution for the military. The startups will also review risks and limitations of their solution and a detailed plan for building a demonstrable prototype.
MEET THE INAUGURAL COMPASS COHORT
- Xtremis, LLC (Nashville, Tenn.)— Xtremis, LLC develops technologies that help high-performance users get the most out of their wireless services through improved spectrum management and dynamic control of radio frequency (RF) devices. Anchored at Vanderbilt University, the Xtremis products capitalize on ground-breaking spectrum and RF device research that won two Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) challenges. The company anticipates emerging from stealth-mode with a public product launch in early 2022.
- eCamion (Birmingham, Ala.)— eCamion builds battery energy storage systems (BESS). Between headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama and Toronto, Canada, it’s the first company to install BESS on a global distribution network. eCamion’s technology utilization includes a range of operations such as large-scale BESS implementations for North American power utilities, BESS deployments, and, in partnership with leading automotive manufacturers, support for ultra-fast electric vehicle recharging. eCamion is currently launching its first large-scale production facility to support wide-scale use of its technologies in distribution networks, electric vehicle recharging stations, and complex multi-building installations.
- Hyperion Technology Group, Inc. (Tupelo, Miss.)— Hyperion Technology Group, Inc., is an employee-owned small business headquartered in Tupelo. The organization leverages diverse expertise and a strategic, cross-disciplined approach to research, development, manufacturing, and professional services to advance engineering solutions using integrated technologies. Its work culminates in viable outcomes such as integrated multi-modal sensors that utilize acoustics and electro-optic technologies for a variety of users in the defense, commercial, and academic domains. In addition, Hyperion is strategically building teams in emerging technologies for power, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation. The teams, combined with the Hyperion’s in-house manufacturing facilities, offer a wide spectrum of proven capabilities and real results.
- Osazda Energy, LLC (Albuquerque, N.M.)— Osazda Energy, LLC is providing materials for engineering solutions to improve solar cell and solar module reliability with special metal-matrix composites, which are proven to electrically bridge stress-induced cracks that self-heal to regain electrical continuity. By incorporating nanomaterials into solar cell metallization, Oszada Energy is increasing the crack-tolerant performance of solar cells and virtually eliminating the major, long-term degradation challenge for all solar modules.
- SciTech, LLC (Morgantown, W. Va.)— SciTech, LLC is an alternative, intelligent power-generation solution for innovations targeting optimized performance and reduced fuel consumption. Its technology, which can run on multi-fuel or hydrogen, can integrate with climate systems to support further energy efficiency.
THE COMPASS POINTS TOWARDS THE FUTURE
Over the next two months, the cohort will use its technical expertise to shape defense innovation in energy and radio technology verticals with military partners. During that time, the ventures will engage with DoD mission partners and ACME General Corp. experts to help guide their technology, modify their solutions to meet DoD needs and help adjust their strategies to overcome the burdensome DoD acquisition process. In mid-December, the cohort will demonstrate their solutions for dual-use national security and commercial applications to DoD partners and stakeholders for potential opportunities for further partnerships and development at a concluding cohort showcase event.
“After they participate in the cohort, Compass seeks to have its companies apply for further funding support from the government, and/or find opportunities to field test their solutions to further refine their respective offerings so they may transition to active use within the DoD,” said Abi Desjardins, acceleration portfolio director at NSIN. “Additionally, the cohort will remain within the NSIN network and be exposed to further NSIN opportunities as they emerge.”
At the end of Compass, the ventures will have the resources and support to successfully accelerate their ideas and innovation into the defense network.
The National Security Innovation Network is a program of the U.S. Department of Defense that collaborates with major universities and the venture community to develop solutions that drive national security innovation. We operate three portfolios of programs and services: National Service, Collaboration, and Acceleration. Together, these portfolios form a pipeline of activities and solutions that accelerate the pace of defense innovation.
With a focus on clients’ most pressing problems, ACME General Corp. leverages decades of experience as warfighters, researchers, investors, and entrepreneurs to drive rapid innovation in the national security space from its offices in New York, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia. Through an array of services, ACME bridges the gap between government problem holders & non-traditional solvers, helping to inform and de-risk the development of concepts and requirements, & delivering game-changing solutions for end users on time and at cost. More information can be found at **https//acmegeneral.com.