The Mission Acceleration Center (MAC) opened its doors on Oct. 29 in Seattle, Washington, at 999 3rd Ave. Suite 3300, to provide the Pacific Northwest’s academic, venture, and startup communities with a single entry point to Department of Defense (DoD) innovation organizations and venture capital firms. The MAC will serve as the region’s center of gravity for acceleration of defense technology innovation and expand the national security network by drawing in new, non-traditional problem solvers.
The MAC is the first hub that will create proximity between government rapid acquisition tools and private-sector funding opportunities to accelerate solutions for commercial and military applications. Founding organizations include: the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), NavalX Northwest Tech Bridge, Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC), and Impact Washington. The MAC will be operated by Impact Washington and PNDC.
Left to right: Eric Yates, Johannes Schonberg, Denise Ryser, Capt. Jon Moretty, Congressman Rick Larsen, Dave Nierescher, Justin Dunnicliff, Deloit Wolfe
MAC leaders held a ribbon-cutting event for 80 people, which included U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen (Wash., 2nd district) of the House Armed Services Committee; Capt. Jon Moretty, Commanding Officer of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Keyport; Col. Dan Brewer, Chief of Staff at the Washington Military Department; Glenn Carpenter, Deputy District Director for Congressman Adam Smith (Wash., 9th district); Deloit Wolfe, President of Impact Washington and the Director of MAC; Anna Reyes-Potts, Board Member of the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition; Tiffany Scroggs, Program Director at the Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center; Francois Baneyx, Vice Provost for Innovation at the University of Washington; and Sam Gray, Executive Director of Silicon Valley Defense Group.
“The Mission Acceleration Center will provide further opportunities for our region to be even more competitive to help our institutions and our industry, especially small businesses, navigate the federal procurement process [and] access critical funds for research and technology,” said Congressman Larsen about the opportunity created by the MAC to enable deeper collaboration between government, industry and academia to solve intractable national security challenges.
NSIN’s Acting Director of Operations Matt Merighi added, “By further accelerating the adoption of novel technologies for U.S. strategic advantage, the MAC will be the long overdue catalyst for engaging Seattle’s vibrant ventures, its skilled startups, and its tier-one technologies. The MAC’s success will shore up the DoD’s research, modernization, and innovation efforts in the Pacific Northwest. It will also lead to better outputs for local industry, the DoD, and the taxpayer.”
NSIN University Program Director at the University of Washington, Justin Dunnicliff, described the conception of the MAC, which led to this day:
“Less than a year ago, Seattle’s national security innovation members and the local venture community began collaborating on a weekly call. During these calls, we determined that each organization wanted to accomplish the same thing by activating the Pacific Northwest ecosystem to solve problems. We conceptualized the Mission Acceleration Center as a means of creating a single point of entry for industry, venture capital, and academia to grow closer to and better access the defense community.”
Dunnicliff, who will be a regular fixture in the MAC’s offices, will advise academia, ventures, and startups on pathways to solve DoD problems and secure funding for dual-use solutions.
The MAC kicks off its programs the week of Nov. 8. Some of the center’s inaugural NSIN programs include: Starts, Bootcamp, Hacking for Defense (H4D), Hacks, and X-Force. Additionally, the joint partners at the MAC plan to host reverse pitches, problem curation activities, industry engagement days, and provide education opportunities for businesses interested in working with the federal government.
Discover more MAC events on their website: https://pnwmac.org.
Contact Justin Dunnicliff at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in scheduling an interview with MAC staff or touring the center.
The Mission Acceleration Center enables a broad representation of the Department of Defense, including each of the respective innovation, research, and acquisition organizations as well as warfighters in need of solutions, to connect to the Seattle academic, startup, and venture capital communities for the purposes of accelerating defense technology innovation. Through this network, MAC expands dual-use solutions for economic development and national security in the commercial and military sectors.
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.
NavalX serves the Navy and Marine Corps as an innovation and agility cell, supporting and connecting initiatives across the Department of Defense. It connects teams with tools, training, and resources - enabling people to think differently and deliver more effective solutions to the warfighter. NW Tech Bridge is an off-base facility to support rapid collaboration, workshops, and problem-solving events, including extensive academic and industry collaboration with top-tier research and training institutions such as Washington State University (WSU), University of Washington (UW) and UW Tacoma, Western Washington University, and Olympic College.
The Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC) is the non-profit business trade association for Pacific Northwest defense and security industry businesses. It strengthens its members by bringing more defense and security contracts to the Pacific Northwest and by supporting the supply chain for these companies. By doing this, PNDC helps create, grow, and diversify business development opportunities for a wide range of Oregon and Washington companies. PNDC’s 300+ member companies range from large Fortune-100 companies to small-machine shops that support the supply chain in aerospace, unmanned systems, advanced manufacturing, tactical equipment, information technology, maritime defense, homeland security, space exploration, and more.
Impact Washington leverages university resources, government relationships, and economic development partnerships to provide excellence in training, consulting, and customer service. Funded through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Impact Washington is the official representative of the MEP National Network in Washington State. Impact Washington can help you connect with this unique public-private partnership that delivers comprehensive, proven solutions to U.S. Manufacturers, fueling growth and advancing U.S. manufacturing.