NSIN Propel enables the development of next-generation applications of emerging dual-use technology for government and defense.

The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), in partnership with Decisive Point and Newlab, presents NSIN Propel enabling the development of next-generation applications of emerging dual-use technology for government and defense. As a center of gravity for the Department of Defense (DoD) innovation community in the Mid-Atlantic region, the program supports early-stage ventures with commercial applications to develop practical acquisitions, knowledge, and capacity necessary for success in the federal market.

NSIN Propel is collaborating with the Rome, New York-based Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate—the premier research organization for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) and Cyber technologies—to recruit companies new to the defense sector with technology solutions that can be adapted to address the needs of both the AFRL and the broader DoD community. The cohort of early-stage ventures engaged in the program will deliver safety, resiliency, and agility to National Security initiatives across the focus areas described below.

Who Should Apply?

Early-stage ventures seeking an opportunity to expand into the federal market based on their technologies that have been developed for commercial applications. Specifically, companies working across sectors including but not limited to:

  • Smart Cities / Urban Tech
  • Mobility
  • Industrial Automation & Manufacturing
  • Logistics & Supply Chain Management
  • Space

The application period for this opporutnity is closed.


Investment & Exposure

  • Access to Newlab and Decisive Point’s investor network
  • Exposure to new federal and corporate partners

Build & Pilot

  • Support from Newlab, Decisive Point, and AFRL to adapt your commercial technology to fit current defense technology needs and scale with established federal procurement opportunities
  • Dual-use programming to include customer discovery with a diverse set of subject matter experts and the tools to transition technology to the federal market
  • Community & Space
  • Access to $5M in on-site prototyping resources and product realization team; 84,000 sq ft industrial workspace, private 5G network, and compute testbed infrastructure in the 300-acre Brooklyn Navy Yard
  • Access to the Newlab flagship location and peer community of 170+ companies scaling transformative technology
  • Engage leading industry, venture, and academic experts through curated roundtables and meetings

Key Dates

  • Open Call Info Sessions: March 28 and April 12
  • Applications Due: May 3
  • Startups Selected: May
  • Startups in Program: June - September
  • Demo Day: September

Real-time Data to Decisions

Processing and data analysis to inform decision-making and build AI trust. Relevant solutions may include sensor fusion and intelligence, synthetic data, leading to engines that drive recommendation systems and orchestration platforms on the edge.

Advanced Computing

Systems that enable AI/ML at the edge. Solutions may include applied nanotechnology, reduction of compute cost and form factors, or integration of biomimicry or neuromorphic computing.

Communication & Connectivity

Network protocols for reliable information sharing on intermittent networks and optimization of network architectures. Technologies that establish agile and resilient communications which can include hardware, software or protocols solutions.

Next Generation Space

Solutions for improving situational awareness, predictive knowledge, and characterization of objects in and from space. Innovation for object detection, imagery and sensing leveraging the advantages of space and associated advanced infrastructure.


This NSIN Propel 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.

This NSIN Propel Open Call Announcement is considered to have potential for further efforts that may be accomplished via FAR-based contracting instruments, Other Transaction Authority (OTA) for Prototype Projects 10 USC 4003 and Research 10 USC 4002, Prizes for advanced technology achievements 10 USC 4065, and/or Prize Competitions 15 USC 3719. The public open call announcement made at https://www.decisivepoint.com/accelerator, https://newlab.com/studios/nsin-propel/, https://www.nsin.mil/propel-2022/, website is considered to satisfy the reasonable effort to obtain competition in accordance with 10 USC 4065(b), 15 USC 3719 (e) and 10 USC 4003 (b)(2). Any FAR-based actions will follow announcement procedures per FAR 5.201(b) accordingly.