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DOD Launches National Security Innovation Capital; Tex Schenkkan Quoted

The Department of Defense has unveiled a program that seeks to provide government funding to startups working on hardware technologies that could have national security and commercial applications, DOD News reported Monday.

The National Security Innovation Capital program looks for tech startups across the U.S. to help them further develop and commercialize their dual-use hardware and seeks to address the shortfall of private funding from trusted venture capital sources.

“This is an effort to protect against adversarial capital and ensure that our national security innovation base continues to be strong,” NSIC Director Tex Schenkkan said of the new DOD initiative.

Mountain View, California-based NSIC, which launched in February, is part of the Defense Innovation Unit and uses DIU’s other transaction authority to facilitate the contracting process with startups.

NSIC has secured $15 million in congressional funding and is on schedule to obligate those funds by the end of fiscal year 2021.

Schenkkan said the program has awarded prototype development contracts to several companies, including Xplore, New Frontier Aerospace, FuelX and Advanced Magnet Lab.

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