Over 5,000 strong

TandemNSI is a national network of over 5,000 innovators and entrepreneurs are eager to tackle the nation’s toughest challenges. TandemNSI works with government agencies and the nation’s top innovators to discover new solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges.

TandemNSI has worked with DARPA, the Department of Homeland Security, Army Research Laboratory, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, the Department of Energy and many leading universities to promote higher engagement between innovators and national security research and development.

Below are examples of how the Tandem NSI program has been applied:


Innovation “tech throw downs” where national security technologies are made available for ideation and commercialization by nontraditional innovators and collaboration between innovators.  An example of this is a tech throw down undertaken with Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) in collaboration with Virginia Tech, where specific technologies available for commercialization were identified and teams competed for the most innovative application in a weekend hackathon environment.

Educational events where specific opportunities are identified and promoted to nontraditional innovators. An example is a highly successful national tour to promote the DARPA Robotics Fast Track (RFT) Program that increased monthly applications from 12 to over 180.

Shark tank/pitch events, where entrepreneurs pitch their innovation directly to representatives of national security agencies for funding.  An example of this is a cybersecurity pitch event held in Arlington, Va. that was attended by personnel from ONR, DARPA and HSARPA and resulted in a significant number of new nontraditional performers engaging with these agencies.

Presenting a consistent and persistent media presentation of an “entrepreneur-focused” activity that demystifies national security opportunities and makes them more approachable for small businesses.  For example, a number of small businesses that participate in the Tandem NSI community have applied for DARPA’s direct to Phase II SBIR initiative.