Innovative and entrepreneurial students urged to apply for a new program to help Hawai`i’s military; DEADLINE 2/29/2020

In a continuing effort to further stimulate the commercialization of technology and innovation developed across its ten-campuses, the University of Hawai`i System (UH System) is encouraging its students to apply for the new X-Force Program 2020 Summer Cohort run by the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN).  The program runs from June 1 to August 31, 2020 and applications must be submitted by February 29, 2020.  The application and more information can be found at

The NSIN X-Force Program offers graduate and undergraduate students with U.S. citizenship an opportunity to help solve real-world national security problems in collaboration with the U.S. military.  The program is looking for individuals with a diverse set of skills ranging from mobile and web app development, data analysis and visualization, hardware prototyping, social media strategy and technology scouting.

In the pilot cohort program last year, 15 military problem sponsors worked with 43 students from Duke University, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, the University of Virginia, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of North Georgia, Florida Polytechnic University, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Colorado Boulder, California State University, and the University of California San Diego.

“We are excited about our students having this opportunity to participate with the NSIN X-Force Program and to serve their country,” said Steve Auerbach, interim director of the UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization/Office of Technology Transfer.  “The program complements our existing Innovation Impact Challenge programs to create industry partnerships that inspire cross-disciplinary collaboration, address workforce development, and foster the development of novel and innovative ideas and solutions for challenges facing Hawai`i and beyond.”

Currently, there are two versions of the X-Force Program.  The X-Force Fellowship is a full-time, in-person paid summer program at a nearby military installation or military sponsor location. Fellows will be paid a stipend of around $2,500 per month and have a small budget for materials and other expenses related to product delivery to their sponsor. The X-Force Remote is a part-time, volunteer opportunity where participants will work remotely and collaborate with their team or military sponsor.  Volunteers are expected to work five to 10 hours per week, based on their availability.

“The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s College of Engineering is keenly aware of this unique opportunity and we are strongly encouraging our students to engage,” said Dean Brennon Morioka. “With our existing industry relationships and as a workforce pipeline for installations like Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, the X-Force Program is a natural fit for our graduate and undergraduate students to employ their engineering skills to help solve problems for the Department of Defense here in the islands.”


About National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)

The National Security Innovation Network (previously named the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) program office under the Defense Innovation Unit that seeks to create new communities of innovators to solve national security problems. NSIN partners with national research universities and the venture community to reinvigorate civil-military technology collaboration. As opposed to making investments in specific technologies, government research and development programs, or startups, NSIN focuses on human capital innovation – i.e., developing and enabling innovators and human-centered networks to solve national security problems. In support of this mission, NSIN provides tools, training, and access to DoD assets that enable entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to develop and commercialize high potential products in the national interest.

About the UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization/Office of Technology Transfer

The Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) is responsible for the management of intellectual property and technology assets developed at all 10 campuses within the University of Hawai‘i System and the transfer and translation of new technology to broader public use. The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) and UH Ventures are housed within OIC. OIC also has oversight of the innovation and entrepreneurial (iE) programs across the UH System, including: UH Ventures Accelerator, Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE), iLab, the innovation playground at the center of UH Mānoa campus and the Mānoa Innovation Center (MIC) incubator.

About the UH Mānoa College of Engineering

The College of Engineering at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa offers Bachelor of Science degrees in civil, electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering.  It also offers Master of Science degrees in civil, electrical, mechanical and construction engineering. The PhD program offers degrees in civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering.  Currently, the College has awarded more than 10,000 degrees since 1912.