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Lipinski Lends Support to Innovative National Security Program

WASHINGTON--Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is leading a bipartisan group of lawmakers who are requesting the Department of Defense to include funding for the Hacking for Defense (H4D) program in its FY 2020 budget request. H4D combines the problem-solving techniques learned by members of the military in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan with Silicon Valley lean business startup methods to teach students how to solve national security challenges. 

Earlier this month, Lipinski wrote a letter to Michael Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, requesting that he support the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator, which through its university partnerships and collaboration with the H4D program, has helped create a pipeline of new technology and engineering talent focused on national security issues. Fifteen senators and representatives joined Lipinski in requesting funding for the program, which has created more than 900 new applications, concepts, or solutions provided to end-users throughout DOD.

“H4D delivers solutions directly to the warfighter, supports the rebuilding of U.S. military readiness, and advances the mission of innovation in national security,” Lipinski said. “We’re requesting that the DOD make MD5 a program of record and include funding for it in order to increase innovation in the department’s acquisition process and improve U.S. military readiness.”

H4D is modeled after the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, which has been teaching scientists and engineers the skills they need to turn their discoveries into commercial products since 2011.  As the top Democrat on the Research and Technology Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Lipinski was an early supporter of the I-Corps program and was responsible for helping it proliferate through the federal government.  It has changed how federally funded research is commercialized.  

Congress has recognized the importance of MD5 by adding more than $50 million for the program since its inception, including $15 million in the FY2019 defense appropriations bill.