Congress

NDAA could expand funding for student startup program

team of students (SFIO CRACHO/Shutterstock.com)

The 2018 defense budget could fund a new tech training program aimed at students.

The Hacking for Defense course, launched at Stanford University in 2016, encourages undergraduates to generate solutions to real national security issues using "startup principles." Student teams engage with Department of Defense officials and are assigned to develop tech solutions and prototypes. Now, this program may be slated to grow.

An amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018, which passed the House of Representatives on July 14, would expand the program.

Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) introduced the provision that would authorize the Defense secretary to spend up to $15 million on curriculum development, training materials and codifying best practices and standards in this new academic area.  Recruitment materials to encourage veterans to use their military expertise by working with the program would also be part of the budget.

Lipinski told FCW that "in a rapidly changing battlefield where technological development and threats are growing, there is an urgent need for moving quickly, and the Department of Defense has never been known to move quickly." 

A program like Hacking for Defense, he noted, is positioned to take advantage of entrepreneurial startup sensibilities. "You're taking what's been learned and used in Silicon Valley to very quickly pivot to develop products," which will help defend the nation, Lipinski said.  

About the Author

Ben Berliner is an editorial fellow at FCW. He is a 2017 graduate of Kenyon College, and has interned at the Center for Responsive Politics and at Sunlight Foundation.

He can be contacted at bberliner@fcw.com.

Click here for previous articles by Berliner.


Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.