New National Security Partnership Benefits Florida’s State University System and Talent Pipeline

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A new partnership between the State University System of Florida, the National Security Innovation Network and the Florida Defense Alliance, an organization within Enterprise Florida, gives students real-world opportunities to develop innovative solutions to national security challenges. Additionally, the partnership will strengthen the talent pipeline for government and industry.

NSIN is a program of the U.S. Department of Defense and a problem-solving network that adapts to the emerging needs of those working to preserve national security.

This agreement, the first collaboration for NSIN with a state university system, will encourage and promote defense liaisons, applied research, mentorships, and student/faculty engagement within the defense and national security arena.

“This Memorandum of Understanding is an excellent opportunity for our 12 institutions to support an industry critical to the state of Florida,” said Syd Kitson, chair of the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida. “By preparing our graduates for the types of issues and real-world problems facing the defense industry, we build a dynamic talent pipeline for Florida that fosters innovation and problem-solving.”

Among student projects that are underway include:

  • Helping the U.S. Army 44th Medical Brigade at Ft. Bragg build an app to more accurately track medications ( University of Central Florida );
  • Developing streamlined communication tools for squadron commanders to access mission-critical data effectively ( Florida Polytechnic University );
  • Developing machine learning models that use data from sonobuoys to improve the Navy’s ability to track submarines ( Florida Atlantic University ).

NSIN will hire a University Program Director who will report to the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, the first program director ever assigned to an HBCU institution.

The agreement also formalizes and expands existing FDA relationships while addressing one of the Governor’s goals for military and defense organizations: to create a ready workforce that fills critical defense industry jobs and supports our installations with equipment and solutions.

“The signing of this MOU and ground-breaking program is great news for Florida,” said Jamal Sowell, Florida Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida President & CEO. “Florida’s military and defense industry is a key economic driver for the state. Enterprise Florida and the FDA will continue to create opportunities, working with our partners, to support Florida’s military installations and strengthen Florida bases.”

UCF Board of Trustees Chair Beverly Seay played an important role establishing the partnership as the NSIN southeast region’s senior advisor.

Contact: Renee’ Fargason, State University System of Florida, 850-245-9724, [email protected]

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SOURCE State University System of Florida

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