Sending Office: Honorable Daniel Lipinski
Support Hacking for Defense and the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator
Current cosigners (9): Lipinski, Panetta, Jackson Lee, Jeffries, Austin Scott,
Meeks, Sen. Moran, Sen. Coons, Sen. Gillibrand
Please join our bipartisan, bicameral effort to support
Hacking for Defense (H4D) and the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator (MD5). H4D is a university course developed by U.S. military combat veterans and taught at universities around the country in which students apply cutting-edge
research and problem-solving techniques to real-world security problems provided by Defense and Intelligence Agencies. MD5, which oversees H4D, is a DOD program that brings civilians, military personnel, and academics together to apply lean startup methodology
to rapidly solve challenging national security problems.
Congress has recognized the importance of MD5 and H4D by adding funding support through appropriations every year, beginning in 2016. However, the DOD has never included funding for these programs in the President’s Budget Request, resulting in a fluctuating
funding level. The enclosed letter, with bipartisan cosigners, requests that MD5 (including H4D) be made a program of record and that continued funding be included in the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request.
The national security innovation and entrepreneurial education programs run by MD5, such as H4D, are proven and effective tools for strengthening our national security innovation workforce, developing innovative solutions to some of our most pressing national
security challenges, rapidly deploying new and vital capabilities to America’s warfighters, and exposing new generations of students to career opportunities in national service.
Please join me in this bipartisan, bicameral request to create greater budgetary certainty for MD5 and H4D Please contact Joel Creswell in my office (Joel.Creswell@mail.house.gov, or 5-5701) with questions
or to sign on.
Daniel W. Lipinski
Member of Congress
The Honorable Michael D. Griffin
Undersecretary of Defense for
Research and Engineering
3010 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-3010
Dear Undersecretary Griffin:
We write to you in your role as head of Pentagon research and development to encourage you to support innovative programs such as the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator (MD5). As you are aware, the new National Defense Strategy prioritizes
the reform of the Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition process to drive technology development and innovation, and MD5 is an important component of that effort.
Since its founding in 2016, MD5 has helped expand the defense innovation workforce by facilitating collaboration between civilian and military personnel, their counterparts in academia, and high-technology firms. The program has created or supported
numerous ventures relevant to both national security and high-potential civilian applications, including over 900 new applications, concepts, or solutions provided to end-users throughout DOD. Its university partnerships, including through its collaboration
with the Hacking for Defense (H4D) program, have helped create a pipeline of new technology and engineering talent focused on national security challenges. Developed by U.S. military combat veterans and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, H4D delivers solutions
directly to the warfighter, supports the rebuilding of U.S. military readiness, and advances the mission of innovation in national security. MD5 continues to provide tools, training, and access to innovators outside the Department who provide new ideas, talent,
Congress has recognized the importance of MD5 by adding over $50 million for the program since its inception, including $15 million in the Fiscal Year 2019 defense appropriations bill. In recognition of its alignment with DOD strategy and its
strong support in Congress, we request that DOD make MD5 a program of record, including Hacking for Defense, and include funding for it in the Department’s submission to the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request. We also request that you allocate an
appropriate number of government civilian billets for MD5 to help ensure that the program makes the most effective use of its appropriated funds.
Thank you for your attention to this issue. We look forward to working together to increase innovation and agility in the DOD acquisition process and improve U.S. military readiness.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0