Kelly, Sinema Announce Arizona’s Selection as DoD Defense Innovation Hub
Kelly led bipartisan efforts to establish Department of Defense Mission Acceleration Centers
Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) has selected Arizona to pilot a defense innovation hub: the Southwest Mission Acceleration Center (MAC). The hub, headquartered in Phoenix, will be operated by Southwest MAC and foster development of innovative solutions to national security challenges by supporting collaboration between entrepreneurs, academia, industry, and federal and local partners. The hub will further Arizona’s standing as a defense industry leader, and act in conjunction with the Mission Acceleration Center National Network of sites across the country.
Kelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and 25-year Navy veteran, and Sinema led bipartisan efforts to establish the program and secured $50 million in funding in the FY 2023 defense spending bill. Last month, Kelly and Sinema urged DoD Director of the Defense Innovation Unit Doug Beck to quickly award funding for MACs in Arizona, Hawaii, Kansas, Ohio, and Washington.
“As we face new and dynamic national security threats, we must bring together the talent, technology, and resources to stimulate development of technologies that will keep us ahead of our adversaries,” said Kelly. “That’s why I worked to establish the Mission Accelerator Centers and am proud to see Arizona take a central role in this effort to strengthen our national security.”
“America is stronger and safer thanks to Arizona’s cutting-edge innovation and partnership with industry. Our state is the perfect home for the Southwest Mission Accelerator Center – and thanks to funding we advocated for, we’ll continue to strengthen our national security to keep families safe and secure,” said Sinema.
“MAC is designed to make the complex DoD acquisition process more accessible to entrepreneurs, academia, and industry,” said SW-MAC CEO Drew Trojanowski. “There is important work ahead, and this opportunity would not exist without the vision and leadership of Sen. Mark Kelly and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. This effort will highlight Arizona’s leadership as a catalyst for innovation locally, regionally, and nationally.”
The DoD Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) selected Arizona as one of five states where it will establish defense innovation hubs. Each state will become part of the MAC national network. As the DoD renews its focus on innovation, the MACs will facilitate collaboration with commercial and academic partners, including non-traditional vendors such as startups, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists. The five DIU-designated innovation hubs in Arizona, Hawaii, Washington, Kansas, and Ohio will receive a total of $50 million from the FY 2023 defense spending bill.