MD5, the National Security Technology Accelerator, promotes civil-military industry collaboration and venture creation through the development of human-centered networks.


  • Promote entrepreneurship and innovation as key elements of Department of Defense (DoD) workforce development
  • Build venture-led, dual-use products that provide a sustainable competitive advantage
  • Leverage human-centered networks to develop technology domain awareness
  • Prototype and scale innovative business practices and problem-solving techniques

Key Programs

  • Hacking for Defense (H4D) – Engaging universities to solve real-world national security problems using the Lean Launchpad methodology
  • JIDO Hackathon (Joint Improvised Device Threat Organization) – object recognition algorithms for use on small, commercial unmanned systems to detect improvised explosive device (IED) components in real environments.
  • MD5 Hack – 54-hr hackathons bringing together civilian and military innovators to build prototypes that address national security challenges
  • – Web-based collaboration and crowdsourcing platform
  • FedTech – Lab-to-market tech commercialization program that facilitates the development of startups in the national interest
  • MD5 Labs/Proof of Concept Centers – Prototyping and experimentation resources for advanced capabilities

Fast Facts

  • Established in May 2015
  • Creates and implements education, collaboration, and acceleration programs that enhance innovation capacity
  • Operated through the National Defense University in partnership with a network of national universities