NDIA Releases Report on STEM Engagement with Minority-Serving Institutions

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ARLINGTON, VA – NDIA on November 8 released a report that looks at the the barriers and incentives for strengthened collaboration between Minority Serving Institutions, the Department of Defense, and the defense industrial base.  


The report, “Strengthening STEM Engagement with Minority Serving Institutions: Increasing Collaboration Across the Department of Defense, Industry, and Academia,” is the outcome of a workshop held in May 2023 in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Air Force and NDIA’s Science & Engineering Technology Division.


“The Pentagon, defense industry, and Congress have all made efforts to strengthen the partnerships established between the national security community and Minority Serving Institutions. By supporting MSIs, the U.S.’ science and technology enterprise is expanding the pool of information, people, and infrastructure – all of which enhances our ability to develop new capabilities,” said NDIA’s Executive Director, Dr. Arun Seraphin. “This workshop report includes actionable recommendations that could be taken in the near term to increase engagement with these institutions.”


The report found that there is a need for the Defense Department and the DIB to bring coherence to activities already underway while building a joint strategy to shape future initiatives.


Recommendations include:

  • The DoD should use contract language that enables industry to more flexibly hire entry-level personnel and recent graduates; other include:
  • The defense industrial base should sponsor participation by faculty and students in appropriate technical conferences and scientific, technical and industry associations.
  • Defense firms should create a working group consisting of companies who want to partner more with minority-serving institutions.
  • The Defense Department should create a working group that consists of industry, government and academia representatives to continue discussing the identification and the elimination or alleviation of those barriers for STEM students enrolled at such institutions.

The report can be accessed here




The Emerging Technologies Institute was founded in 2021 to provide leadership, bolster public awareness and create independent, reliable research about the technologies critical to our nation's economy and national defense. Staffed by researchers and subject matter experts and backed by a preeminent advisory board, ETI focuses on the modernization priorities that integrate cutting-edge technological advancements in the private sector with the DOD’s future warfighting needs.



Topics: Government Policy, STEM

About NDIA

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA and its members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training, and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations, and events. For more information, visit NDIA.org