The National Security Innovation Network is expanding its presence into the Midwest with the appointment of a full-time program director at Indiana University. 

The university says the partnership creates more opportunities for research projects between IU and the United States military.

The NSIN is a program office within the U.S. Department of Defense. Run by civilians, it helps to advance innovation for the nation’s defense by working with research universities, innovators and entrepreneurs.

The organization has appointed Mike Dodd as program director, which is the first appointment in the Great Lakes Region.

Dodd’s job is to work with IU faculty and students to collaborate with nontraditional problem-solvers to generate and accelerate new solutions to national security challenges.

“The addition of Mike to our team not only results in a valuable relationship with IU and the defense ecosystem throughout Indiana, but also gives NSIN a strong presence at a university with a reputation for innovation,” said Morgan Plummer, managing director at the National Security Innovation Network. “This is a critical first step into developing the Great Lakes Region, which is important to our overall strategy.”

The innovation network has 11 regional offices throughout the U.S.

IU says Dodd served with the U.S. Marine Corps for 11 years. After his military service, Dodd worked for the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, a national nonprofit with more than 3,600 members whose goal is to connect academics and nontraditional defense companies with national security programs.