In 2020 ARLIS stood up the Intelligence and Security University Research Enterprise (INSURE), an academic research consortium to further its mission as a UARC supporting the Defense Security Enterprise (DSE) and the IC. Consortium partners are selected based on symbiotic institutional strengths, having a track record of conducting applied, quick-turn, mission-relevant R&D, and offering unique capabilities for training the current workforce and growing the workforce of the future.
INSURE has initially brought in a targeted set of six initial partner institutions: George Mason University, Howard University, Morgan State, Texas A&M University, University of the District of Columbia, and the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
These schools were brought in to expand the pool of talent and technical resources available for supporting ARLIS core competencies and to increase the agility with which higher education resources can be harnessed for national security needs.
Modeled in part on the consortium approach of the Systems Engineering Research Center UARC at Stevens Institute of Technology, ARLIS and its university partners coordinate applied and use-inspired research activities for Intelligence and Security at member institutions, aligning projects with specific DoD and IC program managers and activities. This alliance improves the translation of products into operational use and enhances the pipeline of students and faculty to work directly on technology problems for the national security community.
Spring and summer 2020 activities have included candidate member engagement (coordinating in part with the Office of the Secretary of Defense team overseeing DoD investments in HBCUs); developing consortium agreements and master subcontract agreements to administratively streamline management; proposal development and submission yielding three consortium awards in September 2020; and working to build a financial model for resourcing consortia leadership activities from 2022 onward. In the year ahead, activities will include:
- Joint program development for the member universities with the DoD/IC.
- Developing curricula for courses, training, and certificates for employees of the DoD/IC.
- Organizing an INSURE Security Research Day for legislators on Capitol Hill and a 2-day INSURE Workshop for the DoD/IC to be held at ARLIS in 2021.
- Building an inventory of shared testbeds, facilities, capability descriptions accessible to the DoD/IC via the consortium (i.e., AI V&V/T&E, computing, data curation, etc).
- Establishing a shared plan for management of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) or restricted datasets, virtualization of desktops for R&D by the consortium and Coordination of student activities across all relevant disciplines.