NSA Innovation Programs

We encourage any inventive company or organization that can potentially help us fight terrorism and cyber-attacks to follow the Getting Started steps and review the innovations programs described below. Check back often for the latest news about our innovations programs and contact the Office of Small Business Programs if you have questions.

Innovations Programs Benefits

NSA Innovations Programs are flexible and compatible with commercial business models and development lifecycles. NSA can act as a technology accelerator for organizations developing new and state-of-the-art technologies. Companies whose technology can handle our challenges are generally well positioned to handle the technical challenges from commercial customers.

Additionally, companies who partner with NSA as part of these programs benefit by:

  • Not having to wait until the company and its personnel are granted security clearances to engage with NSA
  • Collaborating with technical experts across the NSA enterprise
  • Learning what types of technology NSA is interested in and using prime status as a past performance indicator when pursuing future work

New threats emerge every day. Technical innovation allows NSA to continually respond to new threats. Do you have innovative solutions or groundbreaking technologies that can help to defend our nation?


IDEAS is a contracting mechanism that provides NSA with a flexible way to leverage innovative technologies developed by industry partners and academia. This is a new unclassified program launched by NSA in November 2018 is open to all companies and academia, regardless of size of type, and focuses of basic and applied research, concept exploration, and capability demonstration.

On a periodic basis, NSA will post technical challenge problems to the NSA Acquisition Resource Center (ARC) website, as well as an announcement to registered companies and academia containing specific details describing that particular challenge problem and what they need to do to participate. This program can result in a firm fixed price contract valued at up to $2M, with a maximum duration of 12 months of performance, depending on the proposed solution and the Agency's intended use. Small business set aside contacts may also be considered on a case-by-case basis.