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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

New University Program Director Hired by National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)


The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), a Department of Defense (DoD) initiative focused on creating new communities of innovators to solve defense problems, is excited to announce the appointment of its newest UM-NSIN University Program Director, Marvin D. Yates, Sr. As University Program Director, Yates will work closely with U-M faculty, students and startups to connect them with the resources and opportunities available to them through the DoD. These collaborations, shepherded by Yates, will help to build up new technologies and networks to support national security. 

Innovation Partnerships, a unit based in the Office of the Vice President for Research, will work closely with Yates and the NSIN team to facilitate connections within the innovation ecosystem to create opportunities for U-M researchers to collaboratively work on and solve national security problems. Solutions will be fostered through coursework, exposure to university resources and expertise, and the creation of ventures. 

“I am very proud to continue in my service to my country by marrying  two of my passions, working with Entrepreneurs and working with people to develop solutions to problems” said Yates about his new role. 

Yates joins the NSIN from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), where he has served as an IT project Manager and, later, the Section Chief for Internal Use Software and Internal Controls since 2012. In addition to his work with the DIA, Yates worked with ProsperUS Detroit as an Instructor in the Entrepreneurship Training Program, where he helped entrepreneurs develop and manage business start-up and operations, as well as provided ongoing mentorship. Before his work with the DSI, Yates had worked in IT for the River Rouge Savings Bank and Ford Motor Company.

Yates is also a highly involved volunteer, serving as the Chairman of the Economic Develop Corporation for the City of Melvindale, MI from 2015 to 2021. Yates has also previously been involved as a volunteer with the NSIN as a mentor for the “Into the Dataverse” hackathon at U-M in 2019, as a trainer for the H4D Educators Course in 2020, and as a participant in NSIN’s Hirethon Ambassador Program from 2021 to 2023. 

Yates earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration-Data Processing from the Detroit College of Business in 1986 and an MBA in Computer Information Systems at Baker College in 2000, in addition to a Project Management Professional certification in 2006. 

In 2021, U-M became the 14th university to partner with NSIN, joining universities like UC Berkeley and others, and was the second university in the Great Lakes region. This national collaboration has focused on strengthening the university’s efforts to partner with local industry to solve national security issues and create economic opportunity.

About the National Security Innovation Network

The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) is a collaborative system of headquarters, regional hubs and university partnerships which works to build a national network of innovators early-stage ventures to deliver programming that solves real-world, Department of Defense (DoD) problems. Headquartered in Arlington, VA, the NSIN’s mission is to “build networks of innovators that generate new solutions to national security problems.” 


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