IN3 Awarded Sub-agreement under Tradewind OTA to accelerate the identification, procurement of AI Technologies by the Department of Defense

BLOOMINGTON – IN3 has been awarded $2.6 million on Sub-agreement 2 to prototype a novel business process platform and portal that enhances the ability to quickly identify, acquire and deliver artificial intelligence capabilities to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

The award, from Army Contracting Command – Rock Island supporting the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), will bolster the DoD’s emphasis on rapidly delivering AI solutions in a more efficient and effective manner through the newly developed Tradewind acquisition platform. Tradewind was initially established in early 2021 with $2.5 million in initial funding awarded to IN3.

Stephen E. Kelly

“This funding speaks to the commitment to provide our warfighters with cutting-edge AI developments and underscores IN3’s ability to oversee and deliver on that commitment,” said Stephen E. Kelly, IN3 president, and CEO. “Ultimately, Tradewind will aid the defense department by streamlining the acquisition process, and this model also will create opportunities for smaller and medium-sized businesses that often have needed AI innovations but lack the ability to compete for government contracts.”

The new sub-agreement specifically provides funding to design and build the Tradewind portal and website. The portal will be constructed to support the entire program lifecycle, from project initiation through project execution and transition. The platform will be designed to be “plug-and-play” so that new tools and capabilities can be added to address government needs in the acquisition process.

Tradewind also will be committed to rigorously applying ethical principles for AI to both combat and non-combat functions, which is foundational to upholding legal, ethical, and policy commitments in the AI field.

Two primary partners with IN3 in developing the Tradewind portal are Indiana-based Third Coast Federal and Pittsburgh-based Ectobox. Third Coast Federal is helping to implement tech scouting and ecosystem management and assist with a non-traditional defense contractor and university engagement through its Federal Navigator platform. Ectobox, a software and technology consulting company, will be key a contributor in the area of program management.

David Temeles, president of Third Coast Federal

“Through our existing infrastructure, Third Coast Federal is developing AI tools to further IN3 and the JAIC’s efforts to create thorough, fast, and strong connections between the U.S. government and AI solutions providers,” said David Temeles, president of Third Coast Federal. “Specifically, our Recommendation Engine offers a scalable, accurate and reliable method for instantaneously analyzing complex problem statements while simultaneously evaluating the capabilities of an entire marketplace to identify innovators with the greatest potential to solve multidisciplinary problems.”

David Grafton

Ectobox COO David Grafton said, “Within the Tradewind platform, Ectobox will lead the development, customization, and selection of software tools to automate the acquisition process and the ability to match requirements to available technologies.”

AI applications across a wide range of economic sectors have the potential for a major impact on national security in areas including business processes, maintenance, health care, joint warfighting, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response. Tradewind is intended to engage a wide spectrum of organizations in delivering solutions for DoD missions.

The JAIC was established in 2018 to be the focal point for the DoD’s AI strategy to accelerate the scaling of AI and its impact across the department. JAIC identifies appropriate use cases for AI, rapidly pilots solutions, and scales impact across the DoD.

The Tradewind OTA Enterprise Office is operated by IN3 in conjunction with the JAIC. More information about Tradewind is available at

About IN3

IN3 (Indiana Innovation Institute) works with academia, industry, and government to create a hub of national security innovation that helps solve critical defense priorities. IN3 connects regional, state, and national partners through a variety of means including convening research and business teams to solve emerging technical challenges for the Department of Defense. IN3 is focused on hypersonics, cyber-physical systems, trusted microelectronics, and artificial intelligence. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter @IN3indiana and LinkedIn.

About JAIC

The mission of the JAIC is to accelerate the adoption and integration of AI in the Department of Defense to achieve mission impact — at scale. The JAIC serves as the focal point for the execution of the DoD’s AI strategy that supports the U.S. National Defense Strategy (2018). As the DoD center of excellence for AI, the JAIC continues to attract the best and brightest people from across government, industry, and academia to carry out its mission to transform the U.S. military through AI. Follow the JAIC on Twitter @DoDJAIC and view the DoD’s AI mission initiatives at

About Third Coast Federal

Third Coast Federal, Inc., leverages its proprietary tools, deep regional relationships, and extensive government contracting expertise to connect the Department of Defense with innovative small businesses that have the technology to solve its most pressing operational and sustainment challenges. Third Coast Federal also helps entrepreneurial businesses and regions access federal research and development funding and special government contract awards to accelerate innovation and economic development. Learn more at and follow us on LinkedIn.

About Ectobox

Ectobox is a software and technology consulting company focused on helping organizations operate more efficiently and grow. We do this by matching business goals and challenges with technology solutions to enable data-driven decision-making. We succeed by utilizing our team of technology consultants, project managers, custom software developers, and other technical experts. Learn more at