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Innovare Advancement Center: Collaboration and Innovation in Action

- CDT
Devvie, 1st Floor & Virtual

Karen Roth
AFRL, Chief Engineer

Ms. Karen Roth is the Chief Engineer, Information Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, NY. The Information Directorate leads the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting information technologies for air, space and cyberspace forces. It consists of more than 800 military and civilian scientists, engineers, and administrative and support personnel pursuing a wide variety of research and development projects with an annual budget of more than $1.5 billion. Ms. Roth serves as the directorate's technical engineering authority. She provides advice and counsel to the entire directorate on systems engineering and programmatic matters. In addition to her  Engineering duties, she is the Directorate lead for  open innovation and led the creation of the  Innovare Advancement Center partnership and  elevated the Information Directorate in the areas  of partnerships, entrepreneurship, and education. 

While at Sikorsky Aircraft, Ms. Roth was the security lead for the $1.2B Engineering  Manufacturing and Design contract for the Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter. Her responsibilities included the secure execution of all Information Assurance and Program Protection requirements in pursuit of an Authority to Operate on the aircraft. During her previous tenure with AFRL’s Information Directorate, Ms. Roth served as a systems engineer for several programs throughout the Directorate to include the Selective Cyber Operations  Technology Integration (SCOTI) Flagship program.


Dan Madden
Squadra Ventures, Principal, National Security

Dan Madden is Principal, national security with Squadra Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. He also serves as an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Previously Dan served in the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), the Department of Defense’s (DoD) national security technology accelerator, where he served as Mid-Atlantic Regional Director. While there he executed and oversaw many projects identifying novel solutions to national security challenges (e.g., countering disinformation, trusted AI), and promoted development of the Greater NYC defense innovation ecosystem.

Prior to NSIN, Dan served as a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, conducting capability development and campaign assessment studies for the Department of Defense. 15 of these peer-reviewed reports have been publicly released, on topics ranging from modernization needs, acquisition reform, special operations, and organizational culture.

Dan’s professional life began as an artillery officer in the United States Marine Corps. Subsequently Dan worked as military legislative assistant to the Oversight and Investigations Chair on the House Armed Services Committee. Dan also served as special assistant to an Under Secretary of Defense, where he led analysis of military personnel reforms, including a proposal that led to the expansion of maternity leave from 6 to 12 weeks for nearly 130,000 women.

Steve Colenzo
Air Force Research Lab/Information Directorate, Technology Transfer Lead

Stephen Colenzo has been with the Air Force Research Lab for 18 years and started his career in the Command and Control division and spent time with the Cyber Operations group as well as the Information Data Handling Systems group. Currently he is the Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA).

The ORTA is the Technology Transfer (T2) focal point for each directorate in the Air Force Research Lab. Technology Transfer is the process by which existing knowledge, facilities, or capabilities developed under federal research and development funding are utilized to fulfill public and private needs. In the Tech Transfer office we specialize in collaborating with state and local Governments, non-traditional businesses, and academic institutions.

Heather Hage
Griffiss Institute, President & CEO

Heather Hage is President & CEO of the Griffiss Institute, a leading national nonprofit talent and technology accelerator for the United States Department of Defense and an international network of academic, government and industry partners. Heather leads the expansion of the GI’s portfolio of DOD talent and technology development programs for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I), cyber operations, robotics, and electromagnetic spectrum research, and is leading the GI through the standup of its new R&D and incubator facilities and programs at Innovare Advancement Center. Innovare is a 150,000 square foot open innovation hub, adjacent to the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, NY, that converges world-class scientific, engineering, and entrepreneurial talent from universities, government, and industry to tackle Air Force and Space Force challenges in artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, quantum communications, and unmanned aerial systems. Innovare’s unique capabilities include access to specialized laboratories for experimentation in quantum communications and neuromorphic computing, 40,000 square feet of high-tech and high-speed communications-enabled collaboration spaces, an auditorium with capacity for over 250 people, and 50-mile drone corridor for advanced unmanned aircraft operations.

Prior to joining the Griffiss Institute, Heather served the State University of New York for 17 years in various roles, departing as Vice President for Industry and External Affairs for SUNY Research Foundation, where she was responsible for the divisions of innovation and partnerships, technology transfer, external relations, communications, economic development, affiliated corporations, strategic planning, and new ventures. Heather served as the founding Managing Director of the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund and SUNY Startup Summer School. A graduate of Hamilton College and Albany Law School, where she was Managing Editor of the Journal of Science and Technology, Heather’s professional background includes media relations, telecommunications, IP management and corporate finance. An active investor and board member, Heather is the recipient of various honors and awards, including SUNY’s 2015 Woman of Excellence award for outstanding service, exemplary support of women in leadership, and a distinguished career.

When Heather is not working, you can find her in the Adirondacks, with her family.


By natural extension of its collaborative culture and inspired by the call to action underlying the 2030 S&T Strategy, the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) has intensified its pursuit of new academic and industry partners with complementary capabilities to enable rapid performance cycles to meet the urgent demand for artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), cyber, quantum, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) solutions that enhance the United States’ national security and economic competitiveness. With support from all levels of local, regional, state, and federal government, AFRL/RI has, in parallel to advancing new partnerships, led the development of a state-of-the-art open innovation environment just “over the fence” to expand the Lab’s reach into academic, industry, and startup partners who have vastly extended the Lab’s own capabilities, leveraging diverse computing systems, chip fabrication facilities, novel university technologies, and other federal programs and venture capital investments.

This panel will explore the new Innovare Advancement Center in Rome, NY, it’s aggressive five year strategy to establish 100 new technical partners, 100 new entrepreneurial ventures, and elevate the community’s intellectual leadership in its core technical areas. The panelists represent various members of the Innovare community, to include AFRL and the Griffiss Institute and will discuss opportunities to engage in these critical National Defense areas.


Attendees (61)

Alec Longarzo
Alec Longarzo
Dcode, Director
Wayne Polatkan
Wayne Polatkan
Tuloy, Chief Executive Officer
BR
Bill Robinson
Frontier Technology Inc., Vice President
Romeo Augustine
Romeo Augustine
Mobilize VISION, Account Manager
Judy Ayala
Judy Ayala
Nueducation Inc - lT Services, CEO
Mike Grubbs
Mike Grubbs
BTRY, Co-Founder & CEO
Derek Denton
Derek Denton
MDM Wound Ventures Inc, Co-Founder & CEO
Trent Edwards
Trent Edwards
MGMWERX, Director
Sergio Gallucci
Sergio Gallucci
SCOUT Inc., CTO
SA
Steve Amos
HealthCode, CEO/Founder
TK
Todd Kirby
Fluor, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Jerry Ramey
Jerry Ramey
Mobilize VISION, CTO
Karen (KK) Krause-Bencal
Karen (KK) Krause-Bencal
Activate, VP, Defense Innovation
Matthew Schuler
Matthew Schuler
Saint Industries Inc, Chief Strategy Officer - PCADS HALO
Sophia Rodriguez
Sophia Rodriguez
Booz Allen Hamilton, Technology Infusion Leadership Team
Peter Neumann
Peter Neumann
Riverside Research, Mission Engineer
Christopher Pavel
Christopher Pavel
Western Air Defense Sector, BCC Spark Cell, Senior Enlisted Leader
Michael Williams
Michael Williams
Boeing, Principal Advanced Technologist
Ramon Sellers
Ramon Sellers
Siemens, National Federal Business Manager
Zachary and Levy
Zachary and Levy
Cognovi Labs, Managing Director
Nelson Salas
Nelson Salas
Grug Group / JetX, Founder
Tom Dougherty
Tom Dougherty
Intelligent Waves, VP software Products
Mahdi Schindelheim
Mahdi Schindelheim
GridRaster, / Head of Enterprise Sales & Strategy
Private attendees are hidden.