Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Welcome to AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force's team of innovators who encourage and facilitate connections across industry, academia, and military to create transformative opportunities and foster a culture of innovation.
Learn how you can engage with AFWERX's mission, vision, and scope for increasing partnerships during Fed Supernova 2021, and hear a special message from Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. David W. Allvin.
The novel ideas that drove the high-tech revolution — and that helped the United States build strength as a nation — were grounded in a close, mutually-beneficial relationship between the military and the commercial world. Today, those same partnerships are critical to protecting the intellectual property of American businesses and helping the country protect itself from foreign threats.
As the U.S. Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary for Contracting, Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt is helping the service reinvigorate those partnerships at the strategic level by pushing the envelope of government acquisitions and building a culture of critical thinking among the Air Force contracting community. Find out what he’s doing and why he is optimistic about the path ahead.
With a $3B science and technology program — and an additional $3B in externally funded research and development — the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is a pretty big deal. This scientific research organization is dedicated to leading the discovery, development, and integration of new technologies across the entire United States Air Force as well as for U.S. space and cyberspace forces.
Since 1997, AFRL has been partnering with NASA, DARPA, universities, commercial organizations, and others to perform experiments that push the boundaries of what’s possible. Hear from AFRL Commander Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle as she shares what AFRL is up to these days and how you can be part of their mission.
Established in 2017 by the Secretary of the Air Force, AFWERX connects innovators across government, industry, and academia to accelerate commercial technologies that can solve military problems. By harnessing the ingenuity of internal talent and creating novel programs to help small businesses, AFWERX is spearheading a new normal for military-civilian partnerships.
Join Col. Nathan Diller and Lt. Col. Rock McMillan to learn more about AFWERX and SpaceWERX, its Space Force affiliated arm, as well what these new approaches mean for the nation’s economy, for its defense, and for you.
End-user feedback is an essential part of product and software development for most companies. After all, no one knows how a tool actually performs (or should perform) better than the people who use it every day. That’s why DODx organizations are finding creative ways to bring service members directly into the military R&D process — partnering men and women in uniform with commercial innovators to solve tactical-level problems as a team.
Learn how AFWERX is driving these collaborations through its grassroots innovation program, Spark, by connecting Air Force and Space Force intrapreneurs with top problem-solvers from industry, academia, and government. With a decentralized global network, Spark is growing the Air Force’s culture of innovation while turning locally generated ideas and projects into real-world applications.
Private capital firms have been leery of investing in companies that focus on federal government work, due in part to conventional funding timelines and concerns about translating military technology to the commercial market. But that trend is shifting. In the past 5 years, companies tagged “gov tech” on Crunchbase raised nearly $2B in investment, indicating major growth — and major opportunities — in the government market.
Join AFVentures, the commercial investment arm of the Air Force, to learn how they are helping drive this shift by transforming the Air Force and Space Force into a premier early-stage “investor." By speeding timelines and offering non-dilutive funding to match private capital, AFWERX is attracting more companies as partners and accelerating commercialization of technologies that support national security.
Startups and entrepreneurs play an ever-increasing role in innovation and job creation — and in keeping the U.S. competitive amid globalization. That’s why the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was created in 1982 and why the government awards billions in non-dilutive funding through SBIR each year.
The funding is out there, but only if you know how to access it. In 2020, Capital Factory introduced a no-cost SBIR Accelerator to help companies crack the code and maximize their success when applying for SBIR topics. Come meet a few of the companies that found success in this program last year to learn more about their projects and their experiences with Capital Factory's SBIR Accelerator.
This is a MUST ATTEND. Get an update and briefing on the returns on investment on current STRATFIs of the Air Forces big collaborative opportunities. Learn more about the upcoming opportunities and how you can take advantage of these as well! You won't want to miss out on this one!
Agility Prime, the Air Force Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) program, is a giant leap forward in military thinking on new competitive markets. Through unprecedented commercial partnerships, we are leveling the playing field to support this emerging market in the U.S. But it will not be the last program of its type. Space debris remediation, quieter supersonic travel, and other frontier industries are just a few that are poised to be next.
Come hear more about the AFWERX Prime Division's mission and vision for identifying and accelerating dual-use technologies for commercial success and defense utility. We’ll share successes of the past year, detail the road to fielding an eVTOL capability by 2023, and explain how AFWERX is "franchising" the Agility Prime framework to accelerate and transition dual-use technology related to the space domain.
The global air taxi passenger mobility market is forecasted to grow from ~$1.5B in 2025 to more than $150B by 2035. And electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) lies at the core of this burgeoning market. With promises of quieter operation, fewer maintenance requirements, and lower operational costs, VCs aren’t the only ones with enhanced interest in the eVTOL industry. The military is equally focused on the electric future of vertical lift.
Join this diverse panel of speakers to learn more about the U.S. Air Force’s efforts to accelerate the eVTOL transition through dual-use development campaigns in central Texas. With a presentation followed by Q&A, you will discover the potential of this new technology to positively disrupt military operations and the urban mobility landscape alike.
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.
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
LTG Thomas Todd is Army Futures Command's chief innovation officer. He will share more about the work his team performs behind the scenes, its focus areas for the future, and how Army Futures Command sees the partnership between the Army and industry evolving to help both sides reach their goals.
Putting innovators, experts, and end-users in close contact produces results. That’s not news for the commercial market; it’s a model that industry has been refining for years. But it is a critical shift for the U.S. military — and a powerful business model that the Army Applications Laboratory (AAL) activated through its Cohort Program.
In this session, companies that have participated in AAL cohorts will take the stage alongside Army leaders and PMs to talk about how the Cohort Program works, why it works, and what it will take to scale this novel approach to solution innovation across a million-person organization. Join us to find out how this model is driving culture change and collaborative solutions for the Army.
Modular open system architectures. Shared data repositories. Computer vision. These aren't just Silicon Valley concerns. The U.S. Army uses many of the same technologies as the commercial market and has many of the same needs — from wearables to robotics, electric vehicles to mixed reality, and beyond.
In this session, technologists and leaders from across the Army will come together to offer a snapshot of their top-priority technology areas and announce opportunities for companies that may have never worked with the government to get involved.
In 2018, the US Army launched the Army Applications Laboratory (AAL) as an innovation unit embedded within Army Futures Command. Its goal: Foster opportunities to work with untapped companies that could bring dual-use technology and novel ideas to Army modernization.
Join this session to hear AAL's new director, COL Jay Wisham, discuss his observations of the defense innovation space, share what the team has achieved to date, and explain the organization's vision for the future as it works to make the Army a better business partner for small- and mid-sized companies.
Modernization is a hot topic across the government — and a central tenet of the National Defense Strategy. But it's not just about finding and applying the hottest new tech. It's also about changing how the government sources solutions from the commercial market to catch up with the speed of business and make the process less painful for everyone.
Join Anne Laurent and other contracting experts from across the Army to understand the current status of government contracting, what's already changed, and what new changes are coming to make this vision of modernization a reality.
We're bringing a special flavor to this month's AAL Ask Me Anything, in honor of Fed Supernova!
The AAL Corporate Ventures team has invited a group of Army Program Managers (PMs) to join us and answer your questions in real-time. Maybe you want to know how they buy. Maybe you're trying to figure out how to get noticed. Maybe you need to untangle the confusing web of acquisition bureaucracy. Whatever it is, join us for this special AMA to hear it straight from the people who know best.
And, if you want to learn more about AAL and how we do what we do, we'll be ready and waiting to take on those questions as well. No holds barred. No silly questions. No nonsense. That's why we're here.
The U.S. is home to some of the most groundbreaking technology ever created — technology that has changed the world. GPS. Lithium batteries. The iPhone. These are all commonplace today, but they were once the major innovations of their time. And all of these innovations can trace their roots back to the U.S. military. That’s because, for decades, the military was out in front with research and development, from WWII to the Apollo missions and beyond.
In this session, BG Stephanie Ahern will lead an informative and entertaining discussion with Army scientists, futurists, and commercial experts to explain how concepts about the future of battle influence where the Army invests today. Join us to learn more about the Army's technology roadmap and how companies with relevant solutions can become partners for the future.