Solving Air Force problems with small business ingenuity
AFWERX, in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory and National Security Innovation Network, developed the Small Business Innovation Research “Open Topics,” to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and transition rate of the existing SBIR program.
SBIR enables the Air Force to develop and adopt commercially viable innovations as integrated program components or operationally effective commercial off-the-shelf solutions while providing a competitive edge to the U.S. entrepreneur and technology ecosystem.
Using a three-phased approach to partnering with U.S. businesses with less than 500 employees, we’re able to trial and transition potentially game-changing solutions Air Force problems.
- Phase I - Feasibility Study: Using SBIR funds, small businesses receive fixed price contracts to assess the application of their commercial concepts and technologies to the Air Force’s mission needs.
- Phase II - Trial with the Air Force: This phase provides a higher dollar contract using SBIR funds to develop a prototype or execute a demonstration according to the Air Force end-user’s needs. Private and program fund-matching options can help drive up the SBIR investment.
- Phase III - Transition: From the moment a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR contract, companies are eligible for sole source government contracts. Once a company has proven value, unit or program dollars can be used to purchase their product or service, continue technology development or integration, or use it as an independent program of record.
Several barriers to working with the Air Force have been removed or mitigated for this program, to include a shorter application process, an accelerated contract award, and a shorter period of performance.
Since the introduction of the Open Topic in late 2018 through August 2019, we have received more than 2900 submissions, awarded more than 900 contracts worth a combined total of approimately $220 million.
Rapid acquisition leads to rapid success for Air Force small business partner
Rapid success in contracting has earned Air Force representatives an invite to the opening of the Nasdaq Stock Market July 3 in New York City.
Airmen, companies tackle mission pain points during AFWERX Spark Collider
Over the span of two days, more than 150 Airmen representing 50 bases and 200 entrepreneurs representing 100 Small Business Innovation Research Phase I companies joined together to see which missions could match up to an associated business product.
Pro Bowl awards 190 SBIR contracts in 10 days
a group of 20 hand-picked contracting officers issued 190 Small Business Innovation Research contracts worth a combined total of approximately $73 million in a little over one week during an event called Pro Bowl at AFWERX Austin
USAF pays first startup using GPC
The Air Force facilitated it’s first transfer of funds to a startup company with a government purchase card following the issue of a $59,994 Small Business Innovation Research contract on Feb. 2, 2019.
Dyess Airman attends AFWERX innovation event, receives $125,000 for project
Tech. Sgt. Cynthia Ward, 7th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment support section NCO in charge, attended an AFWERX inaugural Spark Collider event in Austin, Texas, Aug 14, 2019, where she received $125,000 to work on a project that encompasses building an automated AGE tracking system.
Gunfighter Spark Cell explores new ideas, promotes innovation
Several innovative ideas that support Gunfighter mission execution are closer to becoming a reality thanks to the first Gunfighter Spark Cell problem curation workshop.