A Guide to AFWERX for Academia


AFWERX serves as a pathway between Airmen and innovative ideas and technologies both inside and outside the Air Force. We support the mission of making the Air Force more innovative by uncovering ideas and opportunities to improve the service, connecting ideas with legitimate solutions, and transitioning tools to the warfighter.

Because AFWERX is fueled by people with a diverse set of skills, passions and roles in the Air Force, the list of initiatives and resources we have access to is always growing. The following outline of resources for academia is not all-inclusive, but it is a starting point for understanding the AFWERX ecosystem and how to approach working with the Air Force.

We’re ultimately a network of people who want to help create a better Air Force for all Airmen and part of that requires us to partner with innovative minds from academia.

Want to learn more about how you can get involved? Skip to the end for next steps.

Opportunities to work with the Air Force

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

The SBIR program’s counterpart, Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), is an opportunity for university teams (undergraduate, graduate, doctorate, post-doctorate, faculty/staff) that have formed companies and partnered with a university or non-profit entrepreneurial development organizations to do business with the Air Force.

Learn more.

AFWERX Challenges

AFWERX Challenge is the combination of the defense, academic, startup, private sector and small business worlds to collaborate through challenges and live events.

Learn more.


Innovation Hubs

AFWERX has three hubs located in Las Vegas, NV, Austin, TX, and Washington, D.C., that each play a different role in the ecosystem.


AFWERX Fusion is a two-day showcase hosted by AFWERX to bring together military with industry, academia, and investors to collaborate and solve some of the service’s most pressing issues.

Spark Collider

Spark Colliders serve as an opportunity for Airmen to connect with Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) companies and learn about additional resources available to them to make their ideas a reality.

Learn more.

Get Involved

Below are some actions you can take today to help us build a smarter, faster Air Force.

Check out our additional guides to the AFWERX ecosystem for Airmen and industry.