A Guide to AFWERX for Airmen


AFWERX is a network of people who want to help create a better Air Force for all Airmen. There are innovators who work for AFWERX full-time, others who take on passion projects outside of their traditional jobs and tap into the AFWERX ecosystem for support, and plenty more who collaborate with us as part of their position at Air Force bases around the world.

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 Airmen is not all-inclusive, but it is a starting point for understanding the AFWERX ecosystem and how to make use of it at your units, wings, major commands, and within the Air Force as a whole.

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

Have a problem?


AFWERX employs proven methodologies in design thinking to lead warfighters from concept to deployment of their ideas. Following a study of the problem, we host problem-definition workshops prior to tapping into our network to produce creative solutions.

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Have an idea?


Spark is a decentralized network of Air Force bases around the world to execute locally generated ideas and projects.

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Spark Tank

Spark Tank is an annual event hosted at the Air Force Association’s Warfare Symposium where Airmen pitch innovative ideas to top Air Force leadership and a panel of industry experts.

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Squadron Innovation Fund

SIF was created to empower squadrons to solve problems and make incremental, cutting-edge technological improvements at their level to jumpstart new and rapid projects and preserve the lethality of the force. We created a handbook and other support resources to help guide you on how to use it.

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Air Force Ideation Platform

U.S. Air Force Ideation Platform allows for any Air Force organization to run their own challenge open to the entire Air Force. Anyone with an official Air Force or Department of Defense can create an account to submit, vote for, and comment on ideas.

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Find Solutions from Industry

AFWERX Challenge

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

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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

The SBIR program enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization by partnering with Air Force units for customer discovery purposes.

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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

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

  • Connect with our community on The-Innovators workspace chat
  • Register for the Airmen Powered by Innovation (API) Ideation Platform
  • Join our ecosystem to learn about upcoming opportunities
  • Register for our weekly vitual office hours

Ultimately, just find what sparks your interest and run with an initiative you’re passionate about. We’re here to provide resources and expertise to guide you along the way, but first--just get started.

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