What is AFWERX?

AFWERX, a program office at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), connects innovators across government, industry and academia. Through innovation and collaboration with our nation’s top subject-matter experts and harnessing the power of ingenuity of internal talent, by expanding technology, talent, and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability.

In 2020, Fast Company ranked AFWERX #16 of Best Workplaces for Innovators, alongside brands such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon.

How can I get involved with AFWERX?

Whether you are from the Air Force, Industry, Academia or other military branches, start by completing this form to join our ecosystem to let us know what you can bring to AFWERX and stay in the loop on upcoming events and opportunities.

For Airmen

  • Join "The-Innovators" workspace on DoD Platform One's chat to collaborate with our network.
  • Review the resources and educational materials we've gathered on innovation.

For Industry

For Academia

  • Review how AFWERX is working with the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program to support university affilianted research and technology development. Essentially, STTR offers contracts to Research Institutions that partner with Small Businesses and provide expertise and experience to their projects.

Can I schedule a tour at AFWERX?

In an effort to minimize the spread of the COVID-19, we are not currently offering tours at any of our facilities. To learn more about the safety measures we're taking to protect the health and safety of our AFWERX community and the public, view more here.

Who does AFWERX partner with?

AFWERX has worked with small and large companies, many of the Air Force Major Commands, other service branches, and academia on various projects.

Can AFWERX fund projects?

AFWERX does not directly fund projects. What we can do is identify funding sources available to you. A couple possible sources are (SBIR) contracts for companies and Squadron Innovation Funds for Airmen.

Is there an appeal process if my idea got rejected at a Spark Tank event?

No, but you can work with your Spark Cell or MAJCOM rep to see how you can work on executing your idea. You don’t need approval to try and prototype something.

What events does AFWERX host and what are they?

Please see our events page for more details.

We have ____ technology/product in _____ industry and are seeking opportunities to do business with the Air Force. How can we do that?

Join our ecosystem, look out for challenges that we post, check SBIR/STTR campaigns.

How can I coordinate with Spark Cells?

If you want to get involved in Spark, use this map to find the Spark Cell nearest to you.

How is AFWERX being affected by the coronavirus pandemic?

In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we are taking additional safety measures to protect the health and safety of our AFWERX community and the public. Learn more here.

Fellowship FAQs

What do I gain from participating?

Gain insight into AFWERX capabilities, help shape the Air Force’s future projects and focus areas and discover innovation enablers and pathways to resources that can benefit you in your future roles in the Air Force.

Who can apply?

Any member of the Air Force or Space Force may apply to participate.

Do I need leadership approval?

Yes, If you are chosen to participate, you will need to provide verification from your Commander/Director that you are approved to participate in the cohort. Civilian members will be provided a Memorandum of Agreement to be signed by their supervisor, Commander, or Director.

Is there a required rank?

Any military or civilian member at any rank may apply.

Can I apply for more than one team?

You may select more than one team for consideration, however you will be assigned to only one team if chosen to participate.


Visit https://www.afsbirsttr.af.mil/ for Small Business Innovation Research-related questions and contact their office at usaf.team@afsbirsttr.us or call 855-855-5360.

*Note: The Air Force has removed itself from the 20.2 SBIR and 20.B STTR solicitations. View the Air Force SBIR/STTR website for more information.