SBIR for Airmen


Partner with industry to tackle your biggest pain points

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides a way for you to partner with a startup or small business, run an experiment to tailor their product or service to your mission set without needing to commit unit funds, and exchange new, innovative ideas with brilliant minds across the U.S.

Any Airman who has identified a clear problem and determined that partnering with a company will support their next steps are welcome to use SBIR as a pathway to achieving their goals.

“We’re actually trying to solve problems that matter.

By creating an environment where service members of all ranks and career fields can engage rapidly and openly with thought leaders and solution providers, we’re setting the foundation for building the Air and Space Forces we need.

- Maj. Tony Perez, AFWERX Spark lead

Innovation Stories

AFIMSC innovation project receives $3 million award

The Air Force presented a $3 million Small Business Innovation Research program award to an Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center innovation project to use drones and machine learning to revolutionize how the Air Force Civil Engineer Center collects data for its environmental mission.

Airmen, companies tackle mission pain points during AFWERX Spark Collider

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.

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.

How to Leverage the SBIR Program

Browse Companies

If you're interested in partnering with a SBIR company to see if their product or service aligns with your mission, review the list of companies on contract here.

Contact us at to be connected with any of the listed companies.

Submit Your Problem

We collect problem statements from Airmen via the Airmen Powered by Innovation Ideation Platform to help you find a SBIR company that would best fit your area of interest.

Individuals who submit their problem statments must be willing to share their contact information and work with companies in order to ensure an appropriate fit.

Partner with a Company for a Trial Run

To officially partner with a SBIR company, you must complete a Customer Memorandum to work with them before you both can move on to the second phase of the process--a trial with the Air Force funded through the SBIR program.

The most updated memo template will be included on the company's list of application requirements during the next cycle of the year, which will be found here.

Events: Industry Customer Discovery

Spark Colliders

These are in-person and virtual events that provide Airmen the opportunity to learn more about contracting pathways like SBIR and pitch their problem statments to potential solution providers. Check back on our events page to hear about upcoming Spark Colliders.

Get Connected

For more information and help along the way, attend our weekly Department of Defense-only webinars, join our chat group, or reach out to us at