In an era of great power competition, our squadrons, more than ever, are the heartbeat of the Air Force. To foster innovation at the level of command that makes the greatest impact, Secretary Heather Wilson and General David L. Goldfein initiated a second year of Squadron Innovation Funds (SIF) for fiscal year 2019 so commanders can tackle their most pressing readiness and national-security challenges. In keeping with previous guidance, we must continue to THINK BIG, start small, and Scale Fast.
THINK BIG. Cultivating innovation at the edge not only resolves local challenges but also leads to revolutionary concepts and capabilities that will shape our future. This kind of innovation happens when any Airman, at any level, can drive capability development, organizational problem-solving, and policy or process changes. We create this environment when leaders are willing to squint with their ears, units and higher headquarters adopt a learning culture, and everyone embraces experimenting and failing productively until we succeed. start small. You have a problem that you face in your unit. We want to see you test out these ideas, and your Squadron Commanders have the funds to make it happen. We want you to come up with a minimum viable product. We want you to test and validate solutions at your unit. We want this to happen in weeks and months to increase both readiness and national security in our mission.
Scale Fast. Over this past year, you and your squadrons have done a superb job learning, sharing, and connecting as you executed SIF. We recognize cross-functional teams—across squadrons, wings, higher headquarters, and beyond—were a major contributor to innovation successes. To facilitate this kind of teaming, we will resource AFWERX to create several programs that directly support squadrons, wings, and MAJCOMs with the execution of SIF and enable us to scale the best ideas across the Air Force.
How to Get Involved
Our intent is to build on the innovation ecosystem started last year that catalyzes Airmen to bring their ideas forward so you can act on the best ones. We need your ideas, lessons, and feedback via the AFWERX ideation platform. Please populate the virtual platform as you move forward. Specifically, check out the FY19 SIF campaign.
For more information, you can reach AFWERX at SIF@afwerx.af.mil, reach out to the SIF Connect Line at 202-599-0413, or submit a question support widget on this page. We have a team of people dedicated to be your live help to work through any SIF problem or question.