Wright Patterson Air Force Base –
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) AFWERX Open Topic solicitation allows businesses the flexibility to bring technology to the warfighter that the U.S. Air Force didn’t think to request. During Phase I, awardees have a short period of performance to find the fit between their product and the Air Force market. To facilitate customer discovery connections at scale, for each round of SBIR/STTR Phase I cohorts within the Open Topic, AFWERX holds a Spark Collider.
Most recently, industry members of the 21.2/B cohort were invited to attend the December 8th virtual event, along with government Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and DoD Stakeholders. Each business had the opportunity to pitch their solution pertaining to one of the 11 technical areas in hopes of finding a match for further development. In addition to the pitch session, small businesses could create a scout card, outlining their technology, using the Vulcan platform. By leveraging this USSOCOM-sponsored innovative scouting tool, government SMEs could review, assess, and engage with the business ahead of the event to accelerate the matching of DoD problems with viable solutions. The scout cards are visible and searchable within Vulcan by all government users across the DoD (Army, Navy, USMC, Joint Service and Air Force).
Typical for Phase I awardees, many small businesses in attendance at the virtual collider have never worked with the DoD before. By creating a mechanism to allow companies to showcase their solutions to a target audience, AFWERX Spark can increase the likelihood of a successful feasibility study (Phase I) and the transition to Phase II.
To learn more about AFWERX Spark and discover opportunities to connect, collaborate and network, visit https://afwerx.com/spark_/.