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AFWERX set to kick off Accelerate event Dec. 7, launch a universe of opportunity to accelerate change

  • Published
  • By Bryan Ripple
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – The inaugural AFWERX Accelerate event, being held virtually, is set for kick-off Dec. 7 at 12 p.m. Eastern. The five-day event will highlight how AFWERX is institutionalizing air and space innovation across the Department of the Air Force.
 
Join AFWERX for this inspiring virtual event to hear about the groundbreaking successes in 2020 and amazing new partnership opportunities in 2021. Throughout the week we will highlight industry, investment, interagency, and international innovators, as well as disrupters across the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force.
 
AFWERX has grown from three successful innovation experiments into one organization that will accelerate affordable and agile capabilities by expanding the defense industrial base as the preferred partner for commercial technology innovation and broadening the network of Airmen creating innovative concepts.
 
As part of the event, the Air Force’s catalyst for fostering innovation will feature collaborative initiatives, partnerships and engagement opportunities provided through the synergistic efforts of their three new teams: AFVentures, Spark and Prime.
 
Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett will open the event with a welcome message, and Brig. Gen. Heather L. Pringle, Air Force Research Laboratory commander, and Col. Nathan Diller, AFWERX Director, providing additional introductory remarks.
 
Highlighting events on Dec. 7 will be Dr. William Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander, Space and Missile Systems Center, who will be launching SpaceWERX, to more closely align innovation efforts to space operators and space acquisition. SpaceWERX will be located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base/Aerospace Campus, strategically situated to enhance access to the strong space industrial base in the area.
 
The first half of day one of Accelerate will have an Air Force focus, with the second shifting to the Space Force.
 
Other scheduled speakers for the first portion of day one of Accelerate include Gen. David W. Allvin, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., commander of Air Force Materiel Command, and Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander, Air Mobility Command.
 
Scheduled speakers for the second portion of day one include Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force, and Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman, Senior Enlisted Advisor of the United States Space Force, Dr. Kelly Hammett, Deputy Department of the Air Force Technology Executive Officer for Space Science and Technology, and director of AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate.
 
“AFWERX is focused on being a trusted partner for advancing dual-use technologies across the innovation ecosystem,” said Col. Nathan Diller, AFWERX Director. “This new structure in the Air Force Research Laboratory will enable AFWERX to scale in a way that empowers both commercial and military entrepreneurs to strengthen security and prosperity.”
 
To register and learn more about Accelerate, click here.
 
For the live feed of the event activities, visit www.af.mil/live beginning on Monday at 12 p.m. Eastern.
 
About AFRL
 
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, including AFWERX, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: www.afresearchlab.com.
 
About AFWERX
 
Established in 2017, AFWERX is a product of the Department of the Air Force, directly envisioned by former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. Her vision of AFWERX — to solve some of the toughest challenges that the Air Force faces through innovation and collaboration amongst our nation’s top subject matter experts. AFWERX serves as a catalyst to unleash new approaches for the warfighter through a growing ecosystem of innovators. As a part of the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX and the Department of the Air Force are committed to exploring viable solutions and partnerships to further strengthen both our space and air forces, which could lead to additional prototyping, R&D, and follow-on production contracts.
 
Fast Company named AFWERX Best Workplaces for Innovators on the 2020 List, honoring the top 100 businesses and organizations that demonstrate a deep commitment to encouraging innovation at all levels. AFWERX, the Department of the Air Force’s innovation arm and catalyst for fostering innovation within our space and air forces, came in at #16 ranking in the top 20 alongside brands such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.