AFWERX to attend AFA and host Spark Street

  • Published
  • By Katie Milligan

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFRL)AFWERX representatives will attend the Air, Space, and Cyber Conference, hosted by the Air and Space Forces Association, or AFA, in National Harbor, Maryland, from Sept. 11-13.
This year’s conference, held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, is themed “Defeating Multipolar Threats: A Strategic Imperative for Airmen and Guardians.” The event will begin with a keynote address by Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, followed by 40 sessions and panels from Air and Space Force senior leaders, as well as a technology exhibit hall with more than 190 booths.
AFWERX and SpaceWERX will host a booth manned by division representatives, AFVentures, Spark, and Prime, throughout the conference. Visitors can speak with subject matter experts and get more information on AFWERX’s mission.
“Our team is looking forward to networking and connecting with Department of the Air Force partners and industry leaders at this year’s conference,” said Col. Elliott Leigh, AFWERX director and chief commercialization officer for the DAF. “Our mission at AFWERX – to harness technology that strategically empowers the warfighter – gets after Secretary Kendall’s operational imperatives in a unique way, and collaborative opportunities such as AFA allow us to share our methods and successes with teammates across the DAF and connect with innovative leaders throughout industry.”
In addition, AFWERX Spark, which connects Airmen and Guardian operators to commercial innovators and acquisition processes, will display Airmen and Guardian innovation and talent at Spark Street, a custom set of four booth spaces that will showcase nearly 20 Spark Cells worldwide.
Spark Cells are a decentralized network of operational innovation installations at Air Force bases worldwide that encourage and assist Airmen and Guardians in executing locally generated ideas and projects that improve and strengthen the force.
“Cells will occupy Spark Street on a rotation, so be sure to visit regularly throughout AFA,” said Craig Buying, fellowship lead for AFWERX Spark. “The area will also feature prominent DAF innovation organizations and will be a place at AFA where Airmen and Guardians can collaborate, share best practices and develop the next great idea for the DOD.”
To learn more or register for AFA, click here. Registration is free for government employees and military members and spouses.
About AFRL 
The Air Force Research Laboratory 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 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit
The innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory brings cutting edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. Employs approximately 325 military, civilian and contractor personnel at six hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4B budget. Since 2019, has executed 4,671 contracts worth more than $2B to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit: