Strategic Interchange Meeting helps keep DAF, industry goals aligned

  • Published
  • By Patrick Foose
  • Air Force Research Laboratory
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory hosted the 2024 Strategic Interchange Meetings April 15-19, 2024, with representatives from 118 companies who learned about Department of the Air Force priorities, plans, and challenges. 
“The event allowed industry to hear from the ‘boots on the ground’ who are answering the DAF priorities, ensuring our partners are aware of where we are, where we are going, and how their independent research and development can assist us in reaching goals,” said David Mann, SIM lead organizer. 
The first-day keynote speaker was Honorable Andrew P. Hunter, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
This is the second year Air Force Research Laboratory’s Integrated Capabilities Directorate sponsored the SIM with the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and the seventh year they partnered with the laboratory’s Strategic Partnering Directorate’s Domestic office.
Subject matter experts presented nearly 20 briefings on the strategic drivers shaping major DAF investments and plans and challenges associated with achieving strategic objectives and enabling integrated capabilities of the future force. 
“Part of the power of the event was the clarity of the ‘demand signal’ – you had leaders from across the Department presenting a clear, unified signal to industry that aligns from initial technology investments through larger programs,” Secretary of the Air Force Senior Advisor Edward Wolski said.  
This year’s event included 220 industry representatives, up from 180 in 2023. 
“As the event grows, so does the breadth of audience -- meaning we are seeing lots of new companies represented, not just the primes,” Mann said. 
“The DAF wants to and must work with our industry partners to defeat the adversary,” Mann said, “The only way to do that is to keep our partners informed and get feedback.”  

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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 12,500 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