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AFWERX, SpaceWERX Ventures divisions launch Notice of Opportunity for space applicable technology submissions

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  • By Kristen Dennis

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – AFWERX AFVentures, the commercial investment arm of the Department of the Air Force, issued a Notice of Opportunity within the Strategic Funding Increase and Tactical Funding Increase (STRATFI/TACFI) program for its U.S. Space Force division, SpaceWERX

The Notice marks the availability of the application documents and guidance for the STRATFI/TACFI Notice of Opportunity for Space. There will be a small window of time to submit a capability package. The deadline for government champion lead capability package submission is noon EDT on April 19, 2024. 

STRATFI/TACFI is open to Small Business Concerns (SBC) with an awarded Phase II Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) contract. The small business must either have a current Phase II contract, with a minimum of 90 days of performance executed, or have completed a Phase II contract within two years of submitting a capability package.

 Completing and submitting a successful capability package requires teamwork between the government champion and the SBC. An SBC is a classification of business which is U.S.-based, independently owned and operated, meets certain size qualifications and is not the dominant business in their chosen industry.

For the Program Year 24 cycle, Space Ventures and AFVentures continued to improve and scale the program. The team implemented new tools, streamlined processes, reduced the notification timeline by more than 50% and engaged senior leaders to seek out and fund programs with the greatest possible impact to the Department of the Air Force’s strategic vision. New in the PY24 Notice of Opportunity, STRATFI submissions require a government champion to submit the application.

Once the submission is selected for SBIR/STTR funding, the partnering government organization works with the selected SBC to execute the contract. The ultimate goal is to transition the technology to a Phase III contract that will allow the effort to be fully deployed and leveraged within the supporting customer’s organization or any other federal agency with an operational use case, said AFWERX officials. Throughout the life of the contract, the AFVentures STRATFI/TACFI Execution Team works with the technical point of contact to track contract progress, milestones and performance.

"Through the STRATFI/TACFI program, SpaceWERX is able to partner with other Department of Defense organizations to define and present the demand signal to win in a Great Power Competition,” said Arthur Grijalva, director of SpaceWERX. “This will help the commercial market come together to pursue U.S. Space Force priorities. Industry, academia, and private funding will know the government is interested and will be motivated to invest in a solution. We can be part of that solution in unifying dual use technology between commercial and defense.” 

STRATFI/TACFI programs are designed to bridge the “Valley of Death'' between SBIR/STTR Phase II efforts and Phase III scaling efforts, to facilitate delivery of strategic capabilities for the Department of the Air Force. The program initiates relationships between the U.S. Air Force and Space Force end-users and acquisition professionals, private-sector innovators and investors.

The two programs differ based on award sizes, matching fund requirements and performance periods. STRATFI SBIR/STTR funding amounts range from $3 million to $15 million over 48 months, while TACFI funding amounts range between $375,000 and $1.9 million over 24 months.

The PY24 STRATFI Notice of Opportunity drew 43 submissions with 16 selection notifications announced at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, on March 8, 2024.

Depending on the program sought, STRATFI and TACFI require different levels of matching funding and opportunities for defense or industry matching.. These matching funds allow the STRATFI program to result in $60 million, or more to a specific effort.

Air Force acquisition officials first introduced AFVentures and the STRATFI program in March 2020. The TACFI program was introduced the following year.   

To learn more about the STRATFI/TACFI program, the Notice of Opportunity and register for upcoming “Ask me Anything” weekly webinars, visit

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 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

As the innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. AFWERX employs approximately 370 military, civilian and contractor personnel at five hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4 billion budget. Since 2019, AFWERX has executed 6,028 new contracts worth more than $4 billion to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit:   

About SpaceWERX
As the innovation arm of the U.S. Space Force and a unique division within AFWERX, SpaceWERX inspires and empowers collaboration with innovators to accelerate capabilities and shape our future in space. Headquartered in Los Angeles, SpaceWERX employs 40 military, civilian and contractor personnel executing an annual $457 million budget. Additionally, SpaceWERX partners with Space Systems Command's Commercial Space Office (COMSO) as a collaborative program. Since it was aligned under AFRL in Aug. 2021, SpaceWERX has executed 906 contracts worth more than $690 million to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit:

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