Air Force

January 12, 2018
 

AFWERX is smart risk for innovative solutions

Master Sgt. Heidi West
Nellis AFB, Nev.

The first AFWERX location will be near the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, the Las Vegas storefront is scheduled to open in early 2018. AFWERX will serve as a collaborative, creative concept exchange hub existing to attract and maximize ideas from public, academic, small business and industry visionaries.

Historically, the Air Force has remained the world’s preeminent air and space fighting force by forging innovators from within the ranks, empowering them to problem solve and providing them the resources to do so. 

Today, the Air Force is formally expanding this call for innovation through the AFWERX program, which encourages partnerships with academic institutions, science and technology communities and private industries with an invested interest in solving complex security issues.

According to Air Force leadership, the Secretary of the Air Force established the AFWERX program to facilitate the integration and implementation of creative and disruptive technology to ensure today’s Airmen maintain the capability advantage over tomorrow’s adversary.

“Airmen are the ones closest to the problems, the people at the tip of the spear, who understand the problems, who understand the enemy, and have the ideas to make us more lethal,” said Capt. Steven Lauver, co-director of the Air Force Technology Accelerator at AFWERX. “It all exists with the people who are there solving the problems on the battlefield. Innovation is important because we are taking the people who understand our problems and enabling them to solve them.”

Private industries are moving exponentially faster than the Department of the Defense in autonomous technology. Recruiting innovative solutions from these outside resources requires the Air Force to take a chance before the technology becomes obsolete, Lauver said.

“It’s a higher risk not to act than to act,” Lauver said. “If we don’t begin executing on the innovation conversation then we are going to fall behind on a global scale.”

AFWERX is the first step in furthering that conversation. Each AFWERX facility will serve as an innovation hub to bring tools and resources together in physical, open, “first stop” public access points. The goal of the program is to create a mutually-beneficial partnership with innovators and entrepreneurs to generate technology at an accelerated rate, said Air Force leadership.

“When people’s lives are on the line, and time is of the essence, you have to be willing to take those smart risks to solve problems quickly,” Lauver said. “Right now, there is an appetite to try new things and implement new technologies and new solutions to make us better on the battlefield.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
af-windows

AF upgrades to Windows 10

In accordance with the Department of Defense mandate, the Air Force must complete the Microsoft Windows 10 migration by March 31, 2018. Any operating system not upgraded by the deadline will be denied access to the network. Win...
 
 

Air Force FY 2019 budget addresses great power competition

The Air Force budget request of $156.3 billion for fiscal year 2019 builds on the progress made in 2018 to restore the readiness of the force, increase lethality, and cost-effectively modernize. Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Heather Wilson said the budget request is aligned with the National Defense Strategy, prioritizing long-term competition with China...
 
 
nellis-red-flag10

Red Flag 18-1 in full swing at Nellis AFB

Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum A KC-135 Stratotanker jet assigned to the 100 Air Refueling Wing at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, takes off during Red Flag 18-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 5, 2018. ...