AFVentures opens opportunity window for STRATFI/TACFI program
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – AFWERX AFVentures has issued a notice of opportunity for its Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) and Tactical Funding Increase (TACFI) programs.
This opportunity, open until June 30, 2022, gives Department of the Air Force (DAF) SBIR/STTR companies with promising Phase II prototypes a chance to express firm interest in these co-funding programs, designed to accelerate the development of promising technology. It also allows DAF acquisition program leaders the opportunity to gather the information needed to target certain technologies for strategic investment by the government.
Through STRATFI, qualified small businesses can receive between $3 million and $15 million in SBIR/STTR funds during a four-year performance period. TACFI provides between $375,000 and $1.8 million over a two-year period of performance.
The SBIR funds then are combined with funding from other government entities or private sources such as venture capital firms and “angel” investors. Participating companies can choose from multiple matching ratio pathways that meet their needs and reflect where the source of funds are coming from.
STRATFI/TACFI designed to bridge capability gaps
Managed by AFVentures, the STRATFI and TACFI programs are meant to help establish relationships between Air Force and Space Force warfighters and acquisition professionals, private-sector innovators and investors. These unique programs also bridge the capability gap between current SBIR/STTR Phase II efforts and Phase III scaling efforts, facilitating the delivery of strategic capabilities for DAF.
During the course of the fiscal year 2021 program, AFVentures received 162 capability packages. During that period, AFVentures committed $293 million in SBIR/STTR funds which was matched by $323 million in government funds, and $285 million in private-sector funds, which will be executed over the life of the upcoming awards.
“I am extremely proud of what the STRATFI/TACFI program can offer to Small Business Concerns and the DAF,” said Maj. Greg Sundbeck, the STRATFI/TACFI program manager. “We are taking a real step toward distributed innovation in the DAF, allowing for technology to prove itself out across the force, and then accelerating those that show the most promise. This is good for the department and the companies since it encourages multiple sources of funds all to be leveraged to achieve the same goal. It also connects the right players together to see that these capabilities find a home, long term, if successful.”
These results are achieved by obtaining buy-in from the leadership of the end user and customer organizations at the O6/GS-15 (or equivalent) level for TACFI. For STRATFI, the customer organization must be at the strategic level – e.g. USAF Program Executive Office (PEO), AFMC Center, or Joint Force PEO – and the memorandum signatory must be the ranking member of the organization (e.g. the Program Executive Officer) or deputy and must hold, at minimum, the rank of O-6/GS-15.
Air Force acquisition officials first introduced AFVentures and the STRATFI program in March 2020 during a virtual Pitch Bowl and Spark Collider. The TACFI program was unveiled the following year. Both funding pathways have progressed into the FY22 opportunity which is currently active.
The STRATFI/TACFI team is conducting bi-weekly ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions to address company questions. Register for these events here: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_k2pCM0HfTxOWSHUsOMSfAA
Learn more about the 2022 opportunity here: https://afwerx.com/stratfi-tacfi
AFWERX, a program office at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), connects innovators across government, industry and academia. Through innovation and collaboration with our nation’s top subject-matter experts and harnessing the power of ingenuity of internal talent, by expanding technology, talent, and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability. Additional information is available at: https://www.afwerx.com/
AFVentures is all about tapping both U.S. and global tech ecosystems, using military problems to accelerate commercial technologies. AFVentures is transforming the Air and Space Force into an early-stage “investor” that leverages private capital, accelerates commercialization using military missions, and grows the number of companies partnering with us. Learn more: https://afwerx.com/afventures-overview/