SpaceWERX launches during day one of AFWERX Accelerate
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – Today AFWERX kicked-off its inaugural Accelerate event with an exciting announcement on the formation of SpaceWERX, a new entity that will focus on technologies for the United States Space Force.
“As we approach the first anniversary of our newest Service, the United States Space Force, we also celebrate the opening of the first space-focused innovation hub at Los Angeles Air Force Base,” said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett.
“Innovation is embedded in the DNA of our Air and Space forces. AFWERX is uniting the ingenuity of Spark, AFVentures, and Prime with the expertise of the Air Force and Space Force to propel us toward an inspired future,” she said.
“I am excited to announce the standup of SpaceWERX, a Space Force affiliated arm of our AFWERX team, out at Los Angeles Air Force Base, where our amazing men and women at the Space and Missile Systems Center bring amazing capabilities to bear in space for our warfighters every day,” said Dr. Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Roper also explained that AFWERX successfully completed the experimental phase and has transitioned to AFRL under the Air Force Materiel Command.
AFWERX is “connecting formally to the acquisition system and AFMC, the big purchasing engine that we represent in the Air Force and Space Force,” Roper said.
SpaceWERX will closely align its efforts with space operators and acquisition professionals within the USSF Space and Missile Systems Center and work with other groups that contribute to our national security space architecture, including AFRL. These stakeholders will identify warfighter needs and match technologies to opportunities for integration.
“The global space economy continues to grow at rapid rates, and SpaceWERX is going to help us continue our momentum,” said Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and program executive officer for space.
“The goal is to expand the space industrial base by guiding additional partners, leveraging commercial investment, and rapidly pursuing new space technologies that could be game changers for our space warfighters,” he said. “SpaceWERX will help ensure that Space Force can tap in to those cutting-edge space technologies.”
With day one of Accelerate completed with a focus on SpaceWERX, day two promises an exciting look into new business opportunities with AFWERX into 2021.
Day 2 of AFWERX Accelerate, which begins at 12 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 8 will bring a discussion of AFVentures, which leverages Small Business Innovation and Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) funding and private capital to deliver military capabilities, expand the defense industrial base and grow the U.S. economy. Also, AFWERX will review 2020 successes and provide a look ahead at new programs for 2021. A presentation providing insight into the Air and Space Force’s interests in loans and credit to help grow the industrial base interested in defense will round out the agenda for Day 2.
To register and learn more about AFWERX Accelerate, visit, www.afwerx.com.
Established in 2017, AFWERX is a product of the Department of the Air Force, directly envisioned by former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. Her vision of AFWERX — to solve some of the toughest challenges that the Air Force faces through innovation and collaboration amongst our nation’s top subject matter experts. AFWERX serves as a catalyst to unleash new approaches for the warfighter through a growing ecosystem of innovators. As a part of the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX and the Department of the Air Force are committed to exploring viable solutions and partnerships to further strengthen both our space and air forces, which could lead to additional prototyping, R&D, and follow-on production contracts.
Fast Company named AFWERX Best Workplaces for Innovators on the 2020 List, honoring the top 100 businesses and organizations that demonstrate a deep commitment to encouraging innovation at all levels. AFWERX, the Department of the Air Force’s innovation arm and catalyst for fostering innovation within our space and air forces, came in at #16 ranking in the top 20 alongside brands such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.