AFWERX Challenge is the combination of the defense, academic, startup, private sector and small business worlds to collaborate through challenges and live events.
Established in 2017 by the Secretary of the Air Force and reporting to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, AFWERX is a catalyst for agile Air Force engagement across industry, academia and non-traditional contributors to create transformative opportunities and foster an Air Force culture of innovation. The ultimate aim is to solve problems and enhance the effectiveness of the Air Force.
AFWERX is an initiative of the Air Force to fast track solutions and enhance capabilities through deployed solutions. AFWERX Challenge is one of many ‘products’ created by AFWERX to drive change by bringing people together to collide and collaborate.
USAF founded AFWERX as an innovation catalyst and community connector both inside and outside the Air Force. USAF and AFWERX both have access to specific innovation funding in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars spent with existing contractors that we could instead spend working with new companies and teams with alternate solutions.
Ideas submitted should contain only public information. The challenge is open for anyone to view, so each team needs to protect its own IP until they get to a stage where it makes sense to sign non-disclosure agreements.
How can I work on my submission before I submit it, especially if I’m collaborating with other team members?
We recommend you draft your responses in a shared document so you can collaborate with your team before making your final submission.
How do I justify the investment of my time to participate online and/or attend the event in Las Vegas?
The main benefits of entering this challenge are:
- Get feedback from community members on your idea that may help to enhance your product/idea
- Be in the running to get an invitation to work with AFWERX, which could lead to funding opportunities and even a USAF contract
- Networking opportunities
Yes, the challenge is open to anyone. We would also love your feedback on the ideas submitted.
The challenge does not guarantee nor imply any future contracts with any of the armed forces. However, for those solutions that have promise, USAF and other branches have innovation funding allocated towards exploring solutions and partnerships. Compelling solutions will be explored.
There is no monetary prize for this portion of the challenge. The main “prize” will be the exposure your idea will get among military decision-makers and investors. If your idea gets their attention, it could lead to a future contract or funding.