Frequently Asked Questions

What is AFWERX Challenge?

AFWERX Challenge is the combination of the defense, academic, startup and small business worlds to collaborate through challenges and live events.

What is AFWERX?

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.

How is the U.S. Air Force involved with AFWERX?

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.

How is the USAF and AFWERX going to fund innovation?

The USAF founded AFWERX as an innovation catalyst and community connector both inside and outside the Air Force. The USAF and AFWERX both have access to specific innovation funding as well as the hundreds of millions of dollars that are spent with existing contractors that could be instead spent working with new companies and teams with alternate solutions.

Is my IP/idea protected?

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 prior to 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 to 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

Can I participate if I’m in the US armed forces?

Yes, the challenge is open to anyone. We would also love your feedback on the ideas being submitted.

Will winners get a USAF contract?

The challenge does not guarantee nor imply any future contracts with any of the armed forces. However, for those solutions that have promise, the USAF and other branches have innovation funding that has been allocated towards exploring solutions and partnerships. Compelling solutions will be explored.

Is there a monetary prize? Is this a design challenge or a business opportunity challenge?

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.