Open Call for Solutions to Create the Future of Resilient Energy Production, Transmission, Usage and Storage for the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense
Submission Deadline Extended to October 29
LAS VEGAS (October 19, 2020) – AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force’s innovation catalyst, is seeking solutions from public and private industries, commercial sectors, government, and academia for the Department of Defense (DoD) Reimagining Energy Challenge to modernize and create the future of resilient energy production, transmission, utilization and storage for the U.S. Air Force.
Due to the high level of interest received from participants and government agencies, AFWERX is pleased to announce the extension of the Reimagining Energy Challenge submission deadline to October 29, 2020. Submissions are currently being accepted from across the globe, both domestic and international organizations and individuals are encouraged to participate.
The DoD is currently the largest energy consumer globally and seeks to optimize energy usage across the enterprise. By reducing demand and reliance on petroleum and modernizing the energy infrastructure, the U.S. Air Force can improve the way it consumes energy, increase sustainability, and remain adaptable to future impacts of climate change. The DoD’s goal is to leverage all energy sources for military use such as wind, solar, thermal, hydro, nuclear and hydrogen and increase mission effectiveness and quality of life, while reducing dependence on fossil fuels. The aspirational targets are to eliminate all fossil fuel dependency and achieve a carbon negative Air Force.
The Reimagining Energy Challenge encompasses six specific topics: Permanent & Mobile Energy Generation; Energy Transmission & Distribution; Mobile & Fixed Energy Storage; New Warfighting & Operational Equipment Not Dependent on Fossil Fuels; Data Availability for Improved Planning & Decision Making; Energy Culture, Policy & Education. The full challenge overview and details to submit a proposed solution are available at afwerxchallenge.com/energy. Preview the informational video for additional details here.
All interested organizations and individuals are encouraged to join the next Reimagining Energy Challenge webinar October 26 at 11am (pst) / 2pm (est) to learn more about the Challenge goals, topic areas, evaluation criteria, and Q&A session. Register for the upcoming webinar here.
Participants who submit solutions by October 21 will be invited to join a virtual team-up event taking place on October 23. This event will be an opportunity for participants to uncover possible synergies that could lead to partnerships and integrated solutions. Participants who submit solutions are also encouraged to collaborate with one another by joining the Reimagining Energy community on Slack.
This is an incredible opportunity for the DoD to partner with innovative, forward-thinking industries to identify, fund and launch new energy strategies from now until 2045. The Challenge seeks solutions that can be implemented immediately, those that require some further development, and moonshot ideas that may not be implemented until 2045.
“The disruption of the energy sector is already happening. There’s unbelievable innovation occurring in how we produce, transmit and store energy,” stated Colonel Charles Bris-Bois, Air Force Disruptive Technology Team. “The DoD must partner with those leading this disruption in both industry and academia, to ensure we maintain our competitive advantage,”
Mark Rowland, Innovation Actualizer for AFWERX stated, “I am really excited for this Challenge for two reasons. First, this will change the way the DoD consumes, stores, distributes, and utilizes energy, all of which has strategic benefit and benefits the planet given the aspirational carbon negative target. Second, this Challenge is running concurrently with a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) focus area which creates a lot of opportunity for small businesses in the U.S. to receive government funding to support this initiative.”
Participants submitting solutions for the Reimagining Energy Challenge on behalf of businesses with under 500 employees may be eligible to pursue an additional funding opportunity with the AFVentures Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Open Topic program. This highly competitive program encourages U.S. small businesses to engage in federal research and development with the potential for commercialization. SBIR submissions will be accepted through October 22, 2020. For more information visit www.afwerx.af.mil/sbir.html.
Established in 2017, AFWERX is a product of the U.S. 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. AFWERX and the U.S. Air Force are committed to exploring viable solutions and partnerships to further strengthen the Air Force, 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, U.S. Air Force’s innovation arm and catalyst for fostering innovation within the Air Force, came in at #16 ranking in the top 20 alongside brands such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. Preview the live announcement with Stephanie Mehta, Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company, unveiled during the AFWERX Fusion 2020 Base of the Future Event & Showcase.