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Air Force Collaborates with Innovative Small Businesses to Thwart Threats

January 11th, 2016 by Sarah Ricard

With the increase in cyber threats from other countries in addition to the continued global terrorism threats, the Department of Defense realized the need to “quickly adapt others’ technologies . . . and do it more rapidly than our adversaries who have access to the same resources,” according to Maj. Gen. Tom Maisiello, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The AFRL, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, actively seeks business partners that focus on innovation technology to supplement its research for the Department of Defense. Working with both large and small companies, AFRL awarded 39 percent of contracts to small businesses in 2015.

The AFRL Small Business Hub conducts free Small Business Collider events throughout the year. Collider events “help strengthen the Air Force industrial base and benefit small business technology businesses by identifying new commercial markets for promising Air Force technology.”

Rather than rely strictly on conducting its own research, the AFRL looks for ways to adapt existing products and research in industry, “such as using a technology that was invented for one purpose for something completely different, inside or outside the military,” said Doug Ebersole, AFRL executive director.

Learn more:

AFRL Small Business Office

Full article by Air Force Materiel Command: R&D Strategy Leverages Innovation, Partnerships