BUILDING THE NEW FIXED WING HELMET
“We created the AFWERX Challenge to accelerate inventive solutions and get them to America’s Airmen at the speed of relevance"
— GENERAL STEPHEN WILSON, VICE CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. AIR FORCE
AFWERX — the Air Force’s visionary program dedicated to solving some of the toughest problems the Air Force faces via collaborations between the nation’s top intrapreneurs, industry experts, academic professionals, and non-traditional contributors — has issued a multitude of “Challenges” in hopes of utilizing the creative approaches that are intrinsically a part of crowdsourcing to craft inventive solutions. And this unique method of problem-solving is already leading to imaginative, resourceful advancements in everything from pilot training, to mixed reality platforms, to advanced microelectronics supply chains.
Recently though, AFWERX asked for innovators to submit components, materials, or technologies that could specifically improve the USAF Helmet used by its pilots and aircrew:
And on November 14th, the 30+ solutions it chose from the 100+ submissions will be featured as part of a grand exhibition at Enclave Las Vegas. This event is open to the public, so if you will be in Las Vegas, RSVP here.
The next day, a select number of those teams will then be invited to meet with the project management office at the 30,000-square-foot AFWERX Vegas Innovation Hub and be given the opportunity to attain over $500K of prototype and experimentation funding, a $20M+ government contract, or potential SBIR funding while allowing for customer collaboration with industry and government and official recognition of companies or ideas.
As Colby Edwards, Deputy Director of AFWERX Vegas, explains, “We’ve realized that to stay ahead of our adversaries, we can no longer rely on just a few large companies to solve Air Force problem sets.”
“Instead, our approach here at AFWERX, is to crowdsource a nation’s worth of talent and ideas to ensure that the best possible solutions reach the warfighter and in turn, ensure our national security.”
Since first envisioned by Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, AFWERX has taken advantage of its unique ability to cultivate accelerated results, and it’s going to be a thrill to see what the Fixed Wing Helmet of the future will look like.
To learn more, and about how you can attend the event, click here.