AFRL Business & Technology showcase unites government, academic, private sectors

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – More than 300 representatives from a cross-sector of government, science, technology and businesses looked to the future at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Business and Tech Showcase March 13 at the Tec^Edge Innovation and Collaboration Center in Dayton.

The event, presented by the AFRL Junior Force Council, was organized to unite government, academic, and private sectors to demonstrate the AFRL and Dayton Metro Ecosystem of Innovation: Cutting-Edge Research, Technology Transfer, and Collaboration Opportunities said Kevin Schmidt, president of the AFRL Junior Force Council.

“Our primary goal was to better interface AFRL rising professionals with entities outside of Wright-Patterson AFB to achieve a vibrant academic and industrial synergy between AFRL, local universities, and the greater Dayton industrial sector,” Schmidt said.

“The Junior Force wants to demonstrate our technology and educate the Dayton community about AFRL mechanisms to collaborate on research and garner capital for a business,” Schmidt said. “We want to partner our newest AFRL scientists and engineers with local academics and entrepreneurs to advance our research portfolio and the commercial application of AFRL technologies.”

Dayton has a wealth of assets including AFRL, headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB. The organization commands a $4 billion research and development budget. Dayton is also the fourth largest recipient of Small Business Innovation/Technology Transfer Research awards in the United States. The Dayton region is also rich in higher education, with two dozen accredited universities and colleges educating 120,000 students. Businesses, institutions of higher education and government agencies such as AFRL collaborate closely by developing and operating research, commercialization and internship programs that benefit all while enriching the area’s technical and commercial resources.

"Using AFRL technology, licenses, equipment, knowledge, and intellectual property will advance local businesses and advance Dayton entrepreneurial activities,” said C. Douglas Ebersole, executive director of AFRL. “Dayton has a wealth of assets and this event adds to the opportunities available to both AFRL and local businesses."

Technologies on display consisted of: infrared lasers, big data analytics computing platforms and visualizations, heat resistant fast roping gloves, stretchable electronics, and many more.

“The event was a great cross-sector opportunity for young professionals at AFRL and Dayton to showcase their contributions to science and technology,” said Dr. Morley Stone, chief technology officer of AFRL. “AFRL continues to be committed to furthering the collaboration between government, academic, and private sectors to catalyze future scientific and technical innovation."