Air Force opens applications for dual- purpose technology accelerator program

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WASHINGTON — The Air Force launched a new startup technology accelerator through its AFwerX community of innovators.

The technology accelerator will focus on developing better relationships with commercially viable startup companies with dual-purpose technologies – technologies that have a private sector application as well as government application.

“We have to look for new ways to do business faster and connect innovators and entrepreneurs from across the nation with our challenges,” said Gen. Stephen Wilson, vice chief of the staff of the Air Force. “We recognize that industry is leading innovation with unique business practices that quickly produce solutions to complex problems.”

Wilson said reducing barriers for non-traditional industry partners who offer dual-purpose solutions to defense challenges helps the military to better leverage financially sustainable, integrated commercial solutions. This will provide the military with the most capability at the lowest cost to taxpayers.

The accelerator program will revolve around the application of autonomous technologies, to include the ability to detect, track, identify, characterize, attribute and mitigate autonomous technologies.

“Our science and technology investment today is the seed that grows into the warfighting capabilities needed for tomorrow,” said Wilson.

The Air Force Research Laboratory contracted PBTS LLC, a Boston-based technology and entrepreneur accelerator, to run the accelerator program with Air Force participation. Registration for the technology accelerator is open now on the TechStars website.

Companies specializing in detection and tracking sensor technology, multimodal sensor integration, computer vision and machine learning algorithms, defensive and offensive counter drone systems, drone operations and management, data visualization/aggregation and human-system interfaces, among others, are encouraged to apply.