ALBUQUERQUE—The Air Force Research Lab’s Tech Engagement Office today announced the launch of the Enterprize Challenge, a new program designed to connect local businesses with the Air Force to develop creative and viable solutions to some of the Air Force’s current needs here in New Mexico. Top solutions will share in $30,000 in prize money and will receive additional business assistance that could lead to a contract.
Bernalillo County is helping to sponsor the Enterprize Challenge and is inviting all interested businesses and entrepreneurs to attend the Enterprize Challenge Showcase on July 24 from 4:30-6pm at the UNM Rainforest, 101 Broadway NE. At this event, Air Force representatives will present their needs and attendees will be able to meet with them and ask questions.
The AFRL Tech Engagement Office has curated these needs from several units on Kirtland Air Force Base. They range from issues regarding aircraft maintenance to organizing technical data in a more user friendly and interactive way. The AFRL Tech Engagement Office believes many local businesses have the capabilities and know-how to identify and develop solutions. Prior government contracting experience is not necessary to participate.
Those choosing to participate will have eight weeks to work on solutions, during which they will have facilitated access to Air Force personnel. At the end of the eight weeks, participants will have an opportunity to present their solutions to the Air Force. Top viable solutions will be awarded $15,000 for first place, $10,000 for second and $5,000 for third place.
Winners will also receive a tech assessment that could help them get to a minimum viable product which the Air Force may choose to purchase. Additionally, participating companies may be eligible for additional business and technology assistance from partners including New Mexico Tech, UNM Innovation Academy, UNM College of Engineering and Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University.
“This is an exciting time for the Air Force as we explore new and better ways to do things,” said Gabe Mounce, economic development lead, AFRL New Mexico. “We realize that there is amazing innovation taking place in the private sector, and we want to be able to better tap into it. We can’t wait to see the solutions that are developed by our local businesses and entrepreneurs.”
“This is a perfect opportunity to bring government and the private sector together to problem-solve,” says Bernalillo County Commissioner Lonnie Talbert. “This is the beginning of a consolidated effort that will bring answers to the table to benefit government in the short-term and offer solutions for all in the long-term.”
For more information on the Enterprize Challenge including how to participate log onto www.afrlnewmexico.com/enterprize .