The U.S. Air Force has unveiled a new program that would allow universities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to pitch “emerging” technology ideas and innovations to the service branch.
The first “storefront” that will connect potential proposers to the Air Force under the AFwerX program will be launched in early 2018 near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Air Force said Friday.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told Las Vegas Review-Journal in a report posted Friday that the service branch expects to spend $7 million during the first three years of AFwerX, including $2 million on the first year.
Wilson said the flagship location will be opened at UNLV’s Center for Entrepreneurship and the Air Force plans to add at least two more storefronts later this year.
AFwerX is based on the U.S. Special Operations Command‘s SOFWERX initiative, which was launched in Tampa, Florida in partnership with the Doolittle Institute to help solve problems facing USSOCOM.