AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force's innovation arm has launched the Reimagining Energy for the DoD Challenge, to advance resilient energy production, transmission, use and storage, the unit reported on Friday.
"The disruption of the energy sector is already happening. There's unbelievable innovation occurring in how we produce, transmit, and store energy. The DoD must partner with those leading this disruption in both industry and academia to ensure we maintain our competitive advantage," stated Col. Charles Bris-Bois, Air Force Disruptive Technology Team.
With AFWERX’s innovations, the Department of Defense (DoD) will be able to demand for petroleum and modernize the energy infrastructure. Additionally, the U.S. Air Force will energy consumption, increase sustainability, and adapt to future impacts of climate change and reduction in fossil fuels.
DoD will partner with industry and academia to identify, fund and launch new energy strategies until 2045. The challenge will invite solutions that can be implemented immediately. The Reimagining Energy for the DoD Challenge will gather industry, government and academia innovators to identify solutions for a sustainable energy infrastructure.
AFWERX will leverage all energy sources for military use such as wind, solar, thermal, hydro, nuclear and hydrogen and increase mission effectiveness and reduce dependence on fossil fuels to eliminate all fossil fuel dependency and achieve a carbon negative DoD.
The challenge encompasses six specific topics, including Permanent & Mobile Energy Generation; Energy Transmission & Distribution; Mobile & Fixed Energy Storage; Warfighting & Operational Equipment Not Dependent on Fossil Fuels; Data Availability for Improved Planning & Decision Making; and Energy Culture, Policy & Education.
"This will change the way the DoD consumes, stores, distributes, and uses energy which has strategic benefit and benefits the planet at the same time given the aspirational carbon-negative target. Second, this Challenge is running concurrently with a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) focus area," said Mark Rowland, innovation actualizer for AFWERX.
Established in 2017, AFWERX is a product of the U.S. Air Force, directly envisioned by former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. Her vision of AFWERX — to solve some of the toughest challenges that the Air Force faces through innovation and collaboration amongst our nation's top subject-matter experts.
AFWERX serves as a catalyst to unleash new approaches for the warfighter through a growing ecosystem of innovators. AFWERX and the U.S. Air Force are committed to exploring viable solutions and partnerships to further strengthen the Air Force, which could lead to additional prototyping, R&D, and follow-on production contracts.