AFWERX kicks off Accelerate event Dec. 7, launch a universe of opportunity to accelerate change

  • Published
  • By Bryan Ripple
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs

The inaugural AFWERX Accelerate event, being held virtually, kicks off Dec. 7 at noon EST. The five-day event will highlight how AFWERX is institutionalizing air and space innovation across the Department of the Air Force.

Join AFWERX for this inspiring virtual event to hear about the groundbreaking successes in 2020 and amazing new partnership opportunities in 2021. Throughout the week, the event will highlight industry, investment, interagency, and international innovators, as well as disrupters across the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force.

AFWERX has grown from three successful innovation experiments into one organization that will accelerate affordable and agile capabilities by expanding the defense industrial base as the preferred partner for commercial technology innovation and broadening the network of Airmen creating innovative concepts.

As part of the event, the Air Force’s catalyst for fostering innovation will feature collaborative initiatives, partnerships and engagement opportunities provided through the synergistic efforts of their three new teams: AFVentures, Spark and Prime.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett will open the event with a welcome message, and Brig. Gen. Heather L. Pringle, Air Force Research Laboratory commander, and Col. Nathan Diller, AFWERX director, providing additional introductory remarks.

Highlighting events on Dec. 7 will be Dr. William Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, and Lt. Gen. John Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander, who will be launching SpaceWERX, to more closely align innovation efforts to space operators and space acquisition. SpaceWERX will be located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base/Aerospace Campus, strategically situated to enhance access to the strong space industrial base in the area.

The first half of day one of Accelerate will have an Air Force focus, with the second shifting to the Space Force.

Other scheduled speakers for the first portion of day one of Accelerate include Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin, Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., commander of Air Force Materiel Command, and Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander of Air Mobility Command.

Scheduled speakers for the second portion of day one include U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, and Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman, senior enlisted advisor of the United States Space Force, Dr. Kelly Hammett, deputy Department of the Air Force technology executive officer for space science and technology, and director of AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate.

“AFWERX is focused on being a trusted partner for advancing dual-use technologies across the innovation ecosystem,” said Col. Nathan Diller, AFWERX director. “This new structure in the Air Force Research Laboratory will enable AFWERX to scale in a way that empowers both commercial and military entrepreneurs to strengthen security and prosperity.”

To register and learn more about Accelerate, click here.

For the live feed of the event activities, visit