AEDC Spark Tank idea submission deadline is Jan. 12

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  • AEDC Innovation Team

The deadline to submit ideas for the 2024 Arnold Engineering Development Complex Spark Tank is Jan. 12.

Spark Tank is the Department of the Air Force’s Annual showcase event in which selected Airmen, Guardians and contractors pitch innovative solutions to difficult Air Force and Space Force problems needing Senior Leadership support to succeed while also inspiring more innovation across the Department.

The Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, Management, and AFWERX introduced Spark Tank innovation awards to recognize innovative solutions proposed and developed by Airmen, Guardians and Department of Defense contractors across the enterprise. The awards are designed to encourage innovation development, talent retention and speed up adopting emerging, game-changing technologies that impact the Air Force and Space Force.

The inaugural Spark Tank event was in 2018, and it has been held annually since. Past Air Force judges have included the Secretary or Under Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Chief of Space Operations, and Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force and Space Force. Industry judges have included CEOs, entrepreneurs and noted authors, senior leaders from venture capital firms, and even “Shark Tank’s” own Mark Cuban.

AEDC Spark Tank ideas submitted by the Jan. 12 deadline will be reviewed by an AEDC board in February, and a Spark Tank forum will follow. Those selected to present to the Spark Tank panel will be partnered with a team from the AEDC Continuous Improvements and Innovation group, or CI2, and walked through the boarding process. Idea owners will be asked to pitch their submissions to board members, and feedback will be provided on all submissions presented.

The 2023 AEDC Spark Tank was a success, as the program produced a semi-final idea in the Air Force Materiel Command Spark Tank Integrated Capabilities challenge. That idea was funded by the commander of Air Force Test Center.

AEDC has a dedicated innovation team to facilitate taking submitted ideas from inception to reality both quickly and easily.

“We want ideas from all personnel at AEDC,” said AEDC Innovation Manager Aaron Allen. “Let our team help you determine what flight level and challenge option the idea needs to pursue. We will find the subject matter experts we need to engage to best communicate your idea. Ideas can be simple or complex. They can improve your personal job performance or successfully help deliver the Air Force’s Future Operation Concept.”

For more information or to initiate the idea submission process, contact Allen via email or call the AEDC Innovation Team at 620-382-5254.

Ideas may also be submitted via the QR Code with this article until Jan. 12.