AFNWC hosts inaugural Pitch Day for small business solutions to technical challenges

  • Published
  • By Leah Bryant, AFNWC Public Affairs
  • Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center

The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center hosted its inaugural, invitation-only “Pitch Day” Aug. 17 to consider proposals from several small technology businesses.  The proposals focused on technology needed to modernize two legs of the U.S. nuclear triad, one of DoD’s top priorities.
The virtual Pitch Day was hosted at Weber State University’s Utah Science and Technology Research Innovation Center in Clearfield, Utah. 
“The work proposed here today is vital to innovation in the nuclear enterprise, and will impact the recapitalization of our nuclear systems,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Genatempo, AFNWC commander and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems. “I am so very excited to welcome these new teammates into the Air Force and Nuclear Weapons Center family!”
The businesses presented AFNWC experts with their ideas for solving some of the center’s technical challenges, which were published in a recent Air Force Small Business Innovation Research solicitation. 
The AFNWC solicitation topics covered several technology areas, including:

  • Low-cost aeroshell heat shield material characterization, testing and modeling concepts to inform re-entry vehicle design analysis & trade studies
  • Beyond-line-of-sight radio frequency augmentation concepts to quickly restore network performance when degraded by natural or hostile events
  • Closed-loop validation tool to facilitate the nuclear certification process for field programmable gate arrays

 The proposals are being considered for SBIR Direct-to-Phase II contracts worth up to $1.5 million each. 
“Launching this successful Pitch Day was only possible thanks to the fantastic teamwork of many throughout our center, Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Global Strike Command,” said Col. Clark Allred, AFNWC chief scientist. “The overall quality of the proposals we considered at the Pitch Day was quite high, and I’m excited to see the selected projects go forward.”
Allred said the support of the center’s contracting professionals and its execution directorates, along with the Air Force’s AFWERX program, were invaluable for conducting AFNWC’s first Pitch Day.
“What’s been amazing is that so many professionals and experts in this center came together for this day,” he said. “Without their support, this SBIR effort wouldn’t happen.”
Allred anticipates AFNWC will award over $20 million in SBIR Direct-to-Phase II contracts by the end of August.
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