Who we are

We are the Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment - an United States Air Force Partnership Intermediary through Wright State Applied Research Corporation and supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory Small Business Office. Our team is comprised of serial entrepreneurs, retired military members, scientists, academic researchers and former United States Department of Defense executive leaders. Our standard for excellence is built on the diversity of our backgrounds that have afforded us deep understanding of the importance of the APEX mission that supports the United States Air Force Science & Technology Strategy.

Our value

We cultivate innovation by expanding the American research enterprise for the USAF. We do this by engaging and collaborating with innovators across academia, industry and the DoD and who possess capabilities of interest to the USAF; utilizing data analytics to identify transformational operational defense solutions in academia, industry and government sectors; providing high-touch coaching for business startups and proposals; and engaging with DoD programs to connect universities, businesses and government entities in a way that moves defense technology from discovery to reality.

What we do

  • Cultivate partnerships, networks, idea pipelines and other initiatives, and increase technology transition opportunities
  • Network with small businesses, universities, university spin off companies, and major and minor DoD contractors
  • Assist with building relationships between small businesses, universities, university spin off companies, and major and minor DoD contractors and rural and underserved universities and small businesses 
  • Expand the DoD’s scientific presence
  • Collaborate with other USAF and DoD Partnership Intermediaries to assist in training and the rapid transfer/transition of technology
  • Facilitate Blue Sky events to drive out-of-the-box long-term technology visions linked to real world gap-driven challenges involving industry, academia and government participants
  • Develop and utilize analytics to identify academic and business partners, and map technology areas of interest to the USAF
  • Facilitate challenge problems to assist with collaboration between USAF, academia and major contractors, and their supply chains
  • Provide education to academia and industry on USAF processes
  • Facilitate education processes and technology transitions out of academia to industry and small businesses participating in the USAF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program and USAF Technology Transfer and Transition program
  • Assist the USAF with personnel exchange programs with academia to foster joint collaboration, sabbaticals or visiting researcher programs
  • Publicize and promote USAF successes featuring Technology Transfer and Transition program and SBIR/STTR program initiatives
  • Maintain Operations Security consistent with all applicable DoD policies to protect sensitive unclassified and other information, and resources produced by acquisition and technological security efforts
  • Exercise granted authorities to support agile practices

How we do it

Identify collaborators, innovators and technology opportunities using robust data analytics and active connection programs

Build & Connect a nationwide network of innovators and technologists from universities, small businesses and government

Develop & Deploy targeted education programs to train university and partnered small business innovators to effectively interface with the DoD

Drive innovation through the creation of high-performance teams

Accelerate & Diversify the transition pipeline via challenge problems, novel and targeted small business and technology transition opportunities with the DoD and its suppliers

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