Published on
May 22, 2024

APEX recently had the privilege of attending the 2024 AFRL Regional Network – Midwest Annual Meeting, held at Purdue University. This event provided a unique opportunity to engage with industry leaders, academic researchers, and government stakeholders within the Midwest region.  

The two-day event featured a dynamic agenda, including keynote addresses, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. Highlights from the agenda included welcome remarks by Karen Plaut, Executive Vice President for Research at Purdue University, and a keynote address by Rich Vaia, Chief Scientist at AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. The event also featured breakout sessions, where attendees had the opportunity to delve into mission impact discussions and explore collaboration opportunities. 

During the event, APEX gained valuable insights into the mission and goals of the AFRL Regional Hubs. We had the opportunity to connect with industry, government, and academic researchers working on various grants and contracts within the Midwest Hub. The AFRL Regional Hubs value APEX's expertise in facilitating industry and academic partnerships, particularly in applied research and technology transition. As a result, we aim to leverage our expertise to support the Hubs in achieving their core objectives and mission. 


APEX Team Members at AFRL Midwest Hub Meeting

Looking ahead, APEX is excited to continue our collaboration with the AFRL Regional Hubs. Our Deputy Program Manager, Michael Bianco, has been invited to participate in an upcoming event at North Dakota State University, where we will present attendees with opportunities to collaborate with the Department of the Air Force. This event aims to address gaps in SBIR/STTR awards in the region and explore new avenues for partnership and innovation. 

The 2024 AFRL Regional Network – Midwest Annual Meeting was a resounding success, providing a platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and networking. APEX's participation in the event reaffirmed our commitment to driving innovation and facilitating partnerships within the defense sector. We look forward to building on the connections made at this event and continuing to support the mission of the AFRL Regional Hubs. 



About Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment (APEX)      

APEX cultivates innovation by expanding the American research enterprise for the Department of the Air Force by engaging, connecting, and enabling innovators across academia, industry, and the Department of Defense. APEX utilizes data analytics to identify transformational operational defense solutions in academia, industry, and government sectors; provides process navigation services for academic teams and small businesses and enhances cross-sector engagement by providing direct connections to the technology needs of multiple Department of Defense programs.