Published on
Aug 25, 2021


DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved for public release; distribution unlimited. (AFRL-2021-2722) 

Dayton, Ohio – Parallax Advanced Research received $9.6 million in federal funding to expand its Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment, or APEX, program to West Virginia and the Appalachian Region, described as the geographic area from the southern tier of New York State to Georgia. APEX will utilize the funding to connect academic and industry innovators in West Virginia and Appalachia with the Department of the Air Force to develop the next generation of science and technology to advance national defense. The program will begin expanding to these areas in the latter half of FY 2021. 

The $9.6 million represents the second major disbursement under the original $49 APEX Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) Parallax was selected to lead in 2019. APEX’s mission is to connect universities, businesses, and the government; build collaborations between these sectors; identify their operational defense solutions and capabilities; and advance defense technology development for the Department of the Air Force. The APEX PIA, like other Air Force programs, includes advancing economic development in communities as part of its mission.  

APEX provides free resources to academic researchers and innovators interested in participating in or applying for funding by the U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovative Research and Technology Transition Research (SBIR/STTR) programs. These resources include national engagement, collaborative challenges, blue-sky events, webinars, education and training, SBIR/STTR process navigation consulting, team matchmaking, technology transition facilitation, and expanding the U.S. wide network of traditional and non-traditional defense contractors to develop and commercialize new dual-use products and services focusing particularly on small business. 

APEX will focus on leveraging technology innovation and development in academia and industry in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital engineering, human performance, autonomous operations, swarming, and safety. APEX intends to leverage the science and technology ecosystems and talent in West Virginia and the Appalachian Region to achieve this goal.  

Parallax’s expansion effort into the State of West Virginia will be led by U.S. Air Force Retired Colonel Sean Frisbee. Frisbee is president & CEO of the West Virginia University Alumni Association and will transition out of this role to take on the APEX expansion effort in summer 2021. 

“We are in a period of significant growth in the State of West Virginia. The recent announcements of the Virginia Hyperloop Certification Center and the Ascend West Virginia Remote Worker Program have opened an exciting conversation about the future of innovation, technology, and new partnerships in the Mountain State. The time to focus on uncovering and identifying partners that can advance science and technology for the Department of the Air Force is now. We’re looking forward to building bridges among researchers, producers, investors, government agencies, and federal stakeholders to advance the Department’s mission right here in Appalachia,” said Frisbee. 

To support the APEX initiative, Parallax plays a key role in utilizing data analytics to identify scientists and scientific communities around the country whose work can be developed for Department of the Air Force application. APEX also leverages Parallax leadership of the Ohio Federal Research Network, a sister program to APEX also managed by Parallax, to improve academic and industry research partnerships across the State of Ohio and to aid Ohio’s economic development.  

“All of us at Parallax are proud and appreciative of this funding to be focused on the Appalachian Region as part of our APEX PIA,” said Dennis Andersh, Parallax CEO. “Facilitation of innovative research, technology, and business solutions for and with government, industry and academic collaborators and clients across the State of Ohio and the Nation is embedded in our organization’s mission and we’re grateful for the opportunity to showcase our commitment to that with this next phase of the project.” 


About Parallax Advanced Research 

Parallax is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that tackles global challenges by accelerating innovation and developing technology and solutions through strategic partnerships with government, industry and academia across Ohio and the Nation. Together with academia, Parallax accelerates innovation that leads to new breakthroughs. Together with government, Parallax tackles critical global challenges and delivers new solutions. Together with industry, Parallax develops groundbreaking ideas and speeds them to market.  

About 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.