Published on
Jan 18, 2020

(Dayton, OH- September 10, 2019) Wright State Applied Research Corporation has been selected to lead a bold, first-of-its-kind U.S. Air Force Academic Partnership and Engagement Experiment program to enhance U.S. Air Force partnerships with academia.

The five-year $49 million APEX project will focus on enhancing academic engagement nationwide in support of the U.S. Air Force Small Business program, National Defense Strategy and the U.S. Air Force’s 2030 Strategy. Focusing initially on the U.S. Air Force’s Small Business Innovative Research / Small Business Technology Transition Research program, APEX will improve the connections between the U.S. Air Force, academia and industry across the U.S. to result in a major leap forward for U.S. Air Force defense technology development.

“Importantly, the APEX project focuses specifically on growing the U.S. Air Force’s technological defense capabilities in partnership with Academia,” said Bill Harrison the Air Force Research Laboratory small business director: “This is the first of its kind in the country working across the country to connect small businesses with Academia.”

During the five-year program APEX will expand and accelerate technology transfer from universities to industry and the Department of Defense across the U.S. enabling the U.S. Air Force to extend its technological superiority. APEX will begin with facilitation of the STTR  program, which requires partnerships between universities with small businesses.

“APEX is a one of a kind program that will focus on enhancing academic engagement while strengthening the relationship between the U.S. Air Force and our academic institutions nationwide,” said Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10). “Wright State University has earned this position as the lead institution for this initiative due to its continual pursuit of scientific discovery and support of this Nation’s military. APEX will play a cutting edge role in developing the technology and practices of tomorrow and I am proud that the nexus of these activities will be right here in the Dayton area.”

“The APEX initiative is designed to expand the U.S. Air Force’s scientific presence, enhance access to top national and global talent, advance innovative workforce development, increase technology-transfer opportunities and create a robust pipeline of technology-proficient airmen and airwomen,” said Dennis Andersh, CEO of WSARC .

Under the APEX initiative, Wright State University will play a key role employing advanced machine learning and data science to identify scientists and scientific communities around the country whose work can be developed for U.S. Air Force use. Michael Raymer, and Tanvi Banerjee, professors of computer science at Wright State’s College of Engineering and Computer Science will provide critical expertise to establish APEX ’s data analytics capability.

“This will enable Wright State University to play a critical and integral role nationally in support of the U.S. Air Force’s academic engagement strategy,” said Wright State University President Cheryl B. Schrader. “The university is thrilled and honored to be able to help the U.S. Air Force form new partnerships that will draw technologies out of universities, government and business. We’re nimble, we’re hungry, and we’re creative.”

"It is always encouraging when our Dayton-area research institutions are recognized nationally. We have so much talent in our region, and it is exciting that Wright State Research Institute has been chosen as a partner for this new U.S. Air Force initiative," said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

APEX is established via a U.S. Air Force- WSARC Partnership Intermediary Agreement. The $49 million PIA leverages WSARC leadership of the Ohio Federal Research Network to improve academic and industry research partnerships across Ohio, created in partnership with The Ohio State University. “It is of little surprise Wright State was chosen for the prestigious role,” said Schrader. “Wright State University has a rich history of academic-U.S. Air Force collaboration.”

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About WSARC  

WSARC  is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2011, that is affiliated with, but separate from Wright State University. WSARC was designed to provide efficient and effective contracting, security, and research administration services for Wright State Research Institute, Wright State University and the State of Ohio. WSARC provides administration and oversight of a large number of government and defense contacts, while Wright State Research Institute performs the scientific work associated with those contracts.

About Wright State Research Institute

Wright State Research Institute is an affiliate of Wright State University that delivers high impact solutions for government, industry and human performance sponsors through research, education and training. Wright State University offers an abundance of research opportunities at all academic levels and Wright State Research Institute plays a critical role in testing, evaluating, and inventing products and services in the human performance and technology sectors for the U.S. Air Force, Department of Defense and a variety of other organizations.