The United States Air Force (USAF) announced Air Force Explore, a call to action for “capability ideas that advance the transformational component of the Air Force Science and Technology 2030 strategy,” on Sept. 26. USAF anticipates awarding four to seven awards, each within the $1-2 million range.

Air Force Explore is a collaboration between the Air Force Acquisition Executive, Air Force Warfighter Integration Capability, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. In a release, USAF said that the program is seeking “disruptive ideas” that will help it “create remarkable new capabilities for the future force.”

USAF is looking for ideas that advance one or more of the strategic capability areas identified in the Air Force S&T 2030 strategy, including global persistent awareness; resilient information sharing; rapid, effective decision-making; complexity, unpredictability, and mass; and speed and reach of disruption and lethality.

Maj. Gen. William Cooley, Air Force Research Laboratory commander said the call “is intended as a catalyst to transform our capabilities to become the Air Force we need.”

USAF noted that collaboration is encouraged and said that parties submitting ideas can include a mixture of government, industry and academic organizations. The release also noted that when determining the awardees, USAF stakeholders will consider transformational potential, operational viability, cost, and technical feasibility.

“Our goal is to establish partnerships that develop capability ideas and mature them into opportunity spaces for the Air Force,” said Dr. Reid Melville, AFRL’s lead for Air Force Explore.

Submissions are due Nov. 11, 2019, with funding invitations distributed by March 2020.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.