by Debra Werner —
SAN FRANCISCO – U.S. Air Force leaders emphasized their commitment to quick acquisition of innovative commercial technologies by awarding a total of $9 million to 12 companies on the first Air Force Space Pitch Day here Nov. 5.
Each of the 12 companies received a $750,000 check and signed contract on the spot during the event organized by the Air Force and Starburst Aerospace, an aerospace startup accelerator.
“We hope you will view this as an earnest indication of our seriousness in working with you,” said Will Roper, Air Force assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics. “We will do this every year, forever. As long as innovation works this way, we want to be a partner that works with you at your time of need.”
Each team competing for the $750,000 Small Business Innovation Research phase two awards also explained how it would carry its concepts further with an additional funds to bring the contract value to $1.5 million or $3 million in Air Force funding.