AFWERX, the US Air Force’s innovation catalyst (earlier post), is seeking solutions from public and private industries; commercial sectors; government; and academia for the Department of Defense (DoD) Reimagining Energy Challenge to modernize and create the future of resilient energy production, transmission, utilization and storage for the US Air Force.
Due to the high level of interest received from participants and government agencies, AFWERX is extending the Reimagining Energy Challenge submission deadline to 29 October 2020. Submissions are currently being accepted from across the globe, both domestic and international organizations and individuals are encouraged to participate.
The DoD is currently the largest energy consumer globally and seeks to optimize energy usage across the enterprise. By reducing demand and reliance on petroleum and modernizing the energy infrastructure, the US Air Force can improve the way it consumes energy, increase sustainability, and remain adaptable to future impacts of climate change.
The DoD’s goal is to leverage all energy sources for military use such as wind, solar, thermal, hydro, nuclear and hydrogen and increase mission effectiveness and quality of life, while reducing dependence on fossil fuels. The aspirational targets are to eliminate all fossil fuel dependency and achieve a carbon negative Air Force.
The Reimagining Energy Challenge encompasses six specific topics:
- Permanent & Mobile Energy Generation;
- Energy Transmission & Distribution;
- Mobile & Fixed Energy Storage;
- New Warfighting & Operational Equipment Not Dependent on Fossil Fuels;
- Data Availability for Improved Planning & Decision Making; and
- Energy Culture, Policy & Education.
All interested organizations and individuals are encouraged to join the next Reimagining Energy Challenge webinar 26 October at 11am (pst) / 2pm (est) to learn more about the Challenge goals, topic areas, evaluation criteria, and Q&A session.
Participants who submit solutions by 21 October will be invited to join a virtual team-up event taking place on 23 October. This event will be an opportunity for participants to uncover possible synergies that could lead to partnerships and integrated solutions. Participants who submit solutions are also encouraged to collaborate with one another by joining the Reimagining Energy community on Slack.
The Challenge seeks solutions that can be implemented immediately, those that require some further development, and moonshot ideas that may not be implemented until 2045.
The disruption of the energy sector is already happening. There’s unbelievable innovation occurring in how we produce, transmit and store energy. The DoD must partner with those leading this disruption in both industry and academia, to ensure we maintain our competitive advantage.—Colonel Charles Bris-Bois, Air Force Disruptive Technology Team
Participants submitting solutions for the Reimagining Energy Challenge on behalf of businesses with under 500 employees may be eligible to pursue an additional funding opportunity with the AFVentures Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Open Topic program. This highly competitive program encourages US small businesses to engage in federal research and development with the potential for commercialization. SBIR submissions will be accepted through 22 October 2020.