U.S. Air Force looks for innovative ideas in Utah, across the United States to develop new technologies

The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR), in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory, hosted an industry reception at the Capitol on July 10 in support of the Air Force Science and Technology 2030 Initiative.

The reception was held prior to an Air Force Science and Technology 2030 Initiative workshop hosted by the University of Utah on July 11.

The reception and visioning workshop were part of a series of six university events being hosted across the nation as part of the Air Force’s Science and Technology 2030 Initiative. The initiative was launched by the Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson to update the Air Force’s science and technology strategy, ensuring the Air Force remains at the leading edge of technological advances.  t

“We’re looking for your engagement and your ideas to solve Air Force challenges,” said Air Force Research Laboratory Chief Technology Officer Michael Eismann, Ph.D., at the USTAR industry reception.

As part of this effort in Utah, USTAR and the University of Utah assisted the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) in reaching out to researchers, entrepreneurs, scientists and technologists to engage in conversations designed to find new scientific researchers and industry partners to help the Air Force invent the technologies that can play a role in the United States’ national security and defense in the future.

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“From jet engines to GPS, the Air Force has a rich history of researching and developing new technologies that become foundational capabilities for warfighters and a key part of everyday life for Americans,” said Maj. Gen. William Cooley, AFRL commander in an announcement about the initiative earlier this year. “With this initiative, we are going out to listen to Americans from higher education to small and large businesses to understand what basic and applied technologies will help us create the next game-changing inventions for 2030 and beyond.”

The reception highlighted USTAR-supported technologies with potential applications for the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense. Technologies ranged from autonomous UAV flight planning to rocket propellant to chemical sensors. Featured USTAR-supported companies included Optisys, Coreform, Turner Innovations, Vaporsens, Adranos, and the Conductive Group. The reception also featured two USTAR-supported projects, the Brigham Young University PRISM Group and the Utah State University Propulsion Team.

Several of the USTAR-supported groups also attended the Science and Technology 2030 initiative visioning workshop hosted by the University of Utah. During the workshop, Utah researchers and entrepreneurs participated in a variety of discussions with the Air Force about challenges and opportunities in areas such as global integrated communications, aerospace materials, next-generation energy, cyberdefense, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and other topics.

For Utahns who were unable to attend the industry reception or visioning workshop, the Air Force is also inviting anyone interested in sharing their scientific or technology-related ideas as well as innovative business practices to submit their proposals and ideas at www.afresearchlab.com/2030.

In addition to the Science and Technology 2030 Initiative, USTAR works closely with the Air Force at the USTAR Innovation Center, located at Falcon Hill Research Park, outside Hill Air Force Base. The center serves as a cross-fertilization of ideas and technology solutions for industry and Air Force challenges.

To learn more about technologies supported by USTAR, visit ustar.org.