What's Working at WBI

23.08.19 09:18 PM By Jennie Hempstead

WBI Connects Air Force Junior Force Council Members to NASA, Industry at WBI Mentorship Event

In an effort to provide a forum for Air Force Junior Force Council (JFC) members to connect with mentors, scientists and engineers from outside of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), WBI hosted the 2019 Advanced Science & Technology Symposium on July 24, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. The event focused on mentorship and featured outside speakers to provide their perspective on mentoring, including the Director of NASA's Plum Brook Station facility as the keynote speaker (providing a Federal Laboratory perspective) and Mr. David Hart, Vice President, Business Development, with Segue Technologies, who provided the Industry perspective. Over 50 people registered for the event, with 24 attendees attending in-person.

The event was endorsed by AFRL Executive Director, Mr. Jack Blackhurst with strong advocacy from AFRL Chief Learning Officer, Dr. Theresa Bennett. 


To learn more about Air Force JFC, click here.



WBI's Co-Creation Efforts Supports Phase I, Phase II SBIR TAP


See how WBI's co-creation efforts have assisted The Entreprenuer Center's (TEC) Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Technology Acceleration Program (TAP).

Phase I Support - Forming the Next Cohort Class

WBI has been instrumental in the co-creation of the the second, Phase I cohort class. SBIR TAP was developed to address four objectives: 1) to enhance the communication of commercial and Air Force value propositions of Phase I SBIR technologies; 2) to decrease the reliance or dependence of Phase I SBIR award recipients on the AF to sustain and thrive as corporate entities; 3) to foster entrepreneurial development among recipients of an AF SBIR contract; and 4) to stimulate opportunities for meaningful, non-governmental support for the commercialization of Phase I SBIR technologies.

WBI assisted with the announcement in July of 2019 and there have been 20 Cohort interviews to date for the Fall (Cohort 2) session of SBIR TAP. Kick off of the fall session is slated for Sept. 12, 2019.

Phase II Support 

The SBIR TAP Phase II Program is expected to increase the pace of measurable commercialization success for high-potential SBIR Phase II recipients (specifically, in Phase III contracts). This Phase II program was kicked off for 17 companies enrolled in the SBIR TAP Phase II program.

WBI co-developed the program and has been continuously editing and reviewing the modules for online training pre-production.

Orientation sessions were held in Washington DC, San Diego and Chicago the week of 7/26/2019.

WBI & AFRL Create Human Machine Teaming Course Curriculum and Execution for 711th HPW

While Human Machine Teaming (HMT) is a pervasive and popular research area, many Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) researchers have gaps in HMT fundamentals. Dr. Mark Derisso, 711th Human Performance Wing (HPW) Chief Engineer, reached out to WBI to develop and execute a foundational course on HMT that could be delivered to AFRL researchers, to enhance their understanding of HMT.

Fundamentals training prior to developing and executing projects that involve HMT will result in significant cost savings as these projects are planned and managed. Further, collaboration between various elements of AFRL in multi disciplinary HMT programs will be improved.

711th HPW leadership has supported this project and the first course offering, scheduled for four days in September 2019, will be attended by the Core Technical Capability (CTC) and Product Leads from the 711th uman Performance Wing (HPW). After the initial event, the course will be offered to other enterprise wide.

This project has been underway for over 12 months and WBI has played a significant role in organizing, facilitating and managing the project. Over ten meetings have been conducted at WBI with AFRL and AFIT personnel to develop the course and WBI personnel will attend the first delivery of the course in September.

The course has the potential to solidify AFRL's leadership and expertise in the area of HMT, among the Department of Defense and other research laboratories.


Learn more about the HMT Center of Excellence at Carnegie Mellon University
See researcher Kris Kearns discuss HMT goals for AFRL.

Third Session of PROACTIVATE Training Hopes to Accelerate AFRL Invention Disclosures

Since WBI has long understood the need for AFRL scientists and engineers to obtain professional development and training on topics such as invention disclosures, market identification, commercialization and the transition process. PROACTIVEATE Training starts with those topics to enable a mindset that can result in improved patent development and maturation of technologies; the building blocks of commercialization and transition. In partnership with the I-Corps team at Ohio State University the process would occur using a short curriculum that leaves attendees better equipped to produce an invention disclosure with their technology and the importance of filing it.

PROACTIVATE training is the first in a three course series WBI will host called Activation training. Each of the courses will focus on accelerating technology commercialization and transition but will have different areas of focus. Participants of the PROACTIVATE Training session agreed by survey that they found the course useful and that they would recommend it to a colleague.

The third session of PROACTIVATE concluded on August 15, 2019. ACTIVATE training, which positions participants for readiness in the AFRL Entrepreneurial Opportunities Program (EOP), begins in the Fall of 2019.


Wright Brothers Institute Announces New Training Series for Air Force Scientists & Engineers

WBI Brings Forward-Thinking Horizon Scan Technique to Office of the Secretary of Defense

The Office of the Secretary of Defense OSD, Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering, Strategic Intelligence Analysis Cell (SIAC) has engaged WBI and our partner Chapel Hill North Analytics (CHN) to conduct a novel, innovative Horizon Scan to provide insights that will inform technology portfolios. CHN Analytics is the owner and developer of machine learning, big data analytics tools, and our partnership is a force-multiplier due to the synergy of machine-learning algorithms, deep data and expert human analysts from WBI.

We are working together with SIAC to develop a Horizon Scan process that will allow the data to determine the results. Most Horizon scanning processes focus on certain technology spaces of interest and develop a thorough understanding of those technologies. WBI's new approach will ingest billions of scientific, investment and social media records, develop new algorithms to analyze these data to determine the most promising technologies. CHN has also developed a methodology that can detect anomalies that will identify emerging technologies before they become mainstream.

The kick-off meeting was held on June 21, 2019 at the Pentagon with SIAC leadership and other data analysis representatives. An expedited delivery timeline was established, to complete three deep-dive reports by the end of August 2019.

The joint SIAC, CHN, WBI team will meet biweekly and work very closely together to co-develop this new Horizon Scanning process.


WBI’s Customized Machine Learning Analytics Provides Big Data Insights for Air Force Decision-Makers