Dayton, August 1, 2019: Wright Brothers Institute (WBI) announced its intention to facilitate an expanded United States Air Force presence at their 444 E. Second Street location (“444”). The expansion creates an Air Force Midwestern Storefront, that provides the region access to cutting-edge research, business acumen and funding opportunities. WBI will execute programming, facilitate events and provide operational support to connect partners, technologists, academia and industry to Air Force opportunities, accelerating concepts that become tomorrow’s advantage. WBI’s strategy will focus on expanding the number of highly qualified Air Force partners and paving commercialization pathways for those concepts to accelerate Air Force research and transition solutions to our nation’s Airmen.
The expansion signals an appreciation Dayton’s small business community has developed for the resources and connectivity provided by WBI and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at the 444 location, which opened in 2017. “We have a network of over 3,000 members and coordinate over 40+ collider events annually that allow small businesses to engage with the Air Force in an easier, faster way,” said WBI’s AFRL Small Business Hub Director, Jim Masonbrink. Because the Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program encompasses the entire Air Force, WBI’s expansion can connect more users, experts and concepts in a powerful way. We can break the cycle of stove piped innovation.” “This Storefront promotes the open exchange of ideas and capabilities in order to rapidly advance the discovery and development of novel solutions,” said Scott Springer, Director of Collaboration Services at WBI. We’re now providing an environment where new ideas and capabilities can be explored across the full commercialization pathway, identifying new opportunities to more rapidly transition technology to end users.”
The Entrepreneurs Center (TEC) and its Nucleus co-working tenants who are relocating to accommodate the expanded presence acknowledge the broader vision and reginal growth opportunity being presented by the change. TEC’s CEO Scott Koorndyk says “TEC was thrilled to partner with WBI and AFRL to launch the 444 space two years ago. The startup and small business community in our region and across the country, is incredibly well supported by AFRL, and the Air Force SBIR program and we are proud to be a partner in those efforts. When a community like Dayton has a chance to solidify the presence of an integrated innovation hub that combines the technology research and development activities being conducted at AFRL with the funding and mission objectives of the Air Force’s SBIR program, you do everything you can to make that happen.”
Expansion will begin immediately, with a grand opening planned for early January 2020.
About Wright Brothers Institute
Wright Brothers Institute (WBI) is a cutting-edge innovation and technology commercialization center for the Air Force Research Laboratory, with facilities located just outside of WPAFB in Dayton, OH. We drive fast, agile innovation that enables successful technology development to solve the Air Force’s most complex challenges by leveraging resident experts, unique facilities, disruptive innovation processes and extensive networks. We leverage subject matter experts and intellectual property from AFRL and SBIR companies to unlock the right problem, connect to new partners and synchronize transition pathways through our commercialization partners.
To receive updates about future events at all Wright Brothers Institute locations, visit wbi-innovates.com. Follow Wright Brothers Institute on Twitter @wbiinovates, on facebook @WBIInnovates and on LinkedIn at Wright Brothers Institute.
About The Entrepreneurs Center
The Entrepreneurs Center (TEC) is the Miami Valley’s center for entrepreneurial excellence. TEC drives meaningful connections and provides significant resources to Miami Valley entrepreneurs and research institutes. TEC’s Innovation Program is designed to meet the various needs of all entrepreneurs from lifestyle to large-scale ideas and includes the Entrepreneurial Services Program, Kinematic, Nucleus, Small Business Development Center and more. Learn more at TecDayton.com.