HomeNewsArticle Display

Air University aims to spark innovation, collaboration with MGMWERX

Air University aims to spark more innovation, collaboration with MGMWERX

Joe Greene, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce vice president of military and governmental affairs; Randy George, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce president; Laurie Moncrieff, Defensewerx executive director; Angel Hudnall, Air University Education Support Services program manager; and Brian Carpenter, Defensewerx advance team member to MGMWERX, pose for a photo in the courtyard of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce March 16, 2018, Montgomery, Ala. MGMWERX will provide Maxwell’s Air University an ‘outside-the-fence’ environment to enable AU members, academia, industry, and other government organizations to experience innovation and collaboration through facilitated experimentation with emerging tools, processes, and methods to solve real Air Force problems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Charles Welty)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) -- Air University has long been considered the leadership-development center for the Air Force, and it continues its 72-year-long legacy with a new joint venture, named MGMWERX, in collaboration with the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, to encourage innovation.

“The dream of MGMWERX is to harken back to our legacy as the Air Corps Tactical School and once again deliver ground-breaking solutions to the warfighter and become the breeding ground of innovative thought to the Air Force,” said Michael Gray, Air University chief financial officer and lead AU representative for the initiative.

In the spirit of partnership, and in line with the effort to create a robust tech and innovation ecosystem in the region, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce has offered office space in downtown Montgomery, close to Maxwell Air Force Base. This will serve as a convenient and easily accessible meeting spot for military and civilians alike for groundbreaking research and dynamic collaboration.

According to Gray, the idea for MGMWERX emerged in 2016 as AU sought creative ways to meet the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s challenge to find cost-effective means of bettering military capabilities through technical excellence and innovation. Following a diligent search of many different options, AU determined that working with the Air Force Research Laboratory to establish a Partnership Intermediary Agreement, or PIA, would best serve AU’s interest to create and grow a physical and cultural environment to serve such a purpose, while harnessing the brainpower of its students and faculty.

The PIA, formally signed with the non profit corporation Defensewerx Feb. 13, gives AU the latitude to collaborate with local and state government, higher education institutions, and intergovernmental agencies. Air University has committed about $2 million to Defensewerx to establish MGMWERX and to serve as its partner over the next five years.

“In short, MGMWERX will provide AU an ‘outside-the-fence’ environment to enable AU members, academia, industry, and other government organizations to experience innovation and collaboration in unique ways through facilitated experimentation with emerging tools, processes, and methods to solve real Air Force problems,” explained Gray. “This initiative will be money well-spent; this has already been done successfully with similar models like Special Operations Command’s ‘SOFWERX’ and the U.S. Air Force Academy’s ‘CyberWorx.’”

One important difference between MGMWERX and other “WERX” programs is that it will not necessarily be generating technical prototypes. Rather, the idea is that MGMWERX will allow AU to be more than a thesis-producing organization, providing a vibrant ecosystem shaping successful collaborations.

Ultimately, AU’s goal through MGMWERX is to develop more well-rounded leaders who, through a process of deliberate exposure to a cross section of industry, academia, and non-traditional commercial partners, are better prepared to deal with an uncertain future. MGMWERX would innovate and commercialize thoughts and technologies, serving as the connective tissue between academia, industry, and military leaders.

“This is an exciting time for both AU and the River Region,” said Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, who took the helm as commander and president of AU just two days after AU signed the partnership agreement with Defensewerx. “We are at the beginning stages of establishing a new type of collaboration with other government organizations and industry, which I expect will prove to be fruitful and enduring.”

At this time Defensewerx is hiring a handful of personnel to administer the program in Montgomery, and AU is refining its plans and expectations, while determining what topics to first present for collaboration. MGMWERX is expected to begin working on Air Force topics by late summer of this year.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri
RT @USAFReserve: Loadmaster first Reservist to complete USAF Weapons School Advanced Instructor Course (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveRe
.@secafoffical will speak about America’s footprint in space going forward at 5:45 EST. Watch live at https://t.co/aSlw5ceGJj
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @EsperDoD delivers keynote remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum. #RNDF https://t.co/ZXhuaTOQTm
Today, we help Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, combat veteran and American legend, celebrate 💯 sorties aroun… https://t.co/bcmcDr4IYW
December 7, 1941. #PearlHarbor and six other #military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were attacked, beginnin… https://t.co/4GvB8yPpGV
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Take a look at @usairforce Airmen assigned to the @109thAW using their ski-equipped C-130s to deliver supplies to the Arct…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you to Gen CQ Brown & the @PACAF team for the outstanding work organizing one of largest gatherings of Pacific A…
RT @DeptofDefense: Flying side by side gets the mission done. @usairforce and @RoyalAirForce participated in exercise Point Blank with @NAT
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Getting to see a chaplain in a remote location is a #blessing. Archbishop of U.S. Military Services Timothy Broglio recently…
RT @AFWERX: Did you catch @EdwardsAFB’s first-ever @TEDx event? There’s no doubt their theme, “Laying the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Innovat…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to get motivated by watching this video of exercise #MobilityGuardian19, Air Mobility Command's largest full-sp…