HomeNewsArticle Display

AFWERX hosts Spark Cell workshop to share ideas, build innovation network

Maj. Ryan Brewer, right, 14th Flying Training Wing Spark Cell director, discusses what the Columbus Air Force Base (Miss.) Spark Cell is doing to create a culture of innovation with attendees at the AFWERX Spark Cell Workshop Dec. 13, 2018, in Austin, Texas. The workshop was designed to help grow the network of willing collaborators and share ideas and approaches that foster a results-driven culture of innovation.

Maj. Ryan Brewer, right, 14th Flying Training Wing Spark Cell director, explains how the Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., Spark Cell is creating a culture of innovation at the AFWERX Spark Cell Workshop Dec. 13, 2018, in Austin, Texas. The workshop was designed to help grow the network of willing collaborators and share ideas and approaches that foster a results-driven culture of innovation. (Courtesy photo)

AUSTIN, Texas (AFNS) -- Airmen from across the Air Force gathered in Austin Dec. 13 and 14 to learn about the Department of Defense’s innovation ecosystem and the best ways to plug into the overall culture of innovation at every level of the total force.

The Spark Cell workshop, hosted by the AFWERX-Austin hub team, was designed to help grow the network of willing collaborators and share ideas and approaches that foster a results-driven culture of innovation.

“Every Airman has the opportunity to shape the future force and help us maintain our competitive advantage over our adversaries,” said Maj. Tony Perez, AFWERX Spark director. “We want our Airmen to know that they're not alone on this innovation journey. There are pockets of excellence all across the Air Force that we want to connect in a decentralized network of semi-autonomous cells.

The workshop included classes on innovation fundamentals, tools, building a team and existing Spark Cell lessons learned case studies.

Representatives from wings across Air Education and Training Command attended the workshop to share ideas and collaborate, including Spark Cell directors from Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, Joint Base San Antonio and Sheppard AFB, Texas, and Vance AFB, Oklahoma.

“(AETC attendees) used this workshop as a way to tighten our communications and work directly with AFWERX and Pilot Training Next in order to move forward as a team on specific projects and requirements,” said Maj. Ryan Brewer, 14th Flying Training Wing innovation director. “Although we have been talking weekly, it was good to meet face to face and plan a strategic way forward.”

Experiencing AFWERX collaboration efforts with industry and learning more about the contracting and acquisition processes was critical learning over the two days.

“Seeing all of the work that AFWERX is putting in with industry partners is going to help accelerate Air Force innovation,” said Brewer. “Some of our biggest issues involve the contracting processes and AFWERX is helping us travel those roads faster and more efficiently.”

Perez said the mission of Spark Cells is generating ideas and solutions that help get solutions out to the warfighter rapidly and allow units to accomplish their missions more effectively.

“We want every Airman to shape the Spark Cell network in a way that meets their mission needs,” said Perez. “This dynamic network is results-driven and is always evolving based on the contributions of every Airman. We support efforts that make the Air Force more mission effective at the tactical level and make our Airmen's lives better.”

According to the AFWERX website, AFWERX’s core mission is to improve Air Force capabilities by connecting innovators, simplifying technology transfer and accelerating results by connecting diverse, innovative members from industry, academia and government; creating capabilities options and prototype opportunities for the Air Force; facilitating streamlined acquisition processes and fostering a culture of innovation in the Airmen.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
Beneath the skies #Maintenance #Airmen are dedicated to the same mission: making sure the aircraft & everything on… https://t.co/xmHDH2OeTk
The new Innovation Office at the #AirForce's Installation and Mission Support Center has three main goals: foster g… https://t.co/NWpRpbSciO
Bombers and #Airmen deployed from @Whiteman_AFB integrated their capabilities with regional partners @JointBasePHHhttps://t.co/e7DrFVW62x
The @AF_Academy offers #AirForce cadets the unique opportunity for exposure to military aviation, to… https://t.co/hyO6illSCG
An #Airman performs a postflight inspection on a #C17 Globemaster III aircraft at Youngstown Air Reserve Station in… https://t.co/j3r1kyCGpV
In order to be a warrior, one must train! @USAFCENT #Firefighters and #EmergencyManagement #Airmen strengthen their… https://t.co/uvVCNRudoW
What helps to make the #AirForce strong is its diversity. Hailing from Ghana, this #Airman came to the U.S. via th… https://t.co/WpyS3g9OYR
Alaska @AirNatlGuard to the rescue! They rescued a pilot and two passengers whose plane had sunk in snow and ice, l… https://t.co/qjqoCe2pRu
Three #Airmen athletes assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, plac… https://t.co/9XxesaUMEa
What happens when the @aus_airforce visits Mountain Home AFB, #Idaho for #C130J training? Watch to witness for your… https://t.co/TTcriYNhrn
Effective Jan. 1, the Air Force Lodging Program has increased nightly lodging rates service-wide. Click the link fo… https://t.co/DBToGNivZR
What better way to maintain mission readiness than a mission that helps people? #TwoBirdsOneStone #HumanitarianAidhttps://t.co/C2Ixn1YPo9
RT @USAFHealth: "Don’t look back at what’s known and comfortable, open your aperture to think bigger, think wider," says Lt. Gen. Dorothy H…
Whether inspecting a hydraulic system for deficiencies or conducting hands-on repairs for a power generator, aerosp… https://t.co/BHvexwBFAF
#3Dprinting & #AdditiveManufacturing may soon allow #USAF runway surface scanning and re-creation, changing the way… https://t.co/mSS0rM3jIF
#DYK: @LukeAFB's 308th Fighter Squadron, AKA the Emerald Knights, are part of the 56th Fighter Wing, the largest fi… https://t.co/SWM7ssJzzJ
Like the fictional hero Angus MacGuyver, this #Airman used his knowledge to support the local community in a differ… https://t.co/OVYY9idaYk
Nothin' to see here, folks... Just a #TBT story about a couple of old school #Airmen landing a B-52 without a tail… https://t.co/T5w00BXUyM
.@9thRW #Maintenance #Airmen not only keep the #U2DragonLady mission-ready at their home station, but also travel t… https://t.co/QLGLvqkzZy