HomeNewsArticle Display

Spark Tank 2021 encourages leadership to support Airmen ideas

Spark Tank, a collaboration between AFWERX and Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, Management, is now accepting submissions for the 2021 campaign from July 1 to October 16, 2020. The annual campaign is designed to spur and empower innovative ideas from Airmen to further strengthen Air Force culture and capabilities. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Spark Tank, a collaboration between AFWERX and Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, Management, is now accepting submissions for the 2021 campaign from July 1 to October 16, 2020. The annual campaign is designed to spur and empower innovative ideas from Airmen to further strengthen Air Force culture and capabilities. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- Spark Tank, a collaboration between AFWERX and Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, Management, is now accepting submissions for the 2021 campaign from July 1 to October 16.

The annual campaign is designed to spur and empower innovative ideas from Airmen to further strengthen Air Force culture and capabilities.

“Empowerment breeds success,” said Lauren Knausenberger, Spark Tank director. “We know that if our Air Force leaders demonstrate their support, our Airmen’s desire to share their ideas and innovations would spread like wildfire across the Air Force.”

To kick off the campaign, Total Force Airmen are encouraged to submit their ideas on the Airmen Powered by Innovation crowdsourcing platform where teams from their major command will review them and select two semi-finalists, each to advance to a board run by Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson. Two wildcard submissions will also be selected to progress to the board.

The selection process will look at the needs for specific capabilities as well as concerns of safety, policy, Air Force-wide implementation, technical feasibility and scalability.

Non-finalist submissions will be transferred to the API open-call campaign and partnered with collaboration coaches to further develop their projects.

Following the board, six finalists will be selected to visit AFWERX Vegas for pitch coaching and innovation training before presenting on-stage at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in 2021.

“While we only select six finalists to progress to the Spark Tank final stage, we aim for all Airmen who participate in the campaign to gain something from the experience,” said Maj. Alisha Temples, Spark Tank deputy. “Whether it’s discovering a pathway to share their ideas, learning creative ways to solve problems at their unit, or hearing the secretary of the Air Force encourage them not to accept the status quo--this is an event meant for all Airmen.”

Building on last year’s event, which drew more than 200 idea submissions and named two winners, Spark Tank is also looking to expand and improve its program to include more educational opportunities and pathways for leaders to empower Airmen at all levels of the organization.

As part of this effort, the wing and major command with the most number of ideas submitted by the end of the campaign will be recognized for mobilizing their organization to contribute to the Air Force's innovation mission.

By empowering Airmen to submit as many ideas as possible, the Air Force can begin to understand trends, identify pain points and challenge areas, and start connecting teams that may have similar interests and could benefit from combining efforts.

“Shifting a decades-in-the-making bureaucratic culture toward an agile and responsive problem-solving, improvement and innovation-focused culture will not happen overnight,” said William "Brou" Gautier, Air Force Continuous Process Improvement & Innovation Division chief. “While we’ve made great strides over the last few years with Spark Tank and Airmen Powered by Innovation efforts, we still have a long way to go. It will take active participation from our top leadership and every Airmen and Space professional to get us there.”

As part of this year’s campaign, AFWERX and SAF/MG will also be sharing educational material on how organizations can move beyond potential roadblocks and innovate, pulled from resources like the Innovation Handbook and the Four Phases of Innovation, as well as highlighting the experiences of previous Spark Tank participants.

To get started, head over to the API crowdsourcing platform to submit and share ideas, provide thoughts and feedback on submissions, and vote on the most promising solutions: https://usaf.ideascalegov.com/a/ideas/recent/campaigns/156

Follow AFWERX on social media for the latest campaign information: LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Medium | YouTube

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: For more than 60 years, the KC-135 Stratotanker has been the backbone of air operations globally. The 100th Air Refueling…
Twitter
The 314th Airlift Wing supports & maintains @AETCommand’s student pipeline by transporting Airmen in training in or… https://t.co/2B9daqMMmX
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Our #readyAF @LukeAFB Airmen demonstrating their proficiency in arming aircraft with munitions! 💪 📸: Airman 1st Class Brook…
Twitter
Civil engineer "Dirt Boyz" work around the clock to maintain the roads on Air Force installations. #KnowYourMil 🎥… https://t.co/nbcnyqPxrJ
Twitter
CMSgt. Manny Piñeiro pulled from his life experience to paint a picture for a path to success, regardless of any ob… https://t.co/g0OPwUmPAt
Twitter
Because of You - Defense Industry #ReadyAF #InThisTogether https://t.co/oB6bWIrcdP
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Guard Airmen of the 183rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron & 36th AES Reserve Airmen collaborated for a 3-day training eve…
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force honored its 24th Secretary, Heather Wilson, for her service with an unveiling of he… https://t.co/pQVzxwoRdn
Twitter
Why jump out of a perfectly good plane? Because you can! The jumps were part of a two month training course calle… https://t.co/pONtYYv23p
Twitter
RT @PACAF: A B-1 bomber, deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, completed bilateral training w/the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, July 27. Dur…
Twitter
“This was one of the largest structural fires I’ve ever responded to. When we arrived, there was heavy smoke pourin… https://t.co/ZzOu52dEQm
Twitter
Staff Sgt. Christopher Demartin, a member of the 153rd Airlift Wing, @WyoGuard, hugs his son after returning home f… https://t.co/xq8MvypkOS
Twitter
Capt. Aaron Bickerstaff explains how exercise Northern Strike 20 builds overall readiness for the force by integrat… https://t.co/v0ggIeDhAC
Twitter
What if there is a better, faster way to do it? SSgt Tabby Wells, crew chief @JointBasePHH, figured out a quicker… https://t.co/Iebx75Cq65
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: Are you doing your part to keep yourself and your wingman healthy and safe? Wash your hands, keep your distance and wear your…
Twitter
.@RAFMildenhall Airmen conduct an inspection on the flying boom of a KC-135 Stratotanker. Maintainers use checklist… https://t.co/VyYdRk6qC4
Twitter
823rd RED HORSE Squadron Airmen teamed up with members of @UTSystem during a training event @Hurlburt_Field. UTS de… https://t.co/Bn50hxaS0G
Twitter
The F-22 Raptor is a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, designed to project air dominance rapidly… https://t.co/wgjJxbklR8
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,260,800
Follow Us