HomeNewsArticle Display

AFWERX crowns 2021 Spark Tank winner

Spark Tank offers the opportunity to get their ideas in front of key enabling agencies that can share expertise and resources such as funding or personnel for the projects being presented and demonstrate pathways for intrepreneurs to make their initiatives successful.

Master Sgt. Justin Bauer from the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. was named the winner of the Spark Tank 2021 competition, Feb. 26, 2021. Bauer's innovative design method for C-130 Hercules wheel repair was selected as the winner of the capstone innovation campaign. (AFWERX courtesy graphic)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) --

Master Sgt. Justin Bauer from the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona was awarded the prestigious AFWERX Spark Tank trophy after his innovative method for C-130 Hercules wheel repair was selected as the Spark Tank 2021 winner Feb. 26.

The Spark Tank event allows Airmen to offer improvements and solutions to the problems they face in everyday operations. These incredible Airmen find, and oftentimes, create inventions that alleviate issues they experience while working across myriad of Air Force specialty codes and mission sets.

William Gautier, Spark Tank capability lead, emphasized that with the Spark Tank event, “We celebrate risk-takers and idea-makers from across the department; Airmen and Guardian intrapreneurs who refuse to accept the status quo and who have created solutions to make it easier for us to bring the very best to the fight."

This year, Airmen created everything from ear plugs that allow maintainers to communicate effectively in loud environments on the flightline while preserving their hearing, to augmented reality headsets that enhance the mission-debrief process for Air Force aviators. When discussing Spark Tank participation across the Department of the Air Force, Brou mentioned that “the numbers this year were impressive. We saw that over 19,000 Airmen and Guardians viewed the over 300 ideas on the Airman Powered by Innovation platform. They provided almost 1,000 feedback comments on the ideas and, most importantly, cast more than 14,000 votes for their favorite idea, giving it the best chance at competing for the stage today.” This year’s Spark Tank event took place during the Virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium provided by the Air Force Association.

The AFWERX Spark Tank event consisted of five teams of Airmen presenting their ideas to a panel of nine celebrity judges. The panel of judges was made up of civilian professionals and investors with experience in government service and leading technology industries. Additionally, the secretary of the Air Force, the Air Force chief of staff, the U.S. Space Force chief of space operations, the chief master sergeant of the Air Force and the chief master sergeant of the Space Force also sat on the judge’s panel.

Although all teams provided outstanding improvements to critical operational processes, Bauer was crowned Spark Tank’s 2021 winner. In addition to the title of Spark Tank 2021 winner, Bauer is awarded one year’s possession of the Spark Tank trophy. All teams shared the incredible opportunity to present their innovative ideas to Air Force senior leadership. All finalists will receive a follow-up from leadership to propel their ideas into reality and begin impacting the Air Force on a large scale.

AFWERX would like to extend a gracious thank you to three celebrity judges, Meagan Metzger, chief executive officer, Dcode; Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios and Brittany Davis, general partner, Backstage Capital. Their focused questioning on funding and the long-term impact of ideas in the Air Force helped ensure that all ideas were evaluated to the highest degree. Their participation proved invaluable in the production of the Spark Tank event.

In 2020, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. stated that his vision for the force is to “Accelerate Change or Lose.” The AFWERX Spark Tank event allows Airmen to personally embody that vision. Events such as Spark Tank provide Airmen with the opportunity to voice their solutions to key enablers and potentially improve the way the mission is accomplished in the Air Force.
All Spark Tank semi-finalists and finalists have received “go-do’s” by senior leadership to make their ideas a reality in the Air Force and Space Force. This means that once the stage lights dim, and the Spark Tank competition is over, the innovators get hard at work continuing to refine and test their ideas with our Spark Tank team connecting them to the people necessary to support validation, refinement, and further investment decisions and identifying resources, like the right color of money and “investor” available to assist. The best of these ideas, when ready, will be piloted in an appropriate Air and or Space Force setting and then scaled up to be leveraged across military bases globally. This process is designed to help the entire Department of the Air Force, through innovation, experimentation, and a collaborative approach with our service and industry teammates, be more flexible and ready for the future high-end fight.

Engage

Twitter
.@RamsteinAirBase Airmen worked w/ @USAfricaCommand and Tunisian Air Force personnel to provided 310 canisters of o… https://t.co/RY83o75XAQ
Twitter
RT @AFSOUTH: SrA Luis Pratts a @usairforce F-16 Crew Chief at #RelampagoVI not only launches airpower daily during his time in #Colombia bu…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall’s first message to @USAirForce #Airmen & @SpaceForceDoD #Guardians: “If there is one phrase that summa…
Twitter
Since 1973, the remains of more than 1,000 American service members killed in the Vietnam War have been identified… https://t.co/6ZrdLbl8dP
Twitter
Frank Kendall was sworn in as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! As the department's highest-ranking civilian le… https://t.co/Fe5CXpdDlj
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall has hit the ground running on his first day, meeting with Under Secretary Jones, Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. (@…
Twitter
Northern Strike, one of @DeptofDefense's largest reserve exercises, is preparing to launch. 5,100 participants from… https://t.co/VaRCeWFnb3
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: (1/2) The Secretary is in the building! The Honorable Frank Kendall arrived to the Pentagon this morning and was admini…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: After over six months in the role, A/SecAF Roth sent a farewell letter to #Airmen & #Guardians this evening: “I am in co…
Twitter
Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams at @TeamEglin, @TeamTyndall, and @HurlburtField, Florida, test a new X-Ray system… https://t.co/bombk9WqhD
Twitter
Gina Ortiz Jones was sworn in as the Under Secretary of the Air Force. The second highest-ranking civilian leader… https://t.co/9aMOfEDv6A
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "The balance between capability and capacity is delicate. That’s why our new Fighter Roadmap outlines the way to do both. Th…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: USecAF Jones attended the unveiling ceremony at the Pentagon for the 2021 National POW/MIA Recognition Day poster. #YouA
Twitter
.@AF_Academy cadets completed the Basic Cadet Training assault course in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The six-week t… https://t.co/o4hTS4B1x8
Twitter
"We were chasing the sun. We actually saw the sunset for 8 hours." - Maj. Cassidy Helregel, 89th Airlift Squadron… https://t.co/QkxIMT8CDq
Twitter
The #DAFArticStrategy discussion happens today. Register for free: https://t.co/A1r9lOlW0y https://t.co/WTLtyEt8jX
Twitter
A new Tactical Air Control Party program is now combat ready. Using multi-channel communications equipment in Humve… https://t.co/ihY1nXf9X2
Twitter
RT @SecDef: As America’s 26th Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall III’s decades of expertise and impact in service to our national se…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Mr. Frank Kendall has been confirmed by the Senate as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! In this role, he will lead ho…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones has arrived! “Serving as the Under Secretary of the Air Force is an absolute honor! I’m…
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
1,354,800
Follow Us