HomeNewsArticle Display

SA Innovation Summit takes on ‘accelerating change’

San Antonio Innovation Summit photo

Patrick Bowar, Air Force Personnel Center director of technology and information, speaks at the San Antonio Innovation Summit, Aug. 3, 2021, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. More than 750 people attended the two-day forum which gave military, civilians, community members and industry a chance to bring innovation collaboration opportunities to an expanded installation and mission support audience. (U.S. Air Force photo by Luke J. Allen)

San Antonio Innovation Summit photo

Lt. Col. Martin Salinas, AFWERX chief operating officer, presents at the San Antonio Innovation Summit on Aug. 3, 2021, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. AFWERX is a channel for Air Force engagement across industry, academia, and non-traditional contributors to create transformative opportunities and foster an Air Force culture of innovation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Luke J. Allen)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) --

With the theme of Accelerate Change, the Department of the Air Force pushed innovation forward during the inaugural San Antonio Innovation Summit Aug. 3-4 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

With both in-person and live-streaming opportunities, more than 750 people attended the summit bringing leading government and industry innovation experts together with military members, community leaders and private-sector representatives to highlight successes, lessons learned and paths taken to successfully implement projects that are changing the Air Force.

“We have to remain competitive through technology, through the best and brightest Airmen, through lean processes,” said Col. Kevin Mantovani, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center vice commander, during his keynote address. “We have to design a better Air Force that’s quicker, more lethal, and deters and can defeat any adversary. That is what you’re here to do. You’re here to think about accelerating change and innovating.”

This year’s event, a partnership between AFIMSC, Air Force Personnel Center, Air Education and Training Command, AFWERX and the city of San Antonio, grew out of a smaller, virtual summit AFIMSC held in 2020.

“Building upon last year’s innovation summit, we’re really excited to have our military and community partners working together to provide our customers—the installations and the installation sparks—with the information they need to succeed,” said Marc Vandeveer, AFIMSC chief innovation officer. “The only way we can do that is by partnering, working together and letting everyone know what’s out there across the installation and mission support innovation ecosystem.”

Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols to allow for safe, in-person gathering, the event was a welcome opportunity for collaboration among organizers and attendees from across the Air Force and Department of Defense.

“It’s an exciting point for San Antonio,” said Will Garrett, vice president and director of cybersecurity development at Port San Antonio. “As a city, as a community, government and academia, our job is to create the connection points—the infrastructure, the activity outside the wire—that helps our mission partners seek that acceleration of change, find innovation and discover talent. This summit is kind of a convergence of all those entities that support the National Defense Strategy and (Joint Base San Antonio) mission partners getting to that pace of change we need with technology.”

Connecting the right people at the right time is important to helping the Air Force and DoD build a powerful innovation network, said Patrick Bowar, AFPC director of technology and information.

“Innovation does not happen in a bubble,” he said, adding that cross-talk and regular collaboration between organizations benefit everybody. “We can all leverage the same great ideas and the solutions we’re using to deliver those ideas.”

Throughout the event, attendees heard from leading innovators and attended breakout sessions, workshops, innovation panels and a vendor expo. The breakout sessions gave participants a chance to try unique problem-solving activities and get hands-on experience with technology and innovative programs that are changing the Air Force, including augmented and virtual-reality technology, small unmanned aircraft systems, Air Force Gaming and software platforms.

For 1st Lt. Kendall Hubbard, 341st Comptroller Squadron budget flight commander at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, learning how other organizations tackle and solve problems was the best part of the event because she believes it will help her move ideas forward at her installation.

“Hearing ideas from other bases, especially bases with other commands and other missions, and ideas from outside of the military … I think bringing that back and being able to share that will open up more ways for information to flow. That will be my biggest takeaway,” she said.

Col. Thomas Wegner, director of the AETC Analysis and Innovation Directorate, echoed that idea, urging everyone in attendance to network, build relationships and learn how to navigate the innovation ecosystem so they can help the service continue to innovate at the speed of relevance.

“If there’s only one thing that they remember, it is that they’re not alone. There’s a network of teams across the DoD who want to do innovative things,” he said. “If an Airman or Guardian has a neat idea and doesn’t know what to do or where to go with it, there are organizations at their base and in their command that can help them take that idea from innovation to impact.”

Engage

Twitter
Capt. Joseph Scerra, an F-15C Eagle pilot, is the first 159th FW pilot to complete a sortie w/ the F-35A. The miles… https://t.co/HCi9TnGn5S
Twitter
The 92nd Medical Group at @TeamFairchild, Washington, honed their skills during a week-long readiness exercise. Dir… https://t.co/RDEqLsy2hJ
Twitter
The Air Force Sustainment Center Contracting Directorate @RobinsAFB_GA hosted the First Look Program workshop. The… https://t.co/uhYMqYR5d5
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones launched her official Twitter account last week! Follow @UnderSecAF
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD we celebrate the official end of #WWII and the anniversary of the formal signing of the Instrument of Surrender abo…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Actions meeting words: In his confirmation hearing, SecAF Kendall said: “Our military is people first and foremost.” Y…
Twitter
Lt. Gen. Robert Miller, U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, visited the Center for Sustainment of Trauma & Readiness Sk… https://t.co/Pv571RpgaW
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF's message to #Airmen on their extraordinary efforts to evacuate U.S. citizens & others from #Afghanistan: "You off…
Twitter
The @39thAirBaseWing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, reaches a milestone with its Agile Combat Employment program.… https://t.co/u4ucRL8duB
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: “We achieve deterrence by having a strong enough force that the potential enemy is afraid of us. That’s my job; to give…
Twitter
Airmen from Moody AFB, Georgia, conducted training near @SLDelta45 to prepare for operations supporting #SpaceX and… https://t.co/iBAAGOnsVn
Twitter
Reserve #Airmen from the @403rdWing at Kessler Air Force Base, Miss., joined over 250 Air Force Reservists and 4,0… https://t.co/yGq4xIPXbD
Twitter
A B-52 Stratofortress is rinsed off after a mission at Andersen AFB, Guam. Known as bird baths, this quick rinse… https://t.co/Q0N83eWt0V
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr was ceremoniously conferred a pin from the French Air and Space Force's Fighter Squadron 2/4 Lafayet… https://t.co/CLqypWZMPt
Twitter
#ICYMI - @USAF_ACC declared initial operational capability for the tactical air control party mobile communications… https://t.co/p09eQw9QXh
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: To date, @RamsteinAirBase has facilitated 42+ aircraft departures carrying more than 10,000 evacuees en-route to the USA a…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: With allies and partners, @INDOPACOM is committed to enhancing the stability in the Asia-Pacific region, by building secu…
Twitter
Aircraft and maintainers from across the #AirForce traveled to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to particip… https://t.co/w2xSJtXNr1
Twitter
RT @HollomanAFB: #Airmen continue to establish support facilities, while also creating additional infrastructure, for the arrival of Afghan…
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
1,371,940
Follow Us