Launch Stories provides warfighters, sponsors, partners, and taxpayers with an inside look at the technologies and research developed by small businesses working with the Air Force.
Sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), this new forum highlights the advanced tools and innovations that drive US competitiveness and make service members safer, better informed, and more efficient than ever. These are their stories.
(If you are interested in partnering with the Air Force to develop a new technology or explore new markets, you can find more information here.)
Congress established the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program in 1982 to strengthen the role of smaller businesses in federally-funded research and development. This program stimulates technological innovation, uses small businesses to meet Federal R&D needs, and increases private sector competition, productivity, and economic growth.
The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, a sister program to SBIR, was established by Congress in 1992 to encourage small business partnerships with Universities, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, and qualified non-profit research institutions.
The process for submitting a story is divided into a few easy steps. Estimated time to set aside to write, input, collect support materials and emailing your project information is about four hours.
Download the provided Launch Stories Submission Word document below to start your submission process.Launch Stories Submission
Gather supporting imagery and video for your story as described in the Launch Stories Submission document.
Submit your completed Launch Stories Submission document, along with any supporting imagery to email@example.com.Submit
Upon receiving your information, the Air Force Research Laboratory will review it for technical accuracy. Once cleared for public release, your story will be posted online.
Don’t have an account? Register today to upload your own story.Register
Thank you! Your registration is pending review. Once your account has been approved, you will receive a confirmation email.
Imagine that you are a small business partnering with the Air Force to develop a new, life-saving technology. Your research is a success but you need additional funding and media attention in order to take it to the next stage of development. You know how to program complex information systems and create new technologies. But you aren't sure how or where to best tell your own story.
An engineer partnering with the Air Force has spent years researching and developing a new, game-changing technology. It will save countless lives within its military niche and has the potential to be used for civilian applications as well. But funding and time are tight when it comes to spreading the word about the capabilities of this new innovation and the important role of its creator. The Air Force relies on the agility and creativity of small business partners in order to remain at the forefront of technology. Launch Stories is a platform to feature the efforts and inventions that help make Air Force members, safer, smarter, stronger, and better prepared for whatever comes their way.
Designers at Real Art discuss the project
Researchers at AFRL, photo by Richard Eldridge
The Air Force needed a way to tell the stories of its innovative partners, raising the profile of their research and technologies. Without a platform like Launch Stories, many of these projects might never come to the attention of potential partners, funders, or users beyond the creator's immediate circle. But more than that, the information contained in each Launch Story has the potential to inspire and galvanize even more valuable innovation. Before Launch Stories, there was no single place to find compelling information about the projects completed by Air Force partners. Each company had to individually undertake the task of telling the public about their research and project development, and go through the complex process of having their information approved by Air Force security and public relations. This difficulty meant that brilliant projects were getting overlooked by the public when they should have been applauded.
Real Art, a multidisciplinary creative agency, collaborated with the AFRL to develop and design a website that would enable each company to easily and seamlessly share their project stories with the world. Innovation has always been in the DNA of every Air Force member. Launch Stories is a platform that helps demonstrate those innovative efforts and the small business partners that make it happen.
"Launch Stories is going to change the way the Air Force talks about its innovations and innovative partners." — Tom Immen
A project leader or researcher can sign-in to Launch Stories, answer a short series of prompts about their project, and upload images and video showing their work in action. The site automatically takes their information and uses it to populate a designed template, presenting the project in an understandable and eye-catching way. The site then sends the story draft for review by both a Program Manager and a member of Operations Security. These individuals help ensure that the information included in the story does not compromise a project's future or cause security concerns. Once approved, the story is published on the Launch Stories site and made available for both the public and the media.
Launch Stories helps to raise the profile of Air Force innovations, ensuring that funding and attention will continue to be given to the research and technologies that make the lives of service members safer, better informed, and more efficient.
By promoting technology and innovation, Launch Stories helps to encourage even more efforts and resources given to making our Air Force the safest and most advanced in the world.
The site not only serves as a record of innovation, it celebrates ongoing research and inspires future Air Force engineers, thinkers, and makers.
Our Air Force is powered by airmen but fueled by innovation. Launch Stories is a way for us share that facet of our efforts and inspire even greater research. — Joel Sercel, Founder and Principal Engineer at ICS Associates
Real Art serves a growing roster of the world’s top brands from its offices in New York, Chicago, and its 25,000-square foot headquarters and development lab in Dayton, Ohio. Real Art is known for its blended approach, combining strategy with art and technology to produce never-before-seen results.
Launch Stories Website
For more exciting Air Force launch stories, visit launchstories.org
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