SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – The light bulb. The microwave. Paper. The World Wide Web.
All of these every-day products and tools have one thing in common – someone had an idea of how to make some something better or develop new application that meets the needs of a changing society. They started with the thought of, “What if.”
Sheppard AFB Airmen have the opportunity to see their innovative ideas come to fruition as the second annual Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Innovation Rodeo call-for-topics campaign is underway. The campaign, open through Dec. 15, gives military and civilian members worldwide a chance to win part of $1 million in funding and resources to implement their ideas.
Local points of contact for the campaign are Maj. Lauren Guibert, 82nd Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, and Master Sgt. Yolanda Reynolds, 82nd LRS superintendent.
Anyone from Sheppard can submit an idea. Those who don’t have any ideas of their own can go online and create an account to see what has been submitted across the Air Force and vote on those proposals.
Here’s how to sign up:
- Login to the Ideation platform at https://usaf.ideascalegov.com/a/ideas/recent/campaigns/100
- First time users must register for an account using their.mil email address and enable two-factor authentication.
- Select “Submit New Idea”
- Complete the idea submission fields (a red * indicates required fields)
- Select “Submit Idea”
- Ask your colleagues to login to IdeaScale to provide input and vote for their favorite idea.
Idea proposals and voting will continue until Dec. 15. Eight finalists will be notified on Jan. 8. The finalists will then go to San Antonio in February to learn from leading innovators and convince a board of senior Air Force installation and mission support leaders that their idea is the best during the AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo on Feb. 7.
“We know our Airmen have ideas that can potentially transform the Air Force,” said Marc Vandeveer, AFIMSC chief innovation officer. “We want to help them bring those ideas to life.”
Last year, eight finalists were chosen among 122 submissions and 2,000 online votes to compete in the inaugural AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo, where competitors with the top three ideas split $650,000 to get their ideas to prototype via AFWERX and technology accelerators.
Additional support from the Small Business Innovation Research Program and other sources increased the support to the winners to more than $5 million, according to Patricia Marshall, a project manager with the AFIMSC Innovation Office.
“The 2019 Innovation Rodeo has been very successful,” Marshall said. “The winning submission for a crowdsourced mobile application went from idea to the iOS App store in 155 days. Additionally, machine learning and artificial intelligence drone roof inspections received $3 million in additional SBIR funding.”
For more information about AFIMSC’s Innovation Rodeo, visit https://www.afimsc.af.mil/innovation.
Editor’s note: Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs contributed to this article.