NSIN, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office, and the AFRL Information Directorate (RI), hosted the first-ever F-35 JPO Pitch Day, in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, November 21, 2019.

The pitch day was designed to identify solutions for the F-35 Joint Reprogramming Enterprise (JRE). The JRE is tasked with providing hardware and software used to develop Mission Data Files. Mission Data Files enhance the pilot-vehicle interface, update threat parametric data with intelligence information, and enable operational functions that affect mission employment.

For this event, the JPO was seeking innovative software technologies, compatible with existing containerized development pipelines and software product, to increase the efficiency of software and mission data file development.

On November 21st, 19 finalist teams were selected to pitch 20 dual-use technologies to support these efforts. These finalists also had the opportunity to address high-impact private investors, defense and security industry representatives, and government leaders as part of the event.

The day began with presentations and remarks from Rear Admiral Carl Chebi, Deputy Program Executive Officer and Dr. Chris Bassler, Chief Strategy Officer for the F-35 Joint Lightning II Joint Program Office. They were joined by Colonel David D. Perez, Commander, 53d, Electronic Warfare Group, 53d Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Following opening remarks, teams then presented in both public and private pitch sessions throughout the day. The public pitch sessions were moderated by a group of panelists including Riley Repko, Senior Advisor for Innovation for the Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff; Dr. Kristine Gloria-Garcia, Associate Director, The Aspen Institute; Will Allen, Partner, Harpoon VC; Andy Bair, Partner, Sway VC; and Major General Timothy Kelly, Mobilization Assistant to the Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.

At the end of the day-long event, 16 teams received 17 contract awards, signed and funded with Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program phase one funds totaling $1.2M! What’s more, all contracts were reviewed, approved and funded at the event. In fact, the record for the contracting team – between execution and first payment was a mere 78 seconds.

All finalists are eligible for future NSIN-sponsored opportunities.