MGMWERX officially launches operations in Montgomery

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Innovation and expertise that can benefit the U.S. Air Force and other armed services now have a new place to take flight in Montgomery.

MGMWERX, an innovation hub of DEFENSEWERX, hosted “Mission Launch 2018” in downtown Montgomery Aug. 28 as an introduction to regional leaders.

Established under an agreement with theAir Force Research Laboratory, MGMWERX augments ongoing Air University programs at Maxwell Air Force Base to enhance production of high-quality, innovative research and ideas that address issues of importance to the Air Force while also benefiting the private sector.

“MGMWERX will enable Air University as the intellectual epicenter of the Air Force, to work with industry, civilian academia and others,” said Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, Air University president. The collaboration is all about “taking thought pieces from our institution’s students and faculty and then incubate them through an innovation hub like MGMWERX to solve difficult Air Force and Department of Defense issues. This is a direct link to the Secretary of Defense’s National Defense Strategy developing a lethal force though evolving innovative operational concepts. That critical thinking happens right up the street at Maxwell Air Force Base and will blossom right here.”

Bill Martin, director of MGMWERX, speaks at “Mission Launch 2018” in Montgomery. [Contributed]

Bill Martin, MGMWERX director, said the team of five, which is expected to expand this year, will integrate concepts and technology “from the public sector with the broad spectrum of Air Force proposals brought forward by some of the brightest minds in the service.”

MGMWERX will be a conduit between the Air Force and the private sector in the River Region.

“The success of the WERX model as a super connector understanding our customer needs and linking the right expertise to create positive results is happening at a rapid rate,” said Laurie Moncrieff, DEFENSEWERX executive director. “The WERX organizations have fielded hundreds of ideas innovating and commercializing technologies that support the warfighter. MGMWERX will continue that charge by taking the ideas generated from Air University and accelerating viable technologies to solve real-world problems faced by those defending our nation.”

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson recently visited MGMWERX to see firsthand the examples of projects the team will undertake to enable the service to “move faster and smarter.”

MGMWERX will depend and rely on a robust private sector and industry to offer suggestions on issues than could benefit the private sector and the Air Force, Martin said.

The MGMWERX collaborative office space is in Montgomery’s innovation district. Martin acknowledged the team will be better able to leverage “outside the gate” thinking to accelerate experimentation with emerging technologies.

Speakers at the “Mission Launche 2018” shared information about how MGMWERX will foster innovation in the Montgomery area. [Contributed]

“Collaborating with Air University and the surrounding local area – to include the city of Montgomery, Montgomery County and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce – we’ll inspire new thinking, optimize talent and become a breeding ground for innovative thought,” Martin said.

“Montgomery has been the epicenter of world-changing history for decades, and now the city is making history again – but this time through technology and innovation,” said Anna Buckalew, executive vice president of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. “This unprecedented public-private collaboration with the Air Force will be a model for communities around the world, fueling innovation and collaboration that creates solutions for some of the most critical issues the Air Force and our nation faces today.”

As part of the DEFENSEWERX ecosystem, MGMWERX connects to a national network that shares and leverages derived solutions for the mutual benefit of the Air Force and the external community.

Joining the MGMWERX ecosystem affords individuals and organizations an opportunity to get involved in creating tangible solutions through innovation and collaboration, workforce development, tech transfer and rapid prototyping activities.

Republished with permission from the Alabama NewsCenter.

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