U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa launched the Spark Tank 2022 competition across the command following the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX kickoff of the annual innovation showcase.
Spark Tank is an annual competition, which gives Airmen and Guardians the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas to top Air Force leaders and industry professionals. Each idea submitted will compete for funding and resources as the Air Force looks to implement innovative solutions to challenging problems across the force.
A USAFE-AFAFRICA panel of judges will review the command’s submissions throughout the competition, which officially opened August 2.
Spark Tank 2022 timeline
- Submission window opens: August 2,
- Submission window closes: October 1
- USAFE Finalists Announced: November 1, 2021
- Air Force Finalist Announced: Early January, 2022
- Spark Tank Competition Finals: March 4, 2022
Submit Your Idea
AFWERX will accept ideas via the Guardian and Airmen Innovation Network platform. The G.A.I.N. platform will consolidate submissions, and early submissions will receive additional feedback to allow innovators to edit and re-submit their ideas. Members can register a G.A.I.N. account on the AFWERX website at www.afwerx.af.mil.
Spark Tank Pitches will require the following information to be considered:
- Summary (Background on problem and solution)
- Problem Statement (What is the problem, opportunity, unmet need?)
- Affected Population (Who has the problem, opportunity, or unmet need?)
- Solution Description (Describe your solution in detail)
- Resource Requirements (What types of resources are needed?)
- Implementation Period (Timeline to implement your solution)
- Savings (Estimated savings and manpower value)
- Barriers (Describe known and unknown barriers)
- Risks (Describe known and unknown risks)
- Focus Area (How you want to implement your solution?)
- Video Submission (See more information below)
- Squadron Innovation Funds (Has this idea received funding through Squadron Innovation Funds?)
- Pitch Origin (Where did this solution originate from?)
Pitch Video Requirement
An original video, no longer than 3 minutes, is required. The video should summarize the idea and make a case for the pitch. If selected as a finalist, videos may be used by Public Affairs for news, marketing, and advertising.
Videos are not required to be professionally created or produced, but the video must be reviewed and cleared for release by the unit’s Public Affairs office. All videos must be loaded to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) and accessioned using the tags “AFINNOFET” and “SparkTank2022.” Ensure the video’s name is the same as the name on the G.A.I.N. platform submission. Public Affairs will assist uploading video submissions to DVIDS.
Spark Tank Program Managers
- USAFE-AFAFRICA Headquarters: CMSgt. Brian Morrison and MSgt. Norma Gillette
- 31st Fighter Wing (Aviano AB): Ms. Julie Lacouture
- 39th Air Base Wing (Incirlik AB): Ms. Nazan Ogru
- 48th Fighter Wing (RAF Lakenheath): MSgt. Angelo Lowrie
- 52nd Fighter Wing (Spangdahlem AB): TSgt. Matthew Connelly
- 86th Airlift Wing (Ramstein AB): Ms. Daniela Detgen
- 100th Air Refueling Wing (RAF Mildenhall): SMSgt. Stephen Holdenried
- 435th Air Ground Operations Wing: SSgt. Vanessa Arnio
- 501st Combat Support Wing (RAF Alconbury): Dr. Zoe Dyndor
- 603rd Air Operations Center: MSgt. Mabel Salonga
AFWERX Website: https://www.afwerx.af.mil
G.A.I.N. Platform Website: https://gain.apps.dso.mil/
For more information regarding the competition, please contact your unit’s Spark Tank program manager and Wing Process Manager or visit www.afwerx.af.mil.