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November 7, 2019

US Air Force awards funding at Space Pitch Day event

The US Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has held a Pitch Day in San Francisco, California, US, to enable the quick acquisition of technologies for military use.

The US Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has held a Pitch Day in San Francisco, California, US, to enable the quick acquisition of technologies for military use.

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Around 60 small companies that hold Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I awards competed for the $50m in contract funding made available by the US Air Force (USAF).

The two-day Air Force Space Pitch Day event provided the opportunity for firms to win a spot contract award to address military space challenges.

Pitch days allow the USAF to move away from the traditional contracting processes to make use of innovations offered by small businesses.

SMC commander and USAF Space programme executive officer lieutenant general John Thompson said: “The airforce is leveraging modern commercial business practices to enable the rapid development of small business ecosystems that have dual-use, cutting-edge technologies to enable the fielding of fast, relevant and affordable solutions that support our airforce.”

The pitch day event saw companies presenting their ideas in space situational awareness, space communications, early missile detection and warning, multi-domain command and control, and data-mining operations within electronically contested environments.

The topics also included responsive launch systems, artificial intelligence, space logistics and protection of critical space assets.

USAF acquisition, technology and logistics assistant secretary Dr William Roper said: “Everything we do is about the warfighter’s mission.

“Space Pitch Day demonstrates the airforce’s willingness and ability to work with non-traditional startups and a great example of us going faster and smarter. It’s not just a tagline; it’s a dead-serious business about keeping the airforce competitive and dominant.”

The event also allows SBIR Phase I contract awardees to pitch their proposals for Phase II funding.

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IPO activity all but stopped in 2020, as the investment community grew wary of the effects of COVID-19 on economies. No matter how deserving a business was of flotation, momentum was halted by concerns of when a ‘new normal’ of working patterns and trade would set in. Recently, sentiment has changed. Flotations picked up again during the second half of 2021, and now in 2022 the mood is decidedly optimistic. Business leaders have their eyes on fast rebounding economies, buoyant market indices and the opportunity once again to take their businesses public. As a result, global IPOs are expected to hit back this year. With GlobalData’s new whitepaper, ‘IPOs in Consumer and Retail: 5 must-include elements for your prospectus industry report’, you can explore exactly what is needed in the essential literature. GlobalData’s focus lies in the critical areas to get right:
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