The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) will host the inaugural Air Force Technology Executive Officer Pitch Day to address technological challenges.

The Pitch Day will be held at the Steam Plant and the Wright Brother’s Institute in Dayton next month.

The event is supported by the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programme.

Pre-selected small businesses holding active SBIR/STTR Phase II contracts will take part and pitch at the event.

AF SBIR/STTR programme AFRL Center Lead Anissa Lumpkin said: “We’re looking at existing Phase II technologies that are showing strong transition potential.

“It is comprised of enthusiastic small technology businesses and university partners holding AF SBIR/STTR Phase II contracts, the airforce, and outside investors whom are concerned about current technological issues and are focused on the betterment of our warfighter. The inaugural AF/TEO Pitch Day approach is both strategic and innovative in nature.”

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The US Air Force (USAF) is following a venture capitalist approach for its Pitch Day programmes to enable small businesses to secure funding quickly to advance their technologies.

Lumpkin said: “We set aside $16m total funding to award beyond Phase II contracts and we anticipate getting about $24m from a diversified portfolio of investors back into the companies for what we have identified so far. At the end of the day, our users want the technology.”

The participating companies will pitch technologies, including adaptive optics systems, for airforce systems.

The event will also be attended by guests from different sectors such as military, government, and business.

Last month, small businesses pitched at a Pitch Day for virtual reality training systems in military applications.