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AFRL Regional Network Kicks Off Operations in the Midwest

Funding Opportunities Available

By Dr. Stacy Manni

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Regional Network – Midwest, hosted at Purdue University, serves as an AFRL pilot initiative designed to establish a dynamic science and technology ecosystem. This initiative connects a diverse range of partners, including universities, businesses, government agencies, national laboratories, economic development collaborators, and venture capitalists, with the Air Force Research Laboratories. The ultimate mission is to foster collaboration, translation, and workforce achievements, catalyzing significant innovation in science and technology to address Air Force and Space Force requirements and priorities.

One of the primary objectives of the AFRL Regional Network – Midwest is to cultivate extensive connections with its partners, promoting a culture of networking and collaboration. To achieve this, the Midwest Regional Network has organized events at partner institutions across multiple Midwest regions, including the University of Akron, Iowa State University, and Michigan State University, in addition to active participation in relevant science and technology conferences. These initiatives not only inform network members about opportunities within AFRL but also facilitate interaction between industry partners and academic faculty, encouraging the exchange of research and development insights.

Furthermore, the Midwest Regional Network provides support by offering funding opportunities to research teams engaged in collaborative efforts with the Air Force Research Laboratory. These opportunities encompass critical domains, such as hypersonics, microelectronics, energetic materials, in-space servicing and manufacturing, as well as space domain awareness. Additionally, the Midwest Regional Network offers TechConnect, a valuable tool aimed at connecting interested scientists and engineers with AFRL subject matter experts.

An essential aspect of the AFRL Regional Network – Midwest’s mission is to engage with regional colleges and universities to foster collaborative partnerships and workforce development initiatives. Funding opportunities within the network emphasize the importance of workforce development, promoting synergy between AF and Network scientists and engineers, including student and post-doctoral researchers. This approach encourages the exchange of personnel and ideas, complemented by robust professional development opportunities. The Midwest Network also disseminates information about existing internships and workforce development experiences, raising awareness about career prospects within the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Covering a vast geographic footprint spanning Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota, the Midwest Regional Network is dedicated to connecting with all regional colleges and universities. This inclusivity is a top priority for the network, ensuring that the benefits of collaboration and innovation reach institutions throughout the region.

If you find yourself outside of the Midwest region, we allow for non-network partners that wish to engage closely with our Midwest Network members and the AFRL. Additionally, there is a second pilot initiative serving the Mid-Atlantic region, hosted at Cornell University, that serves the states of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. This Regional Network has a topical focus on complex systems and modeling, as well as quantifying performance in extreme environments.

If you are interested in joining the Midwest Regional Network or have inquiries, we invite you to explore our website for comprehensive information on partnerships and upcoming events at Stay updated with our activities by following us on LinkedIn at or on Twitter at Should you require further assistance or have specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at Our next funding opportunity will be released 12 December 2023. We look forward to your participation in this exciting pilot initiative.

Dr. Stacy Manni is acting director at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Regional Network – Midwest, hosted at Purdue University. 


Guest Contributor

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE’s U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE Members.

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