It is my pleasure to announce that SURVIVR has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant by the United States Air Force! This Phase I grant will be used to adapt our VR police scenarios to train Air Force security forces.
Phase I comes with several important goals. First, we are tasked with performing customer discovery by demoing to and interviewing relevant Air Force and Department of Defense stakeholders. Second, we will use our findings to 1) validate the need, 2) identify success metrics, and 3) create a comprehensive action plan for our Phase II application.
The SBIR solicitation that we applied to is titled: “Open Call for Innovative Defense-Related Dual-Purpose Technologies/Solutions with a Clear Air Force Stakeholder Need.” The purpose of this solicitation is “to explore [Innovative Defense-Related Dual-Purpose Technologies] that may fall outside the Air Force’s current fields of focus but that may be useful to the US Air Force.”
The Air Force has also commented regarding this solicitation: “AFRL and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants and decrease bureaucratic overhead. Beginning in SBIR 18.2, and now in 19.2, the Air Force has begun offering ‘Special’ SBIR topics that are faster, leaner and open to a broader range of innovations.”
The best part is: we already know that our product is useful to the Air Force. Not only has the Air Force chosen “Immersive Training Solutions” to be one of their Open Topic Technology Focus Areas, but also they have a stakeholder who declared a need specifically for “VR/AR Emergency Response Training.”
All-in-all, the SBIR program is highly selective and we are grateful for the Air Force to be putting us on a path to train military first responders. We look forward to collaborating with the Air Force and Department of Defense to improve public safety training at the federal level.