The Doolittle Institute, an AFRL Innovation Institute, supports the Air Force Research Labs Munitions Directorate by working to license and commercialize AFRL/RW technologies in the private sector, enable rapid technology delivery to the warfighter, identify and foster new R&D partnerships and develop AFRL’s current and future workforce.
The Doolittle Institute (DI) was established in 2012 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit named in honor of James “Jimmy” Doolittle, commander of WWII’s historic Doolittle Raid who was an aviation pioneer and innovator. Honoring the Doolittle name by supporting new technology and innovation DI provides Technology Transition, Innovation & Collaboration and STEM Outreach through a Partnership Intermediary Agreement(PIA) between DEFENSEWERX and the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate(AFRL/RW).
Originally located in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, DI was chartered to “create an innovative environment and bring the best of government, industry, and academia together to work the hardest science and technology problems while championing STEM education.” DI was also chartered “to enable a thriving State-Sponsored T2 Ecosystem centered on the NWFL Region, from Mobile to Tallahassee, but with Global reach and influence.”
In 2015, the Doolittle Institute expanded its customer base to include U.S. SOCOM with the establishment of SOFWERX. SOFWERX grew to become a national model for defense innovation and created significant interest in the Doolittle Institute as a DoD innovation partner.
To appeal to a broader audience and as a “Corporate” entity operating multiple facilities through PIAs, the Doolittle Institute announced in an August 2017 rebranding campaign it would begin doing business as DEFENSEWERX. Shortly thereafter, the 501(c)3 entity was officially renamed to DEFENSEWERX. Around the same time, AFRL/RW chose to retain the name “Doolittle Institute” for the Northwest Florida DEFENSEWERX facility operated under the PIA between DEFENSEWERX and AFRL/RW.
In April 2018, both DEFENSEWERX and the Doolittle Institute relocated to a state-of-the-art-facility in Niceville, Florida.
This website represents the work performed by the Doolittle Institute to support and strengthen the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate.
AFRL Innovation Institutes foster creativity and collaboration between companies and the U.S. Air Force. Our family of innovators connects us to a nationwide network of federal technologies, facilities, and resources.