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 is a member of the Defensewerx Family.
Learn how the public can get involved with the Doolittle Institute and AFRL/RW via our brochure.
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. Today, DI provides Technology Transfer, Technology Transition, Innovation & Collaboration and Workforce Development solutions 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 across all levels of society.” 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. With guidance and support from SOCOM acquisition executive James “Hondo” Guerts, SOFWERX grew to become a national model for defense innovation. The success of SOFWERX 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 Niceville, Florida.
This website represents the work performed by the Doolittle Institute to support and strengthen the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate.