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The Innovation and Collaboration team fosters an innovative culture at AFRL/RW and increases employee engagement by spearheading collaborative activities, facilitating technology development and design events, and offering inspirational training, workshops, and enrichment initiatives.

in·no·vate to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products

col·lab·o·rate to work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something

Engagement through Collaboration

In addition to events held on-site, the Doolittle Institute also supports regional entrepreneurship and innovation efforts such as the Northwest Florida Forward Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council, the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, and the Economic Development Council.

Engagement through Facilitation


The Doolittle Institute works with local AFRL key contacts within the Small Business and Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs to connect businesses with opportunities. Our new facility is ideal for hosting workshops and collaborative events with your Technical Points of Contact (TPOC) to showcase your research and products. If you have an idea for a workshop or a need to meet with a TPOC, please contact us!


Tech Sprints

The tech sprint is a five-day process for testing new ideas during which diverse groups of 7-10 professionals brainstorm solutions to a complex AFRL problem. The Innovation and Collaboration team facilitates these sprints, based on the Design Sprint, for AFRL/RW scientists and engineers to find solutions for their biggest technology problems. If you have an idea for a tech sprint, reach out to us for help!

Process Sprints

Based on the Tech Sprint model, the Doolittle Institute innovated a new way of problem-solving: Process Sprints. These types of Sprints help a group define problems and goals, establish procedures to achieve desired outcomes, and assign tasks for the group to accomplish its goals. A Process Sprint takes a large, undefined problem and breaks it down into smaller, incremental steps destined to become policies and processes.

SBIR Sprints

For small businesses collaborating with the AFRL, the Doolittle Institute can facilitate a SBIR Sprint to get SBIR Awardees and the Air Force on the same page. These Sprints, also based on Tech Sprints, determine the ideal solution’s requirements clearly, lays out the scope of work, sets short- and long-term goals, identifies technical challenges, generates potential prototypes, and develops a plan for implementation.

Engagement through Inspiration

Periodically the Doolittle Institute hosts speakers. These talks feature innovators, authors, warriors, entrepreneurs, or researchers outside of RW with a story to tell. These are not your typical lectures; rather they are inspirational discussions and stories, usually from a non-traditional industry. Past presentations and workshops include:

  • Corey Cooper of BOTE Boards
  • Jay Bixler of Pensacola Little Theatre
  • Richard Whittle, Predator UAS and V-22 Osprey author and historian
  • Dr. James Hansen, author of “Truth, Lies, and O-Rings”
  • Dr. Mark Lewis, former Chief Scientist of the Air Force
  • Dr. Bruce McCabe, Futurist and Author

The innovation and collaboration team also works with AFRL/RW to facilitate and host a variety of speakers of their choosing. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to watch rebroadcasts of these live-streamed events.

Culture Initiatives

In the spirit of continuous improvement, the Innovation and Collaboration Principals at the Doolittle Institute work closely with AFRL/RW leadership to help implement incremental work culture changes and foster innovation among RW employees.