AFRL partners with Space RCO, CNM Ingenuity to host Accelerator Week for Hyperspace Challenge 2023 Published Sept. 29, 2023 By Franchesca Conner Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, is partnering with the Space Rapid Capabilities Office, or Space RCO, and longtime partner CNM Ingenuity, or CNMI, the economic development arm of Central New Mexico Community College, and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology to hold the 2023 Hyperspace Challenge in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Hyperspace Challenge Accelerator Week is a capstone event for this initiative and will be held at the Q-Station in Albuquerque Nov. 1-2, 2023. The goal of the challenge is to introduce opportunities for organizations to work with the Department of Defense. Since 2018, the three-month accelerator program has aimed to strengthen economic development in the space sector. “The government needs the most innovative technology and capabilities to get after its mission. Because of the current state of the space industrial base rapidly growing and expanding, we know that private industry has those solutions,” said Gabe Mounce, AFRL tech engagement office director. This year marks the sixth iteration of the Hyperspace Challenge and the first year AFRL is partnering with Space RCO to further progress space development. “Hyperspace is always looking for ways to grow,” said Lauren Hunt, AFRL deputy program manager for the Space Force Accelerators Program. “Our goal is to really deepen connections and relationships among different communities. Every year we try to bring together a diverse group of communities who have different perspectives and concepts, so we can seek out the most innovative ideas. We look at viewpoints we haven't considered before.” Hyperspace also focuses on reducing organizations' barriers to entry, Hunt said, enabling companies that may not have previously partnered with the government to make inroads and determine if a partnership is a good match. The in-person accelerator week will enable businesses, educational institutions and other organizations involved in this program to highlight state-of-the-art products, services and processes to DOD partners. Through this joint effort with AFRL, participants in the corporate sector can rapidly expand their efforts by synergizing with government entities. “The Hyperspace Challenge Accelerator is the result of AFRL efforts over the past six years,” said Col. Jeremy Raley, director of AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate and commander of AFRL’s Phillips Research Site. “We are proud to give industry partners the platform to collaborate, cultivate and support us by providing more efficient technology for our warfighter missions.” Matt Fetrow, Space Rapid Capabilities Office communication director, explained the current opportunities in the commercial sector. The program is seeking companies or organizations that have “mature products and services or technologies” which fit Space RCO’s interest areas and have a proven track record of delivering capability. “I was excited when we started getting involved in conversations this year with AFRL on the need to improve dynamic space operations,” Fetrow said. “The ability to work with Hyperspace to get those conversations started with industry players about our needs and what products or services they might be able to offer to solve some of those needs is great. This allows us to have rich and hopefully enduring relationships with companies in the cohort and it’s a great opportunity for Space RCO to take that relationship building with industry to another level.” To date, the accelerator has supported over 60 small businesses and universities across the U.S. and abroad. For more information, visit hyperspacechallenge.com. About AFRL The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: www.afresearchlab.com.