Innovare hosts ‘Trusted A.I. At Scale’ event, $19M being awarded to Small Business

Tech News

ROME, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) – Trusted AI at Scale, an Artificial Intelligence event presented by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Innovare Advancement Center, will occur virtually July 26-28, 2021. The event is free and open to the public, and will bring together technology leaders from across government, academia, and industry to explore the challenges of developing AI systems that are safe, secure, robust, capable, and effective.  

Trusted AI at Scale is comprised of two Air Force events: the U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (USAF SBIR/STTR) Pitch Day – an AFRL Enterprise-wide activity led by the AFRL Information Directorate (RI) in Rome – as well as the final installment of the Trusted AI Challenge Series. 

The USAF SBIR/STTR Pitch Day model accelerates the Air Force’s acquisition timeline, contracting, and award process, allowing game-changing technologies to be developed and transitioned more quickly to our warfighters. During the Trusted AI at Scale event, nearly $19M will be awarded on the spot to selected small businesses, allowing them to begin their proposed AI research and development immediately.  

The Trusted AI Challenge Series is a collaboration between AFRL, State University of New York (SUNY), Innovare Advancement Center, New York State Technology Enterprise Corporation (NYSTEC), Griffiss Institute, and National Security Innovation Network (NSIN). This challenge will award up to $925K to proposals that tackle trustworthiness in dynamic, autonomous AI systems. This is the third and final installment of the workshop series that began in Oct 2020. 

“The Air Force recognizes the integral role small businesses and non-profit research institutions play in furthering our mission and forming partnerships,” said Denise Lee, SBIR/STTR Program Manager, AFWERX Liaison, and co-host of the event. “Trusted AI at Scale is one piece of the larger Air Force science and technology ecosystem and was designed to engage and unite the global AI community. I am delighted to be a part of programming that provides an avenue to work directly with the small businesses, stimulating high-tech innovation and driving impactful technology advancements at speed.” 

“Trusted AI at Scale is the culmination of significant efforts among Innovare partners in academia, industry and government to enhance trustworthiness in dynamic, autonomous AI systems to the benefit of our national security and economic competitiveness,” says Heather Hage, President and CEO of the Griffiss Institute. “The Griffiss Institute is pleased to help deliver this program to empower universities and small businesses to advance the state of the art in trustworthy AI. We celebrate the Air Force Research Laboratory and State University of New York for their leadership in making it happen, we congratulate the awardees for their achievements, and we look forward to learning the outcomes of these projects.” 

The three-day event will feature remarks from industry experts, including Dr. Eric Horvitz, Chief Scientific Officer of Microsoft, and Dr. Mark Maybury, Chief Technology Officer of Stanley Black & Decker; diverse panel discussions with live audience Q&A; and inspiring presentations by distinguished government briefers. 

“The Trusted AI at Scale event is another step toward fostering a collaborative ecosystem locally, nationally, and internationally,” said Kevin Owens, NYSTEC President & CEO. “As an AFRL partner through our partnership intermediary agreement [PIA], we are excited and honored to be a part of this event, which will continue to accelerate deep tech innovation and the transfer of technology.” 

Trusted AI at Scale is powered by NYSTEC, an AFRL Information Directorate Partnership Intermediary. To learn more about this event, visit

The full list of briefers for this event includes: 

  • Mr. Gregory C. Allen, Director of Strategy and Policy, Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) 
  • Dr. Paul Antonik, Chief Scientist, Information Directorate, AFRL 
  • Dr. Misty Blowers, Chief Technology Officer and Director of the information War Room, Deputy Commandant of Information, Headquarters Marine Corps 
  • Dr. Sarah Bibyk, Research Psychologist, AFRL 
  • Dr. Timothy J. Bunning, Chief Technology Officer, AFRL, Air Force Materiel Command  
  • Dr. Louise Carter, Director, Airman Systems Directorate, 711th Human Performance Wing, AFRL, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), Ohio 
  • Dr. Victoria Coleman, Chief Scientist, United States Air Force 
  • Col Nathan P. Diller, Director, AFWERX 
  • Mr. Steven Drager, Principal Electronics Engineer, AFRL 
  • Dr. Peter Friedland, Senior Scientific Advisor, United States Air Force 
  • Col Fred Garcia, Director, AFRL/RI 
  • Mr. Michael Graniero, Small Business Professional, AFRL/RI 
  • Dr. Michael Hayduk, Deputy Director, AFRL/RI  
  • Dr. Eric Horvitz, Chief Scientific Officer, Microsoft 
  • Ms. Denise Lee, SBIR/STTR Program Manager, AFRL/RI  
  • Mr. Jean-Charles (JC) Ledé, Acting Deputy Director of Tactical Technology Office, DARPA 
  • Dr. Ryan Luley, Senior Mathematician, AFRL/RI 
  • Dr. Joseph Lyons, Principal Research Psychologist; 711 Human Performance Wing, AFRL 
  • Dr. Mark Maybury, Chief Technology Officer, Stanley Black & Decker 
  • Dr. Joel Mozer, Chief Scientist, United States Space Force 
  • Dr. Chris Myers, Senior Cognitive Scientist, AFRL 
  • Major Jason Rathje, AFVentures Director, AFWERX 
  • Dr. William P. Roach, Chief Scientist, AFOSR 
  • Dr. Steven Rogers, Senior Scientist for Automatic Target Recognition and Sensor Fusion, AFRL 
  • Ms. Karen Roth, Chief Engineer, AFRL/RI 
  • Capt Matthew Ruden, Chief Innovation Officer and Directorate CAG Chief, PEO Digital, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom AFB, MA 
  • Dr. Laura Steckman, Program Officer, AFOSR 
  • Dr. Matt Turek, Innovation Office (120) Program Manager, DARPA 
  • Dr. Alvaro Velasquez, Research Scientist, AFRL 
  • Dr. Stuart Wagner, Chief Digital Transformation Officer, Department of the Air Force 
  • Mr. Steven Wert, Program Executive Officer Digital, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) 
  • Dr. Bryant Wysocki, Technical Advisor, C4I and Cyber Systems, Air Force; Associate Director, AFRL/RI 

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