Call for 2022 Innovation Rodeo ideas nears June 6 deadline

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  • By AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – With less than a week to go in its annual call-for-topics campaign, the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center is still accepting innovative ideas with the potential to change the Air Force. This year’s campaign theme is Accelerate Change through Innovation.

Ideas can be submitted at

Why it matters: The campaign is open through June 6 to military and civilian members of the Department of the Air Force’s mission and installation support community. It gives innovators a chance to win part of an expected $1 million or more in funding and resources to pursue ideas that will help the department deliver capabilities, improve installations, increase lethality and readiness, or support Airmen, Guardians and families in a better, faster way.

The big picture: When it comes to funding, AFIMSC Ventures innovation office knows how to find available dollars and put them to work. Since standing up in 2018, the team has turned an initial $1 million budget into $85 million by leveraging Air Force and venture capital funding programs. Over the past three years, the center has handed out millions of dollars through the Innovation Rodeo and grown seed money into millions more to take ideas through research, development and execution.

What they’re saying: “Innovation is a key mechanism to meeting the charge of our Air Force senior leaders to adapt and work differently,” said Pitman Kennedy, AFIMSC Ventures innovation program analyst. “Talented Airmen and Guardians at all levels across the installation and mission support enterprise have great ideas. They know how to innovate, they know how to accelerate change and we want to help them do that.”

"It was an absolute honor to win first place, because it reflected long hours and hard work to find an innovative solution that would help not just Airmen around Robins, but throughout the Air Force," said Senior Airman Ricardo Morales, 2021 AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo winner from the 461st Maintenance Squadron at Robins AFB, Georgia.

Morales encourages everyone – no matter their rank – with an idea to take a chance on getting selected for the 2022 AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo. 

"Anyone can make a difference in the Air Force," he said. 

What happens after June 6: AFIMSC officials will select and announce finalists who will spend a week in San Antonio in August to learn from leading innovators, collaborate with industry partners and network with peers, senior leaders and innovation teams. On the final day, finalists will pitch their ideas to a panel of senior leaders who will choose the winners.

This year, innovation teams from each AFIMSC primary subordinate unit – the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, the Air Force Security Forces Center, the Air Force Services Center and the Air Force Installation Contracting Center – will help finalists move their projects forward.

More information: 

Ideas wanted for 2022 AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo; at least $1M up for grabs

AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo pitches: Where are they now?