YBI, BRITE Get $2.1M for Air Force Technology Program

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan this morning announced a $2.1 million partnership between BRITE Energy Innovators in Warren, the Youngstown Business Incubator and Wright State Applied Research Corp. (WSARC) in Dayton.

The contract supports the Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment (APEX), a five-year partnership intermediary agreement program of the United States Air Force. Ryan was able to secure funding for the partnership in the fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2020 Defense Appropriations Bills. The congressman serves on the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations.

APEX is a program under Wright State Applied Research Corp. Its mission is to identify transformational operational defense solutions at universities and businesses and connect them with the government to boost development of Air Force defense technology development.

“If places like Warren and Youngstown are going to participate in the global economy, it’s going to take boots on the ground. Through my seat on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I’m proud to be able to put the Mahoning Valley at the center of this effort to spur innovation and development in the places that traditionally get left behind,” said Ryan in a prepared statement.

While the Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment is operated nationally by WSARC, the Ohio contract partners, BRITE and YBI, are subcontracted to roll out the program in the Appalachian Region. 

The three-year, $2.1 million contract will be used to conduct outreach and secure engagement with universities and small businesses across the footprint of the Appalachian Region Commmission that is comprised of 424 counties in 13 states, ranging from New York to Alabama.

“What makes APEX unique is that it cultivates partnerships between academia, industry and the USAF, and works to increase technology transition opportunities in support of the National Defense and Air Force 2030 Strategies,” said the CEO of WSARC, Dennis Andersh.

YBI CEO Barb Ewing noted the importance of this contract in solidifying the relationship between the local Ohio organizations, “Anytime there’s opportunity for YBI and BRITE to work together, it’s an opportunity worth taking.”

“We’re excited to connect our companies with the USAF Small Business Innovation Research program to make the USAF more innovative, more competitive and create more jobs in the Appalachian Region,” said BRITE President and CEO Rick Stockburger.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.