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On January 25, 2023, the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN managed by Parallax Advanced Research), hosted a virtual Opportunity Day in collaboration with The Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Higher Education. The OFRN Opportunity Day included Ohio government, academic, and industry innovators and researchers, and others interested in collaborating on innovation to solve government challenges.  

The OFRN Opportunity Day featured an OFRN program overview, presentations from government thought leaders, and a discussion with Q&A on federal R&D funding opportunities.  

The goal of the event was to enable industry and academia to  

  • collaborate on new R&D opportunities to win R&D business for Ohio 

  • help a minimum of 1 to 2 teams pursue the opportunities presented at the event 

  • position OFRN as a key R&D collaborator for the State of Ohio 

Event recap: Download the consolidated event PowerPoints for all speakers, here. 

Welcome! OFRN Overview & Program Goal  

Mark Bartman, Major General (Ret.) advisor to Parallax Advanced Research supporting OFRN. He was the Adjutant General for the Ohio National Guard from 2015 to 2019 and a member of former Ohio Governor Kasich’s Cabinet.   

Dr. Richard Vaia, Chief Scientist for Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL

Dr. Richard A. Vaia is the Chief Scientist for Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). As the principal technical leader for the Directorate, he is responsible for the planning, quality, and impact of the USAF, USSF, and the Department of the Air Force's Materials & Manufacturing internal and external research and development activities. He is also responsible for fostering a culture of innovation, establishing strategic partnerships, ensuring the required infrastructure, and developing a diverse technical workforce within the Directorate. Dr. Vaia received his PhD (1995) from Cornell University in materials science and engineering and separated from the USAF as a Captain in 1999. He has published more than 250 articles on nanomaterials, with honors including membership in the National Academy of Engineering, AF McLucas Award for Basic Research, ACS Doolittle Award, Air Force Outstanding Scientist, Air Force Office of Scientific Research Star Teams, DARPA Service Chief Fellow, and Fellow of the Materials Research Society, American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, NextFlex, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. 

Download the handouts Dr. Vaia referred to in his presentation, below:

Aerospace Research Convergence Center

Materials and Manufacturing Directorate

Steven J. Zech, Senior Intelligence Analyst, NASIC GEOINT Team 

Steven J. Zech serves as the Senior Intelligence Analyst for the NASIC GEOINT Team, a Joint Air Force and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Support Team (NGA-NST) charged with solving NASICs most challenging intelligence problems though GEOINT. Mr. Zech guides a budget of over $35M and more than 380 GEOINT experts to produce second and third phase scientific and technical intelligence through the GEOINT intelligence cycle; implement advanced techniques for data extraction, a robust quality control program; and consolidate report disseminations to the US acquisition community, DoD operators, and senior policy makers. Prior to serving as the Senior Intelligence Analyst in the GEOINT Analysis Squadron, Mr. Zech served as both a flight director and principal intelligence analyst for the NASIC’s Persistent Infrared Analysis Squadron’s Research and Development Flight. 

Q&A session 

Watch the full session here. 

Opportunity Review with Dr. Kate Gilpin, Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment (APEX) Director of Discovery and Engagement.  

Dr. Kathleen Gilpin was an applied research scientist within the 711th Human Performance Wing at the Air Force Research Laboratory and a research scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory where she conducted research to assess the effects of traumatic brain injury. She served five years in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer navigating amphibious ships and remains a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve. She has a Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience.  

The funding opportunities covered during the Opportunity Day include:  

  • Air Force and Space Force Open Topic: AF X23.D CSO, AF X23.5 CSO 

  • Air Force Specific Topics: DoD 23.A BAA, DoD 23.1 BAA Phase 1, DoD 23.1 BAA Phase D2P2 

  • Space Force Specific Topics: DoD 23.A BAA, DoD 23.1 BAA 

  • Other DoD Components – Out-of-Cycle Topics: DoD 23.4 BAA, DoD 23.1 BAA, DoD 23.A BAA 

All solicitations can be viewed, here.

Conclusion & Next Steps 

We want to thank our audience for their support and fruitful conversations, and the event speakers for their engaging presentations.  

Join us at upcoming OFRN events. Stay tuned for more information by subscribing to our newsletter, here.