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AIM-HI Workshop Ignites Creative Solutions Increasing Military Effectiveness

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Charles Givens

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Academia Industry Military-Hybrid Innovations (AIM-HI), a professional development program, recently kicked off its sixth cohort at the Southwest Mission Acceleration Center, located in downtown Phoenix. The program aims to promote creativity and innovation, focusing on developing quick solutions to improve national defense. 


In this 16-week course, participants form teams to focus on assignments aimed at creating innovative solutions that could significantly boost the effectiveness of military activities. The program schedules three in-person sessions strategically distributed throughout the duration, with the purpose of fostering hands-on collaboration and live feedback. The course culminates with teams presenting their innovation projects to senior leaders of the Air National Guard and various organizations within the Department of Defense.  


“The AIM-HI program is designed to provide students with the robust skill set needed to traverse the innovation ecosystem,” said Capt. Daniel Smith, the AIM-HI Program Director. “This program provides foundational and advanced concepts for innovation operations, while creating minimum viable products to current and future challenges of the DoD.” 


The primary focus of AIM-HI is on improving the pace of technology development, by fostering collaborative efforts among essential entities within the Department of Defense (DoD) and innovation experts throughout academia and industry. This cooperative effort is crucial for the rapid production of cutting-edge solutions necessary to fulfill the objectives of the National Defense Strategy. 


“I’ve been looking for some professional development for a while and to be able to take this course and learn something that I can take back to my base, initiate change and make things more efficient in the Air Force is pretty cool,” said Master Sgt. Logan May, a class participant. 


The program is sponsored by ARCWERX, the innovation office of the Air National Guard. Tasked with "Operationalized Innovation," ARCWERX is focused on developing and scaling novel tactical solutions with strategic impacts, with the primary goal of enhancing military capabilities in a rapidly evolving global landscape.