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AFVentures Reports $710M in Contracts Awarded Via Open Topic Program; Maj. Jason Rathje Quoted

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Maj. Jason Rathje
Maj. Jason Rathje Director AFVentures

The Department of the Air Force’s commercial investment group AFVentures has issued its annual report for fiscal year 2020 stating that it has awarded $710 million in contracts to over 1,400 small businesses using the Open Topic program since its formation in 2018, the service reported Wednesday.

AFVentures solicits funding proposals through the Open Topics approach, which is based on the service’s Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

The report also showed that AFVentures-funded small businesses received $1.4 billion in non-SBIR/STTR government contracts. The investment group’s portfolio companies have attracted $2.2 billion in investments from the private sector following an award through the Open Topic program.

AFVentures helped execute over $300M worth of industrial base expansion projects in testing and diagnostics, screening, pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment through the COVID-19 Commercial Solutions Offering and received over 3,500 concepts to fight the coronavirus through a COVID-19 industry portal.

Maj. Jason Rathje, director of AFVentures, said the report seeks to reflect the program’s return on investment for the Air Force and Space Force.

“In the pursuit of commercially-derived technological development, we intend to grow the industrial base, increase the transition of commercial technology to the DoD, increase commercialization derived from our investments and partner with private capital to enhance defense,” Rathje said.