The Hyperspace Challenge Editorial Staff
As the technology outreach lead at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Matt Fetrow has witnessed the hurdles that startups and university research teams have to overcome to collaborate and partner with the government.
In a recent interview with Federal News Network, Fetrow discusses the Hyperspace Challenge accelerator program that he leads. This year’s focus is to recruit startups and university research teams developing technology that can be applied to or solve problems in the space domain. While the Hyperspace Challenge is designed to accelerate innovation in space, Fetrow dispels the assumption that the program only works with teams developing more traditional aerospace technology.
“One thing that’s changed a little bit, and we’re really pushing hard to accelerate, is this idea that you don’t have to be a space company or even a space researcher to do things that might go into space. So we’re really looking for technologies that might be in adjacent markets, like logistics or even mobility solutions, and we’re trying to find those companies and those technologies and bring them into the space realm because we think there’s a lot of opportunity there for new entrants to continue to grow.”
Fetrow also notes that the accelerator’s new cohort for university research teams, which will run in tandem with the 2021 startup cohort, gives university teams the opportunity to learn more about government missions to inform current and future research.