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Congressman Tim Ryan Secures $2.1 Million for Partnership between BRITE, YBI, and the U.S. Air Force

March 2, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC -- Congressman Tim Ryan announced today a $2.1 million partnership between BRITE Energy Innovators in Warren, Ohio, Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) in Youngstown, Ohio and Wright State Applied Research Corporation (WSARC) in Dayton, Ohio. The contract supports the Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment (APEX), a five-year Partnership Intermediary Agreement program of the United States Air Force (USAF). Congressman Ryan was able to secure funding for the partnership in the Fiscal Year 2019 and Fiscal Year 2020 Defense Appropriations Bills. Ryan serves on the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations.

APEX is a program under WSARC and has the mission to identify transformational operational defense solutions at nationwide universities and businesses and connect them with the government to result in a major leap forward in 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 Congressman Tim Ryan.

While APEX 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 ARC 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 WSARC CEO 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 (SBIR) program to make the USAF more innovative, more competitive and create more jobs in the Appalachian Region,” said BRITE President and CEO Rick Stockburger.