This event has been postponed until Spring 2022.

Please check back periodically for additional information.

During the week of (Postponed until Spring 2022), the Air Force IR&D Office in concert with DoD’s Biotechnology CoI are staging the 2021 Biotechnology Independent Research and Development (IR&D) Technology Interchange Meeting (TIM). This invitation is open to all industry with IR&D and corporate investments, including large and small businesses, academia, National Labs, and FFRDCs with a signed and certified DD2345 (Military Critical Technical Data Agreement).

Due to current health conditions this will now be an all Virtual Event.

Event Scope

The 2021 Biotechnology IR&D TIM has broad goals to increase awareness, stimulate collaboration, and seek alignment between Industry’s IR&D innovation investments and DoD’s high-priority S&T needs. Leading Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from the Biotechnology CoI are expected to participate.

Key areas of interest for this TIM are the Biotechnology CoI Subareas of Enhancing Warfighter Systems (EWS) and Optimizing Warfighter Performance (OWP). Both of these subareas have a prime focus on warfighter capabilities and needs.

The taxonomies for this event are listed below:

Planning Schedule

For planning purposes a high level schedule of milestones is being provided. Please note dates listed are subject to change.

Date Activity
TBD Window closes for IR&D Abstract Nominations
TBD Evaluations of IR&D Abstracts are completed
TBD Invitations sent to selected companies to present at the event
TBD Industry provides read-ahead presentation for Govt SMEs
TBD Execute 2021 Biotechnology TIM

Note: This webpage supplements the announcement in -- Future postings of changes and updates including final venue details will only be posted on this page. Therefore, companies are encouraged to check back often.

Many thanks to you for viewing this announcement. We look forward to your favorable consideration to engage in this exciting government-industry technology dialogue! Our nation’s warfighters count on you and your innovation! Any questions should be directed to the Human Systems inbox

1. Enhancing Warfighting Systems (EWS): Includes research and development efforts that apply synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, plant biotechnology, biomanufacturing, and computational biotechnology, at the intersection with materials and engineering sciences to address warfighter needs. EWS support the identification of biotechnology and bio-derived materials that can be inserted into current and developing platforms to enable novel capabilities. EWS help to deliver game-changing solutions in the four below thrust areas:

a. Biotechnologies for Platforms and Systems: This thrust focuses on the integration of biotechnology into existing and emerging needs of diverse platforms and military systems operating in ground, air, sea, and space environments, including the technology in and on the warfighter. A key goal for this thrust of materials is the biosynthetic preparation of small molecules, macromolecules, composites, and hierarchical structures. Examples of biosynthetic materials include, energetic
materials (primary explosives, plasticizers, and binders), polymers (thermosetting resins, high temperature composites, fire-resistant materials, and elastomers), solvents, coatings, fibers, fabrics, optical materials, adhesives, inorganic materials,
and armor.

b. Logistics and Sustainment: Biotechnologies can enable more effective operations, reduce operational footprints and supply chain logistics, and allow warfighters to focus and sustain combat operations. Key goals for this thrust include the following sub-components: supply chain, infrastructure, agile basing, terrain shaping, environmental management, corrosion control, and repair.

c. Power and Energy are fundamental components that allow the warfighter to operate and effectively project force throughout the world. A key goal of this thrust is the development of new biosynthetic routes to advanced alternative fuels that can propel jets, missiles, rockets, and hypersonic weapon systems, enabling enhanced range, speed, and lethality.

d. Sensing and Processing: Biotechnology offers unique abilities to enhance sensing modalities for operational environmental monitoring, including sentinel approaches, chemical-biological detection, tag-track-locate applications, as well as biocontamination detection in fuels and infrastructure. Key goals for sensing and monitoring infrastructure and warfighter systems focus on identifying and exploiting molecular biosignatures. The coupled sensing and processing of environmental
signals have applications across the operational space. Furthermore, biological systems can be used to detect complex signatures, such as radiation, acoustics, and electromagnetism.

2. Optimizing Warfighter Performance (OWP): includes research efforts that produce fundamental understanding of underlying biological mechanisms and expressed biomarker profiles indicative/predictive of physiological and cognitive states, and of responsive changes due to militarily-relevant operational stressors. OWP research includes molecular based sensors and analytics platforms to sense and assess operator health and performance levels, which will enable personalized monitoring tools to assess performance and deliver resilience and optimize warfighter performance. OWP applies advanced genetic bioengineering approaches to the design and development of cellular and microbiome platforms capable of sensing and responding to changes in operator state and will provide biological science research to sense, predict, and optimize health and performance. OWP targets solutions for extreme/cold weather, ruggedized/portable, and real-time sense and response. The three thrust areas for this sub-area are:

a. Biotechnologies for Precision Performance. This thrust area aims to elucidate fundamental biological mechanisms responsible for warfighter performance, to identify molecular profile changes as a response to operational demands, and thereby identify mechanistic pathway targets for personalized resilience and augmentation. Key goals for this thrust include sensors and predictive performance analytics that utilize molecular and physiological biomarker profiles and predictive metabolism models with identified stressors (physical, cognitive, environmental).

b. Neuroscience Technologies. This thrust focuses on understanding fundamental cognitive mechanisms, measuring and decoding neural activity, and modulating/augmenting said activity in a manner that maximizes readiness and performance in operational environments. Key goals in this thrust are to understand or influence strategies for improved cognition, perception, motor function and, by extension, decision making. Particularly, the thrust leverages approaches for personalized cognitive state assessment, sustainment and augmentation, and for next-generation brain machine interfaces that seamlessly, non-invasively integrate future weapons systems.

c. Warfighter Microbiome and Bioengineering. The last thrust area focuses on understanding, characterizing, and modeling the human microbiome and the associated collective assembly of genetic information represented in the microorganisms. Key goals in this thrust are to leverage or modulate the human and near-environment microbiomes to sustain and enhance warfighter performance. This research thrust also encourages work that uses advanced, biofidelic multi-organ models to understand the role of nutritional factors, gut-organ axis, and epigenetics on health, cognition, and physical performance, or that examines molecular interventions, new tailored probiotics, and other novel, engineered
delivery/intervention mechanisms

Participation Interest

Please send your expression of interest and company’s DD2345 to – Human Systems email inbox. Once your expression of interest is received by our IR&D planning team, you will be sent additional instructions on how to nominate your IR&D projects and corporate investments. In these instructions, we will request you review the technical content of the IR&D projects and corporate investments you intend to nominate and identify the specific line item of the taxonomy. This will aid us in assuring we have the right SMEs to meet with you. Our hope is that the topic nominations provide a clear description of the proposed solution and relevance for the sub-area thrust(s). Please note -- If you do not hear back from the planning team within one week, please resend the original email.


  1. COVID-19 – There are still uncertainties related to the pandemic that may affect the current plan to conduct this event as a face-to-face (F2F) engagement. State restrictions will be monitored closely and all health and safety protocols (masks and physical spacing) will be strictly enforced for an in-person event.
  2. The government is not obligated to enter into a contract with any entity as a result of IR&D collaborations from our dialogue. Data exchanges, as a result of these dialogue activities, follow restrictions of No Foreign Nationals (NOFORN) and International Traffic Arms Regulations (ITAR), and export control restrictions in accordance with Department of Defense Instruction 5230.24, Department of Defense Directive 5230.25, the Arms Export Control Act (Title 22, U.S.C., Sec 2751, et seq.), and/or the Export Administration Act of 1979 (Title 50, U.S.C., App. 2401 et seq.), as amended.
  3. Government technical support contractors may be a part of the team of subject matter experts at the event; therefore, company-to-company Non-Disclosure Agreements may be necessary.
  4. All unclassified company Proprietary Data and Intellectual Property will be treated as Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). Some information we intend to share may be classified or unclassified and will not be approved for unlimited public release.