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SparkX Cell Innovation Center hosts grand opening

By Senior Airman Alyssa D. Van Hook | 11th Wing Public Affairs | Jan. 25, 2019

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. —

The SparkX Cell Innovation and Idea Center on JBA held its grand opening Jan. 24, 2019 at the Community Commons. 

SparkX is an innovation program that integrates technology to help Airmen pursue solutions to improve the Air Force. Their mission is “to bring tomorrow’s tools to the Warfighter today.”

The program began five months ago when a group of service members teamed with contractors to design and establish the Innovation and Idea Center, a creative design space for JBA personnel to use.

“Everyone is welcome and encouraged to develop solutions,” said Senior Airman Mason Moore, 11th Wing command administrator. “We want people to come here, to try, fail, and try again.”

In a speech to attendees, Col. Andrew Purath, 11th Wing commander, highlighted the story of two Ohio brothers who needed a space to experiment.

“Before the Wright brothers could build their first design, they first needed a space,” Purath said. “All you need is a space, and we have a space for our Airmen to come and use the technology here.”

The center features Smart Boards, 3D printers and scanners, and virtual reality headsets. The Smart Boards can connect with mobile devices to make group collaboration more efficient. The 3D printers are used for creating prototypes and 3D scanners for recording and measuring data.

SparkX is a resource future innovators of the Air Force can use today. Through collaborative research, knowledge exchange and technology, Airmen can find solutions to today’s problems, and enhance warfighting capabilities.

The center is open from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, but hours will adjust depending on after duty demands.