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  • WBI has grown from a two person organization to a world-class leader in innovation and collaboration.

    Established in 2002

    The regional motivation for creating the Wright Brothers Institute was a result of the national “Science and Technology Workforce for the 21st Century” (STW21) study, completed in 2001.

    A formation team with membership from major government, academic and business organizations in the Dayton Region worked six months to create the mission and vision of WBI, which was to “… help establish the Dayton area as a research mecca while reinvigorating Wright-Patt.”. Dr. Robert “Bart” Barthelemy was selected as WBI’s Founding Director and WBI opened its first office in 2003.

    Early Efforts: 2003-2006

    WBI established a unique partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) using a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) for “Aerospace Collaboration and Technology Transfer” . Under this agreement, WBI facilitated endowed chairs at regional universities in areas of high technical interest to AFRL.


    Innovation and Collaboration Center (ICC) Created in 2007

    WBI established a stimulating and rapidly reconfigurable environment for government, university, and industry teams to explore challenging problems in national defense and public safety. This environment quickly came to be known as the Tec^Edge Innovation & Collaboration Center (ICC).

    Tec^Edge ICC hosted and facilitated innovation and collaboration workshops for AFRL and began operation of AFRL’s Halo telepresence studio. The first collaborative research project, Sensor Aided Vigilance (SAVIG), was sponsored by AFRL and hosted at WBI. It was a huge success in accelerating technology innovation, transition and commercialization. Soon after, AFRL’s student intern program, known as Summer at the Edge (SATE), grew to 60 students ranging from high school to PhD’s.

    Tec^Edge Works Opens in 2008

    This dynamic environment for hands-on rapid prototyping and experimentation was created for government, university and industry teams to resolve military problems. Soon after it opened, the AFRL Center for Rapid Product Development began operations at Tec^Edge Works in 2008. Not long after, the Center for UAV Exploitation, a University of Dayton Research Institute led collaboration of Ohio Third Frontier, AFRL, and 7 industry partners, began operations at Tec^Edge Works in 2009.

    Tec^Edge ICC: Today

    The new Tec^Edge Innovation & Collaboration Center opened at 5000 Springfield St. in December 2009. This new environment fosters a culture of collaborative innovation with multiple Discovery Labs and Collaboratories, an expanded Halo Telepresence Studio, a centralized Café and Operations Center, and the newly formed IDEA Lab.

    Wright Brothers Institute was awarded the 2010 Dayton Business Journal Not-For-Profit Business of the Year for its innovative programs and invigorating multidisciplinary collaboration.