Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The "Elevate" innovation hub at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the first to receive designation as an Air Force defense laboratory, it announced on Monday.
The designation allows the Elevate team to partner with educational institutions under an Education Partnership Agreement in sharing resources, equipment and information.
"EPAs help cultivate, recruit, and diversify the Air Force workforce, help develop critically needed new technology, harness outside assistance with technology transfer and commercialization, and enhance an Air Force's Activity's visibility and image in the community," an Air Force directive states.
The "Elevate" program, at work at numerous bases, is an innovation office focused aimed at connecting personnel focused on various issues to counterparts in industry, academia or government. The program at Scott Air Force Base has been active since November 2020.
"Members within the cell create unique opportunities for internal and external partners to work directly on interesting problems to facilitate the rapid fielding of solutions," Scott Air Force Base said in a December statement.
The "Elevate Scott" group, comprised of four members of the 375th Air Mobility Wing stationed at Scott Air Force Base, will be able to work with Southern Illinois University on a still-undetermined EPA.
"We will have access to their [the school's] facilities and staff to work on potential problem sets that are outside of our organic capacity," said Capt. Austin Duncan, "Elevate" deputy innovation officer.
"The university, likewise, will be able to have access to some of the equipment we have," Duncan said.