August 31, 2020

AFWERX Announces necoTECH Among Top Selected Teams Across the Globe Vying to Build the Base of the Future

Delaware, OH – AFWERX, the catalyst for fostering innovation within the U.S. Air Force, announced necoTECH as one of the top 92 participating teams selected from across the globe competing to build the Base of the Future Challenge.

The AFWERX Challenge is centered around six topics – Base Security, Installation Resilience, Leveraging Technology for Operational Effectiveness, Reverse Engineering, Culture of Innovation, and Airman and Family Wellbeing. The proposals selected to advance represent innovative solutions ranging from new base security technology and VR training modules to virtual assistants and apps designed for wellness and leadership development.

Located in Delaware, Ohio, necoTECH is competing in the Installation Resilience Challenge alongside a diverse group of teams – originating from the vast regions of North America, Europe, Australia and other allied countries – that represent entrepreneurial startups, small businesses, large enterprises, academic institutions and research labs all vying to build the Base of the Future and modernize the Department of Defense.

“The AFWERX Base of the Future Challenge is critical to our mission of increasing collaboration between large businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate solutions for the Air Force. On behalf of AFWERX and the Department of Defense, we congratulate the teams advancing to the next phase. Their contributions are invaluable and have the potential to create game-changing results across the Air Force enterprise.”

Mark Rowland of AFWERX

The Installation Resilience Challenge focuses on ways in which the U.S. Air Force can create robust and resilient Air Force bases that can withstand all types of disastrous events ranging from adverse weather conditions to pandemics. The challenge centered on creating robust and resilient Air Force bases that have the capability to withstand any types of natural disasters, including floods, hurricanes, extreme winds, wildfires and tsunamis. Besides creating robust and resilient bases we also wanted to examine energy and utility systems to ensure their operations are steadfast and equipped to support Air Force base missions if an unforeseen event occurs.

necoTECH is working on a better solution for repairing infrastructure pavement with better execution, performance, and turn-around time. necoTECH’s Hot Patch On Demand (HOTPOD), is a system comprised of a portable heating unit used to rapidly heat Hot Mix Asphalt material. Unlike any product on the market today, this quick-ready material is used as a patch repair for asphalt and concrete pavements in all ambient temperatures. HOTPOD provides strong, durable and fast repairs and lowers operating costs for maintenance of critical pavement infrastructure including all airport tarmac surfaces, runways, access roads, and parking lots. Additionally, the proprietary pre-mixed hot patch compound has a nearly unlimited shelf life, that can be quickly deployed, conveniently stored in a small amount of space, and successfully applied in nearly any environmental condition and location.

“We are thrilled and humbled to have been selected as one of the technologies that the Air Force is interested in. This opportunity will give us the chance to share our solution with key Department of Defense decision-makers and help establish necoTECH as a modernizer in the infrastructure industry.”

Steve Flaherty, necoTECH Founder & CEO

Flaherty is one of the many entrepreneurs, leading companies working out of the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University. necoTECH collaborated with Ohio Wesleyan as its research institution partner and is utilizing community members at the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center to assist in the company’s separately awarded AFWERX STTR contract efforts.

Earlier this year, necoTech was awarded an AFWERX STTR Phase I contract to pursue this work. necoTECH completed that contract in June and is hoping to move to a Phase II award later this year, separate from what may come from their Base of the Future efforts.

The AFWERX Fusion 2020 Showcase recently featured 370 of the participating teams selected from a record breaking 1,500+ submissions received for the Base of the Future Challenge. Throughout the event teams pitched their solutions to a panel of subject matter experts from the relevant sectors of the Air Force. The top 92 selections were identified and invited to further engage with the Air Force during the week of August 31 with the hope of obtaining contracts. For a complete list of participating teams visit The Base of the Future theme was inspired by Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, which was decimated by Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm that occurred in 2018. For decades, Tyndall had been home to many generations of Airmen and their families. In the storm’s aftermath, nearly 500 buildings were destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Fortunately, Congress approved a $3 billion military construction rebuild program, sparking hope that Tyndall would re-emerge stronger than ever before. The aspirational initiative seeks to create a robust installation that will become a universal symbol of innovation and excellence that can scale across the U.S. Air Force. To learn more about the Base of the Future Challenges, click here.

About necoTECH

necoTECH, LLC, is a startup company out of Delaware, Ohio, with offices at the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University. necoTECH’s focus is serving government and private industry with sustainable innovative technologies for the construction and waste operations market. Its Hot Patch On Demand Product (HOTPOD) lasts more than 10 times longer than a conventional cold-mix asphalt (CMA) patch product without any added risk for pavement repair. HOTPOD also is equivalent to conventional hot-mix asphalt (HMA) without the downsides of needing large trucking equipment, time-sensitive application windows, or access to a batch facility. Additionally, HOTPOD utilizes pre-packaged containers that have nearly an unlimited shelf life and that can be stored or shipped to any location.

Additionally, necoTECH’s necoPlastics division is working on cutting-edge technology to revolutionize plastics recycling. The company utilizes a patented technology to create a 100% recycled plastic aggregate, called necoPave, used to increase the durability and longevity of asphalt roads. necoTECH’s technology enables it to recycle unsorted mixed-plastics that currently have little or no value and are being disposed of in landfills. necoPave is put in the hot mix asphalt process for paving roads, resulting in better performance and lower cost of ownership, all while being more environmentally friendly. 


Established in 2017, AFWERX is a product of the U.S. Air Force, directly envisioned by former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. Her vision of AFWERX — to solve some of the toughest challenges that the Air Force faces through innovation and collaboration among our nation’s top subject matter experts. AFWERX serves as a catalyst to unleash new approaches for the war fighter through a growing ecosystem of innovators. AFWERX and the U.S. Air Force are committed to exploring viable solutions and partnerships to further strengthen the Air Force, which could lead to additional prototyping, R&D, and follow-on production contracts.

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