New public-private partnership assembles top talent to drive innovation


Montgomery, Ala. – January 29, 2019 – Today MGMWERX, a new innovation hub that brings military, academia, government and industry together to solve key issues facing the Air Force, opened in downtown Montgomery. This unprecedented partnership between regional public and private entities is part of a joint effort between industry leaders to provide businesses the opportunity to grow and propel Montgomery forward as a city of innovation and collaboration.


National nonprofit DEFENSEWERX operates the center which serves as an incubator for broader innovation projects as part of a unique collaboration with Air University (the leadership-development center for the Air Force), the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. DEFENSEWERX has successfully deployed similar models like SOFWERX, with Special Operations Command based in Tampa, Fla.; and AFWERX, teaming with the Air Force out of Las Vegas.


As part of the grand opening, the center hosted an open house for the potential partners to expose interested people to opportunities in working with MGMWERX to support Air Force challenges.  The event also featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony.


Public-Private Partnership

As part of this partnership, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce has donated office space for MGMWERX in the Chamber’s current building at 41 Commerce Street in the heart of downtown Montgomery and near Air University. Offering the space to MGMWERX allows the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce the opportunity to diversify the regional economy and attract more technology talent to the area as well as preserve regional military programs already in place. The Chamber will also continue to improve the city’s quality of place, grow Montgomery’s image and foster trust, communication and collaboration among elected leaderships throughout the River Region.


The MGMWERX collaboration space uses the Montgomery Internet Exchange and boasts state-of-the-art technology and equipment surrounded by a highly modifiable environment designed to provoke the collision of ideas – harnessing the best industry, academia and non-traditional collaborators have to offer in support of answering some of the toughest issues facing our nation’s warfighter.



“MGMWERX has quickly flourished in supporting Air University initiatives. This Grand Opening is our opportunity to expose a greater audience to the meaning and value of the WERX ecosystem, show the power of innovation when immersed in a collaborative environment, and inspire community involvement in championing new ideas and solutions.” –  Steve Werner, MGMWERX Director


“The dream of MGMWERX is to harken back to our legacy as the Air Corps Tactical School and once again deliver groundbreaking solutions to the warfighter and become the breeding ground of innovative thought to the Air Force.” – Michael Gray, Air University’s Chief Financial Officer


“MGMWERX is the latest milestone in our technology and innovation strategy that is focused on connecting and leverage Montgomery’s unique technology related assets – with IT talent being one of the top. The hub will drive collaboration and innovation and will leverage talent from across sectors to come up with creative solutions.” – Lora McClendon, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Federal Affairs, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President



U.S. Air Force veteran Steve Werner serves as the business center director at MGMWERX and has over 30 years of experience working with the Department of Defense. Most recently, Werner served as an instructor for the Air Power Research Task Force for the Air War College at Air University. During this time, he also served on the Air University Integration Cell, responsible for administering the universities various research programs, including the Research Task Forces, the Air University Research Grant Program, and the Air University Strategic Issues research topic list.


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Montgomery, Alabama USA fosters a business-friendly environment and understands that a healthy mix of large and small businesses constitutes the lifeblood of the city and region. A long history of trusted public-private partnership between the city, county, state and local business leadership creates an inviting business ecosystem. Montgomery is built on a dynamic history rooted in revolution as the center of both the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. On the forefront of cutting-edge development, Montgomery is attracting new businesses with its open internet exchange and opportunities for business growth, and new residents are coming for the city’s work culture, transportation options and quality of life, including a revitalization of unique spaces in historic downtown with new attractions and diverse entertainment options. For more information, visit



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