Dayton company lands place in Agility Prime research

Local business Infinity Labs LLC has landed a trio of research contracts for work in the Air Force’s exploration of new flying vehicles, a project called “Agility Prime.”

Jason Molnar, Infinity Labs co-founder and chief strategy officer, said the Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards are $149,000 each, amounting to about $500,000 altogether in research and development funding.

With the award of a Phase I contract, the U.S. Air Force is giving Infinity Labs an opportunity to tackle research and development in its exploration of flying cars, Molnar said in an email to the Dayton Daily News.

Agility Prime is a $35 million program that seeks to develop a commercial market for advanced air mobility aircraft — sometimes unblushingly called “flying cars” — while creating a supply chain to support such vehicles.

Assuming good progress in Phase I, Phase II can be awarded to enable further work, Molnar said. Phase II awards are $750,000, he said.

“Ultimately and ideally, any of the awards that are selected to transition to a (Phase III level) do not have a defined funding ceiling,” Molnar said. “Notably, the selected/identified USAF customer for a (Phase III award) determines the funding level. Personally, I’ve seen PHIII efforts funded in the tens or hundreds of millions.”

Once based in Xenia and now in Dayton, Molnar declined to share the company’s number of employees.

But he added: “For the purposes of the Agility Prime wins, we are hiring four additional employees.” Most employees are working from home these days.

“We consider ourselves pirates of innovation in homage to the late (Apple CEO) Steve Jobs who famously stated, ‘It’s better to be a pirate than join the navy,’” he added. “I have fun with our social media posts and include many sailing/nautical references to spark conversation/dialogue and to stand out from the crowd. Rest assured though, we believe in being bold, entrepreneurial, and having fun much like the pirates of old and those as well as the business disruptors/change agents of today.”

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