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AFWERX Selects Othram for SBIR Phase II Contract to Advance Forensic Intelligence Through Forensic DNA Sequencing

New research and development effort will aim to leverage advanced forensic DNA testing to enhance the capabilities of the Department of the Air Force.

The Woodlands, TX — June 4, 2024

Othram, the leading forensic sequencing laboratory for law enforcement, has been selected by AFWERX for a $1.25 million SBIR Phase II contract focused on advancing forensic DNA sequencing technology to address pressing challenges in the Department of the Air Force (DAF). The Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process by accelerating the small business experience through faster proposal to award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small business, and eliminating bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution. The DAF began offering the Open Topic SBIR/STTR program in 2018 which expanded the range of innovations the DAF funded.

As of May 24, 2024, Othram’s research and development team is now working to refine innovative capabilities that will strengthen the national defense of the United States of America. Othram’s Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® technology will be leveraged to accelerate DNA-assisted identifications of missing U.S. service members and other unidentified persons. This includes identifying human remains by the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Accounting Agency (DPAA) and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES) and assisting AFMES with AFOSI cold cases.

Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® has been instrumental in solving numerous active and cold cases for local, state, and federal agencies across the United States and internationally. More forensic genetic genealogy cases have been solved with Othram FGGS® than any other method.

Note: The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

About Othram

Othram is the world’s first private DNA laboratory built specifically to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence. Othram’s scientists are experts at recovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace quantities of degraded or contaminated materials. Founded in 2018, and located in The Woodlands, Texas, our team works with academic researchers, forensic scientists, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to achieve results when other approaches fail. Follow Othram on Twitter @OthramTech or visit Othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case. Visit dnasolves.com to learn how anyone can make a difference in helping solve the next cold case.

About AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit afresearchlab.com.


As the innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. AFWERX employs approximately 370 military, civilian and contractor personnel at five hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4 billion budget. Since 2019, AFWERX has executed over 6,100 new contracts worth more than $4 billion to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit afwerx.com.

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