Preamble selected by AFWERX for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract

The DAF innovation arm accelerates Preamble’s growth as a SaaS AI risk solution for generative AI use in public and private sectors

Pittsburgh, Pa. — May  14, 2024 Preamble, a Pittsburgh-based technology startup pioneering SaaS-based safety and security for generative AI systems, announces it has been selected by AFWERX for a Phase 1 SBIR contract focused on safety and security guardrails for generative AI systems to address the most pressing challenges in the Department of the Air Force (DAF).

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) 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, and now on May 15, 2024, Preamble will start its journey to create and provide innovative capabilities that will strengthen the national defense of the United States of America.

Preamble is the first end-to-end AI safety SaaS provider that curates unique metrics to implement policies around LLMs, with easy-to-use tools to create, evaluate, and deploy these metrics, with ongoing support. Preamble lets subscribers use natural language to set up custom guardrails or choose from existing AI safety, security, and privacy policies in its Marketplace to start using LLMs directly on the platform in minutes.  

“This initial contract and the opportunities it presents fulfill our founding mission while opening doors for deeper and broader relationships across the military and in the private sector. Through my former IT roles in the Air Force, our company has firsthand experience in recognizing what powerful yet practical solutions are needed as AI technology advances. We built the Preamble platform to be a flexible, scalable extension of traditional cyber safety, security, and risk management for an evolving AI environment,” said Jeremy McHugh, Preamble's CEO and co-founder.  

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 Preamble
Preamble simplifies how enterprises control generative AI risk and ensure trust in their AI systems. Its comprehensive AI Trust platform, Guardrails Toolkit, and Marketplace allow organizations, domain experts, and stakeholders to curate shared principles and deploy generative AI guardrails that maintain safety and security, comply with policies, and mitigate risk. Beyond applying principles to AI, Preamble provides tools to continuously improve risk-based guardrails. With a mission to develop safe, inclusive AI systems that respect diverse principles, Preamble is committed to shaping the future of AI safety. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Preamble is a veteran-led business. 

Strategic Alliances

  • AI Vulnerability Database (AVID) - an open-source knowledge base of failure modes for Artificial Intelligence (AI) models, datasets, and systems.
  • NVIDIA Inception -  a program that nurtures startups revolutionizing industries with technological advancements.
  • CMU CyLab, Carnegie Mellon University Security and Privacy Institute 
  • MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) Alliances
  • Penn State University’s Nittany AI Alliance
  • CEOCircle – Bunker Labs, JP Morgan Chase Commercial Banking, and D'Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF)

About Air Force Research Laboratory (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


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 325 military, civilian and contractor personnel at six hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4 billion budget. Since 2019, AFWERX has executed 4,697 contracts worth more than $2.6 billion to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit: 

Media Contact



(833) 789-1685

Jennifer Faines (PR for Preamble)


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