Advanced Technology International (ATI) of Summerville, in collaboration with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), hosted a quarterly Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) Consortium Industry Day Nov. 8 at Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina.
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic leadership and ATI consortium executives presented status updates to approximately 225 small business and non-traditional industry partners, in person and online, on the new consortium program established under the Other Transaction Authority (OTA) construct.
During the opening remarks, SSC Atlantic Deputy Executive Director Bill Deligne discussed opportunities to move beyond doing business the traditional way.
“We’re deeply committed to using the OTA and are going to continue to publicize problem statements and ask industry to respond to them,” said Deligne. “In fact, we’re challenging ourselves to submit at least 50 technology needs to the consortium in 2019. We’re also interested in having consortium members initiate projects by submitting unsolicited research to ATI for SPAWAR to consider.”
IWRP OTA Program Manager Don Sallee discussed fiscal year (FY) 2019 forecasting, which projects up to 65 transactions in FY19, including problem statements, requests for white papers and requests for full proposals.
“We’ve already executed 10 prototype opportunities to date, including five presented today,” said Sallee. “Our ‘Drive for 25’ signals our intent to offer 25 additional prototype opportunities by February.”
SSC Atlantic and ATI speakers delivered basic training on the IWRP concept, and provided details on the five disparate technology challenges presented to consortium members with the goal of getting the best capabilities to warfighters much faster than via traditional contracting vehicles.
Christy Goff, SSC Atlantic project manager, outlined the process for reviewing white papers, and noted that the first announcement to bring industry ideas to the next quarterly meeting will appear at the beginning of December.
When the consortium announces requests for white papers, a team filters responses and discards those that exceed budget and don’t support the military mission. Submitters of remaining papers are invited to brief the panel at the next quarterly IWRP event and answer questions. Then submissions are filtered further, and finalists are asked for prototypes.
“We have an agile program for innovation,” said Goff. “Not every project will be awarded. We need a supply of proposals on hand, however, to mine if additional funds are received or if urgent needs occur. White papers received will be placed in a library accessible to employees in the Naval Research and Development Establishment (NR&DE); therefore, all NR&DE members can contact submitters to work with them in the future.”
Thirty-eight individual one-on-one sessions between consortium members and technical points of contact were conducted after the general meeting, and a speed networking session followed.
The consortium, which has been active since Oct. 1, currently has 176 members from 34 states; 75 percent are non-traditional businesses and five are academic institutions or nonprofit agencies. Representatives from commercial businesses, universities and research organizations unable to attend the Industry Day are still able to apply for membership to the consortium at http://www.theiwrp.org.
The next IWRP Consortium Quarterly Industry Day will be held in February 2019 in San Diego. The following quarterly event will take place in Stafford, Virginia, and it will focus on Marine Corps needs.
SPAWAR identifies, develops, delivers and sustains information warfighting capabilities supporting naval, joint, coalition and other national missions. SPAWAR consists of more than 10,000 active duty military and civil service professionals located around the world and close to the fleet to keep SPAWAR at the forefront of research, engineering and acquisition to provide and sustain information warfare capabilities to the fleet.