CHARLESTON, S.C. - Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic and Pacific leaders shared information about new contracting opportunities using Other Transaction Authority (OTA) as an alternative to the traditional acquisition process, Feb. 1.
During an Industry Day in North Charleston they unveiled the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) OTA and discussed how the system centers' information warfare capabilities will increase by encouraging non-traditional industry partners and academia to participate in Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition.
Congress broadened DoD's authority to use OTAs as part of the 2016 Defense authorization bill. This flexible, streamlined acquisition tool offers opportunities for research, development and prototyping of underlying technologies that advance capabilities in the areas of cyber warfare, cloud computing, data science and analytic technologies, model-based systems engineering, on-demand manufacturing and embedded systems in the internet of things (IoT).
Under the OTA construct, a third-party firm or institution will manage a consortium of traditional and non-traditional defense contractors who can prototype work in the specified technology areas. Consortium members would then compete for individual projects by submitting proposals in response to the technology needs of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). SPAWAR plans to spend approximately $100 million in the effort. Awards for specific projects could begin as soon as fall 2018.
At the Industry Day, SSC Atlantic and Pacific leaders focused on 14 technology areas that advance naval information warfare capabilities and how this consortium can support research, development and prototyping. Through briefs and a question and answer session, they gave prospective offerors an understanding of the OTA strategy and technical scope areas.
SSC Atlantic Deputy Executive Director Bill Deligne stressed the IWRP OTA value as an enabler of rapid research and prototyping and increased access to innovative commercial solutions.
"This is a new way of doing business for us and we are very excited about it," said Deligne, who used the vehicle in his previous position as executive director of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).
"IWRP OTA will enable research with industry in the information warfare domain and allow us to take research ideas rapidly through prototype and production," Deligne said. "This mechanism is faster and more attuned to getting something quickly that we want today, as opposed to the traditional Federal Acquisition Regulations," he added.
"While speed is a critical element, reaching beyond the traditional DoD industrial base further into the commercial sector to capture new, innovative solutions is also a key element of the IWRP," said Deligne.
Executive Director Chris Miller told more than 200 attendees at the Industry Day that their feedback will be critical as SSC Atlantic embarks on this unique opportunity.
"We are truly doing something different and unique here," he said. "We've learned a lot about setting up an OTA from other organizations, but we will need your input. We will definitely be in a receive mode and we go through this." Miller pointed out the IWRP OTA strategy aligns with clear signal from the Chief of Naval Operations to expand and strengthen our network of partners, and with SSC Atlantic's strategic goal of accelerating and streamlining capability delivery.
As part of the Naval Research and Development Establishment (NR&DE), Miller noted that SSC Atlantic is already engaged with the Office of Naval Research and other Navy systems commands. NR&DE is comprised of scientists, engineers, mathematicians and supporting technical personnel who conduct Navy research, development, test and evaluation. NR&DE encompasses the technical resources required to explore, develop and field future naval warfighting capabilities, such as laboratories, test facilities and test ranges. Since SSC Atlantic and SSC Pacific have a presence at Navy installations around the world, OTAs will enable the SPAWAR enterprise to use the national consortium approach with a global area of influence.
All questions and answers from the Industry Day will be posted to SPAWAR E-Commerce under "OTA Public Affairs" in the SSC Atlantic Market Survey section ( https://e-commerce.sscno.nmci.navy.mil/). All Industry Day presentation material will be available to prospective offerors via the same E-Commerce section. Prospective offerors are encouraged subscribe to the solicitation (PA) on SPAWAR E-Commerce.
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.
SSC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR), cyber and information technology (IT) capabilities.