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Program is Funded to Help Mature Technologies Transition to Acquisition

The military is looking for a few great ideas

The Department of Defense (DoD) issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) on May 28, 2014, seeking proposals under the Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) program to transition innovative technologies that resolve operational challenges or save costs into existing acquisition programs.

OSD’s goal for the program is to “stimulate innovative technology from small businesses that resolve operational challenges or other critical national security needs and transition the technology into defense acquisition programs.”

The RIF program is a congressionally mandated program, currently authorized from FY 11-FY15 and managed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). OSD’s goal for the program is to “stimulate innovative technology from small businesses that resolve operational challenges or other critical national security needs and transition the technology into defense acquisition programs.”

Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder

Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of naval research, discusses rapid innovation during the Surface Navy Association (SNA) 26th Annual National Symposium, Arlington, Va., Jan. 15, 2014. Innovative technology from small businesses may soon be transitioned into larger defense acquisition programs. U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams

RIF facilitates innovative technologies that show a clear transition path to fielding the technology into existing defense acquisition programs.

There is a two-step selection process. The BAA will list the technology areas of interest for each participating component, instructions for submission of white papers, and source selection criteria. Subsequent RIF proposals will be invited based on the evaluation results of the white paper submission.

Those selected for RIF awards may receive up to $3 million in funding, with a period of performance 24 months or less.

Those selected for RIF awards may receive up to $3 million in funding, with a period of performance 24 months or less.

“RIF is a point of entry for small business to win research and acquisition contracts with the Navy. It bridges the gap between science and technology and small business innovation research program investments and acquisition,” said Bob Smith, acting director, Disruptive Technologies with the Office of Naval Research, and the Navy’s program manager for RIF.

Underwater Autonomous Vehicle

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert observes an underwater autonomous vehicle during a visit to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to talk with NRL leadership and project experts, Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor

“Bring us your innovative and mature technologies, because we have funding to conduct the final development, testing, evaluation, and integration necessary to transition to existing programs of record,” Smith said.

“Bring us your innovative and mature technologies, because we have funding to conduct the final development, testing, evaluation, and integration necessary to transition to existing programs of record.”

For additional information on BAA postings, focal points, and milestones, please go to the Defense Innovation Marketplace.

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Capt. Edward H. Lundquist, U.S. Navy (Ret.) is a senior-level communications professional with more than...