BROOKE PYNE, NSTXL, S2MARTS DIRECTOR
Let’s take a journey! One that looks at the Other Transaction Authority (OTA) environment but then morphs into a revolutionary OTA philosophy. We start by looking at the foundational elements of Other Transactions before navigating through some game-changing philosophy and tools that are impacting the OTA world.
Other Transaction Authority (OTA) is commonly used to refer to the 10 U.S.C. 2371b authority of the Department of Defense (DoD) to execute prototyping, research, and production projects. OTAs were established to provide flexibility to address rapid and emerging defense needs and requirements. The purpose of the OTA is to enhance or improve mission effectiveness of the federal government and the supporting platforms, systems, components, and/or materials to be acquired or developed by the DoD while identifying and engaging non-traditional defense entities.
As we all know, OTAs are on the forefront of defense acquisition change and are providing rapid technology advancements. The OTA accelerates industries ability for quick prototype development funding by DoD. These rapid prototype projects have been responding to warfighter needs and requirements and are quickly becoming a common “go-to” as a Research and Development/Prototyping acquisition vehicle for many defense agencies.
We at National Security Technology Accelerator (NSTXL) are changing the game when it comes to OTAs by institutionalizing a revolutionary platform that provides end-to-end acquisition services to support the defense industry ecosystem while building a “government ready” innovation community. This fully invested approach embeds NSTXL in the process that results in a specific, defined prototyping opportunity that aligns directly to an active DoD need. This approach has proven to increase the volume of solutions proposed and increases likelihood of success and reduces our client’s risk. Our ultimate metric for success is getting the right tools and tech to the Warfighter at the speed of mission.
The NSTXL model provides an active and healthy engagement community, rooted in non-traditionals, that span all OTAs under NSTXL’s management. So, what does this mean? It means that NSTXL membership provides access to each individual OTA for a single overarching fee. This provides a much higher return on investment (ROI) for the defense industry member, but the biggest value is in the cross pollination of the innovation community for teaming, partnering and pursuit of government funding.
So, what ties all this innovation together? It’s the individual OTA vehicles, the enablers. NSTXL currently has two active OTAs, TReX and S2MARTS. Each have technology domains and focus areas that support many end-users across the DoD. TReX, an OTA created by the Army and facilitated out of the Orlando, Florida, area, expedites development, demonstration, and delivery of prototypes to increase Warfighter readiness, with a focus on modeling, simulation, and training. By actively incorporating structured operational user feedback, TReX will identify and develop innovative solutions to inform material procurement requirements and acquisition.
Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division has created a vehicle for the Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS) OTA. The S2MARTS OTA (pronounced “SMARTS”) provides refined strategies, management planning activities, and has implemented complementary solutions that enable broader DoD access to commercial state-of-the-art technologies. S2MARTS is one of the newest 2371b OTAs within the country and within the first 18 months, S2MARTS has become a major innovation player within the Industry and Defense Sectors awarding close to $252 million.
United States leadership in Strategic Missions, Electronic Warfare and assured, advanced microelectronics is critical to military dominance and economic sovereignty and loss of this leadership threatens our warfighters ability to deter adversaries. There are also additional potential impacts to economic/industrial base equities extending beyond national security. The DoD requires innovative technological solutions to address current and future security threats in the technology domain areas and technical focus areas that are aligned to the S2MARTS scope. To engage the broadest set of innovators, the NSTXL innovation model provides an instant infrastructure to pull together game-changing industry solutions.
S2MARTS is generating new prototypes within the areas of Hypersonics, Additive Manufacturing (AM) and Technology Protection (TP), Microelectronics, Electronic Warfare, and State-of-the-art Heterogenous Packaging Prototyping (SHIP), just to name a few. The NSTXL model, enabled by TReX and S2MARTS, is providing the warfighter with state-of-the-art technology advancements at a rapid pace. And when I say rapid, S2MARTS is seeing award, and funding to the performers within 70 to 80 days of the Request for Solution (RFS) closing. With a timeframe like that, you can understand how the TREX and S2MARTS vehicles are rapidly addressing warfighter needs and requirements.
To find out more, please reach out to S2MARTS Director, Brooke Pyne at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.s2marts.org.
Brooke Pyne, NSTXL, S2MARTS Director
Hyperspace Challenge Seeks Secure, Autonomous Tech Solutions for Space
October 22, 2020, ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Pierce Aerospace announced today that it has been accepted into the 2020 cohort for Hyperspace Challenge, a business accelerator run by the Air Force Research Laboratory and CNM Ingenuity for the U.S. Space Force.
The goal of Hyperspace Challenge is to accelerate collaboration and partnership between the U.S. government and the startup community in order to drive innovation in space.
This year’s cohort theme, Trusted Autonomy, has brought together startups that can provide the government and participating military agencies with secure, trustworthy autonomous and automated solutions for space.
“To date Pierce Aerospace has been known for our work in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry, specializing in our niche of dual-use Remote Identification technology development to serve both government and commercial stakeholders.
Acceptance into this program announces our intent to provide identification management technology and capabilities well beyond low-level airspace. We’re on the verge of a new era of hyperconnected systems and identification must be established in order to obtain situational awareness and advance trusted autonomy in all domains – from our backyard to deep space.” – Aaron Pierce, CEO Pierce Aerospace.
Pierce Aerospace has made advances in local broadcast Remote ID technologies for UAS and continues to develop identification management technology for assurance, authentication, and verification of unmanned systems. The goal of these technologies is to support unmanned system OEMs, unmanned system service suppliers, like Unmanned Traffic Management, and counter drone technologies.
The company is actively working to apply and adopt these innovations for enhancing trusted autonomy between space systems. Pierce Aerospace’s Flight Portal ID has been used to positively identify friends from foes in live-fire US Army experiments when integrated with Northrop Grumman and Liteye counter UAS systems.
Hyperspace Challenge pairs startups with government contractors, working across a wide range of government agencies, such as the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army and NASA, so cohort participants have the opportunity not only to learn how to navigate the government contracting process, but to build more relationships within the government ecosystem. Since the program was launched in 2018, almost 70 percent of participating companies have received government contracts worth over a combined $7 million in revenue.
“The national space community collectively recognizes that the industry could be truly transformed with the growing use of spacecraft capable of automatically handling complex tasks. But complex tasks require complex mechanisms to complete them,” said Captain Roger Anderson, Deputy Program Director for U.S. Space Force Accelerator Programs. “This year’s cohort will be critical in the effort to determine if autonomous technology is truly up to the task.”
Cohort participants will spend the next two months learning how to do business with the federal government and will work with participating government customers to develop proposals. These companies will participate in virtual customer discovery sessions with government scientists and compete for cash prizes via a live pitch event at the Space Startup Summit on December 3.
For more information about Hyperspace Challenge please visit hyperspacechallenge.com.
About Pierce Aerospace
Pierce Aerospace is a niche Remote ID service provider focused on practical and robust integration of Remote ID services into the unmanned ecosystem. As an industry leader, Pierce Aerospace serves on the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team, ASTM F38 UAS Remote ID Committee, and the FAA's Remote ID Cohort. Funds from the US Air Force and the State of Indiana have supported Pierce Aerospace's Flight Portal ID suite of Remote ID technologies. Flight Portal ID was nominated as Indiana's Innovation of the Year by Techpoint and was awarded first place in Remote ID technology by AUVSI's Xcellence's Awards. Pierce Aerospace is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, The Racing Capital of the World. www.pierceaerospace.net
About Hyperspace Challenge
Hyperspace Challenge was created in 2018 by the U.S. Air Force and CNM Ingenuity to accelerate partnerships between the government and startups and shift space innovation into hyperdrive. The accelerator, which is now directed by CNM Ingenuity in conjunction with the new U.S. Space Force, runs annually and cultivates networks in an innovation ecosystem prioritizing connection and community over bureaucracy. To date, the accelerator has supported 24 small businesses and startup companies from across the U.S. and Canada.
STEVE KELLY, PRESIDENT & CEO OF INDIANA INNOVATION INSTITUTE (IN3)
IN3 (Indiana Innovation Institute), which I am proud to lead, works in partnership with academia, industry and government to create a hub of national security that helps to solve critical defense priorities. With our focus on the Indiana Uplands region, we have built partnerships across the state, Midwest, and throughout the country in order to deliver on that mission. Through these efforts we are building a robust ecosystem of economic growth that is speeding new investment, advancing partnerships, and growing jobs and the talent pool in Indiana.
Like the organizations you lead, we are focused: on our mission and in technical areas in which we have depth and expertise. Also like you, we must be – and are – tuned into opportunities where we can positively impact the defense sector and at the same time help advance Governor Holcomb’s mission to triple defense spending in our state by 2025.
While the numbers continue to grow daily, we are now partnering with more than 200 academic, industry and government organizations, focusing on five critical areas: hypersonics, cyber-physical systems, trusted microelectronics, artificial intelligence and 5G. One might rightly ask the question, “why did IN3 decide to focus its work in these technical areas”? In short, it is because Indiana has deep and unique capabilities in each. Additionally, and of equal importance, those areas are seen by our national security clients as critical, and the defense community is robustly funding research, development, and acquisition to address their need. IN3 is committed to bringing partners along with us in this journey toward discovery and action. Our ultimate goal is to work with our partners and stakeholders in helping develop the tools our warfighters need to maintain technological superiority.
A critical piece in reaching these goals is through our work with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) as the Partnership Intermediary for the NavalX Midwest Tech Bridge. As some of you may know, NSWC Crane was one of the original six Tech Bridge sites in the country when the program was unveiled early last fall and importantly, the only site not located on one of our coasts. NavalX Tech Bridge is all about the Navy finding ways to harness the innovations so prevalent in private businesses and academia to better serve and protect the country. They know, just as we do, that they must tap into the creativity and ingenuity already available in the United States in the civilian sector, particularly within small and non-traditional businesses.
Our Midwest Tech Bridge activities have included tech demonstrations, small business events, innovation challenges, technology challenges, hackathons and more. Our Initial focus in these first few months has been on working with – and showcasing – Hoosier businesses, but word has spread and we are getting participation from across the Midwest and other parts of the country. The levels of participation we’re seeing is a clear demonstration of the value industry sees in Tech Bridge, primarily as a way to find opportunities for the Navy, as well as the broader Department of Defense. What is equally rewarding is that these events are also providing a way for industry and academic institutions to collaborate. To the extent that the Navy foresaw building a ‘network of networks,’ their vision has proved to be a wild success and we are delighted to be a part of that effort.
IN3 is excited to be part of the growth of the defense sector in Indiana and play a role in solving some of our critical national defense priorities . We hope you’ll join us in this effort and will work alongside us as partners.
STEVE KELLY BIO
Stephen (Steve) E. Kelly is the President and CEO of the Indiana Innovation Institute (IN3). Prior to joining IN3 and most recently, Kelly served as a principal for Sugar River Technology Associates in Burlington, Vt. He spent more than 25 years in various roles at Battelle, a research and development organization in Columbus, Ohio. While at Battelle, he served as corporate vice president and president of Battelle Contract Research, where he oversaw engineering, science and support facilities serving national security, health, infrastructure, energy and environmental markets. He also served as senior vice president and general manager of Battelle’s National Security Division.
During his time leading the Battelle Contract Research organization, Kelly led an $800M division of 3,400 staff members operating state-of-the-art engineering, science, and support facilities that provide comprehensive services to national security, health, infrastructure, energy, and environment markets. He owned P&L responsibility for global operations. He guided the entire science, technology and services chain, from analysis to applied research through deployment and sustainment of capabilities.
Kelly is a veteran of the U.S. Army. As an active duty U.S. Army Chemical Officer, he held leadership and staff roles in active duty operational, training and technical units. As a U.S. Army Reserve Officer, Kelly served in command, staff and inspector general positions.
He serves on a number of boards, including Benchmark Space Systems, The University of Vermont SPARK-VT, and the University of Delaware Cybersecurity Initiative.
Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.