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 email@example.com or visit the website at www.s2marts.org.
Brooke Pyne, NSTXL, S2MARTS Director