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Army Tech Marketplace


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Computing and Software, Integrated Network Systems-of-Systems and Trusted AI and Autonomy TOPIC OBJECTIVE: To develop, integrate and deploy a technology with a simple intuitive user interface to improve information exchange and the discovery of collaboration opportunities within the Army R&D and Acquisitions communities as well as between the Army and private sector technology providers and private sector technology integrators. The intent is to improve the transition of R&D-funded technologies into the Army enterprise. TOPIC DESCRIPTION: The Army research and development ecosystem does not have a simple, intuitive portal for Army research centers and acquisition offices to access information related to Army R&D investments, including technology capabilities, technology maturity level, milestone delivery schedules, etc. The lack of direct access to internal information and data limits internal Army awareness and analysis of potentially valuable technologies to support the Army enterprise. The result is a less robust use of R&D investments, missed collaborations and co-investments, and an overall decrease in the likelihood of critical technologies transitioning into the Army enterprise to support the Soldier. The Army Tech Marketplace is envisioned as a web-based knowledge management and collaboration platform with an intuitive user-friendly interface that enhances transparency and simplifies access to R&D-funded technologies for Army stakeholders and private sector innovators to share, retrieve, and analyze information, and collaborate. The Army Tech Marketplace should provide an artificial intelligence and data-fusion capability to assess the probability of technologies to transition, identify trends within the Army enterprise, and maximize the value of business intelligence data to support agile Army decision-making. This effort seeks to create a platform for sharing information at the appropriate level first between different Army offices and second with members of the innovation economy. The effort will prioritize an internal Army-focused side connecting R&D needs and gaps with funding and resource opportunities. Internally, it must be a common, IL4 secure space for the Army and eventually, Joint Service research centers, acquisitions, and SBIR programs to learn of cross-organizational activities, mitigate R&D risks by learning from others, and dynamically exploit opportunities for collaboration. It will also have a generally accessible, external-to-the-Army side connecting innovation economy firms with Army technology challenges and the Army Program Executive Offices working to address those challenges. Externally, the Army Tech Marketplace permits Army, Joint Services, and innovation economy members to appropriately share information, build relationships, and facilitate collaboration, contracts, and integration of innovations into the Army enterprise. Integral to the platform must be data analytics and artificial intelligence enabled tools to assist internal Army Tech Marketplace users to assess technologies and trends to improve interactions with external members, as well as leverage the total value of the data on the platform to improve Army Tech Marketplace operations. These capabilities should be accessed through a simple graphical intuitive user interface that can serve users of various proficiencies and knowledge. The platform should be vetted from both a software and usability standpoint. The following are the generalized steps required of the company performing this work to frame and inform their proof-of-concept deliverable: 1. Work with Army SBIR Program to align project goals, requirements, and roles. 2. Engage key stakeholders identified by Army SBIR Program to conduct problem framing and stakeholder mapping activities to engage, discover questions, clarify language, and develop instruments useful to the stakeholders. 3. Review and present findings on similar products and services that other military Services and private organizations use that may have similar or overlapping use cases. 4. Collaborate with Army SBIR Program to identify and outline a detailed project plan, timeline, goals, scoping, and discovery outline intended to form the basis of anticipated Phase 2 work. The following are success criteria for this effort: 1. Internal Army and External Innovation Economy: Separation within the platform of internal Army stakeholder site from external emerging technology accessible site. The internal, Army-only site must achieve DOD IL-4 to handle Army data up to Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). The external, innovative economy-oriented side of the platform should achieve DOD IL 2 (Public or Non-Critical Mission Information). 2. Collaboration: Enable collaboration across multiple Army users and private sector innovation economy firms. 3. Ease of Use: An intuitive interface informed by a human-centered design approach that results in a layout and graphics requiring minimal familiarization for basic portal navigation. Must be easy to customize fields to provide flexibility and offer a simplified Search Engine. 4. Workflow: Process tracking, routing, reminders, and ability to assign follow-on tasks. 5. Platform Modularity: Build a modular platform capable of easy expansion in both scale of participants and the scope of capabilities. 6. Reporting & Accountability: The ability to easily retrieve data and insights and track progress on pre-determined metrics. Includes but not limited to reporting and dashboards or other business intelligence tools to help visualize the data. 7. Analytics: Offer data analytics and artificial intelligence enabled tools for trend analysis, customer discovery, and continuous improvement actions across the platform. 8. Lifecycle Cost: Respecting the platform’s modular approach, create a total lifecycle cost model to account for implementation, training, and ongoing licensing/support costs. PHASE I: Starting in FY23, Phase I would be for multiple awards of $200,000 each with a 4-month period focused on technical value, commercial merit, and feasibility of proposed solutions. At a minimum, the deliverable from Phase I would be a detailed technical presentation on the design and attributes of the proposed platform conforming to the eight success criteria listed in the Topic Description. PHASE II: In FY 23, an award would be made to refine the plan developed in Phase I and create a minimum viable platform for testing and evaluation by the Army Applied SBIR Program and its stakeholders employing the eight success criteria listed in this Topic Description. These criteria are subject to revision based on the results of the outcome of the Phase I effort. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The proposed technology has potential use within the Army Small Business Innovation Research Program as well as other Army Research Centers and acquisition programs.   KEYWORDS: R&D; research and development; portal; Webpage integration; knowledge management; collaboration platform; innovation economy; tech marketplace; software; website   REFERENCES:
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