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Direct-to-Phase-II Open Call for Innovative Defense-Related Dual- Purpose Technologies/Solutions with a Clear Space Force Stakeholder Need

Description:

OUSD(R&E) Strategic Vision and Critical Technology Areas

Future Generation Wireless Technology (FutureG); Trusted AI and Autonomy; Biotechnology; Advanced Computing and Software; Integrated Sensing and Cyber; Directed Energy (DE); Hypersonics; Microelectronics; Integrated Network Systems-of-Systems; Quantum Science; Space Technology; Renewable Energy Generation and Storage; Advanced Materials; Human-Machine Interfaces; Advanced Infrastructure & Advanced Manufacturing; Combat Casualty Care; Emerging Threat Reduction; Military Infectious Diseases; Military Operational Medicine; Mission Readiness & Disaster Preparedness; Nuclear; Sustainment & Logistics

Additional information can be found here: https://www.cto.mil/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/usdre_strategic_vision_critical_tech_areas.pdf

Objective

This Department of the Air Force (DAF) topic is seeking technologies for transition into the United States Space Force (USSF). This topic is offered in partnership with SpaceWERX. 

Primary objectives of this topic include exploring innovative technology solutions applicable to both defense and non-defense markets, scaling capability, and growing the industrial base for defense. This topic seeks companies with capability to prototype validated concepts under an accelerated Phase II schedule. This topic is aimed at applied research and development efforts rather than “front-end” or basic Research (R)/Research & Development(R&D). 

Description

The DAF is a large and complex organization consisting of many functions, a vast majority of which have similar counterparts in the commercial sector. It is important that potential solutions have a high probability of keeping pace with technological change. Thus, solutions should be closely tied to commercial technologies and solutions supporting the proposed development. This topic is meant for non-defense commercial solutions to be adapted to meet Space Force stakeholders' needs. 

Proposed technical solutions should focus on the characteristics outlined in the Evaluation Criteria section of this solicitation. 

The topic is truly 'open' (agnostic of industry, technology, and problem area), but proposals for this topic should demonstrate a high probability of identifying a product-mission fit between a Space Force stakeholder and the proposed adaptation of the non-defense commercial solution.  

This is accomplished most effectively through a proposal with a mature non-Defense technical solution and a clear understanding of its adaptation to meet a DAF customer's specific need, supported by 

documentation from a specific motivated, empowered DAF end-user, customer, and technical point of contact (TPOC) ready and willing to participate in the proposed prototype solution's trial. 

The United States Department of the Air Force has identified 7 Operational Imperatives: Space Order of Battle; Operationally Focused Air Battle Management Systems (ABMS); Moving Target Engagement; Tactical Air Dominance; Resilient Basing, Global Strike; Readiness to Deploy and Fight.

These Operational Imperatives are the critical operational capabilities and functions the Department of the Air Force must invest in to protect the United States’ ability to deter conflict and project power against pacing challenges.

Applicants should identify which Operational Imperative the proposed solution addresses. It is possible for a solution to provide a strategic capability in a previously unconsidered area. Therefore, if the applicant feels the proposed solution does not fit within one of the listed capabilities, reference "BLUE SKY", including an explanation of the solution's ability to provide increased strategic capability within the context of AF, national, and global constraints.

Phase I

This topic is intended for technology proven ready to move directly into Phase II. Therefore, Phase I awards will not be made for this topic. The applicant is required to provide detail and documentation in the D2P2 proposal which demonstrates accomplishment of a “Phase I-type” effort, including a feasibility study. This includes determining, insofar as possible, the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of ideas appearing to have commercial potential. It must have validated the product-mission fit between the proposed solution and a potential Air Force and/or Space Force stakeholder. The applicant should have defined a clear, immediately actionable plan with the proposed solution and the DAF customer, end-user, and TPOC. 

The feasibility study should have: 

1. Clearly identified the potential stakeholders of the adapted solution for solving the Space Force need(s). 

2. Described the pathway to integrating with DAF operations, to include how the applicant plans to accomplish core technology development, navigate applicable regulatory processes, and integrate with other relevant systems and/or processes. 

3. Describe if and how the solution can be used by other DoD or Governmental customers. 

Phase II

Proposals should include development, installation, integration, 

demonstration and/or test and evaluation of the proposed solution prototype system. 
 

These activities should focus specifically on: 

1. Evaluating the adapted solution against the proposed objectives and measurable key results. 

2. Describing in detail how the installed solution differs from the non-defense commercial offering to solve the Space Force need(s), as well as how it can be scaled for wide adoption, i.e., modified for scale. 

3. Identifying the proposed solution's clear transition path, taking into account input from affected stakeholders, including but not limited to, end users, engineering, sustainment, contracting, finance, legal, and cyber security. 

4. Specifying the solution's integration with other current and potential future solutions. 

5. Describing the solution's sustainability, i.e., supportability. Identifying other specific DoD or Governmental customers for the solution.

Phase III Dual-Use

Some solutions may go from Phase II to Phase III as soon as the product-market fit is verified. Potential Phase III awardees will transition to the adapted non-Defense commercial solution to provide expanded mission capability for a broad range of potential Governmental and civilian users and alternate mission applications. 

Notes

AFVentures will hold Ask Me Anything (AMA) webinars to answer applicant questions. For more information about the AFVentures Weekly Webinar series, applicants may visit: https://afwerx.com/divisions/afventures/weekly-webinar-series/.

References

  1. FitzGerald, B., Sander, A.; Parziale, J. (2016). Future Foundry: A New Strategic Approach to Military- Technical Advantage.
  2. Blank, S. (2016). The Mission Model Canvas - An Adapted Business Model Canvas for Mission-Driven Organizations.
  3. US Department of Defense. (2018). 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States Summary.
  4. Chaplain, C. T. (2016). Space Acquisitions: Challenges Facing DOD as it Changes Approaches to Space Acquisitions. US Government Accountability Office Washington United States.
  5. Space Capstone Publication, Spacepower (SCP). (2020)

 

Keywords

Open; Other; Disruptive; Radical; Dual-Use; Commercial

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