Who is eligible to submit solution briefs?
Any individual or commercial entity.
What is expected if I am invited to pitch or demo?
You should be prepared to pitch or demo your technology to DIU and/or DoD customers in person or via webcast. DIU will provide logistical details. Any travel costs incurred will generally not be reimbursed.
What happens after I pitch or demo?
We’ll get back to you within 30 days if we’re interested in learning more. If we're not interested, we may or may not be able to provide substantive feedback, but we'll strive to let you know ASAP.
May I speak with DIU while I'm developing my proposal?
Absolutely - we encourage communication. DIU will work with you throughout the development of your proposal.
How long will it take to negotiate a contract based on my proposal?
We aim to award most contracts within 30 days of receipt of a full proposal (not a solution brief). However, final timelines will depend on the outcome of negotiations.
What form will this agreement (contract) take?
The final contract will be an Other Transaction (OT) agreement for prototype (i.e., pilot) projects.
What is an Other Transaction (OT) agreement for prototype projects?
An OT agreement is a legally binding contractual instrument. It is used specifically for prototype (i.e., pilot) projects directly related to enhancing mission effectiveness of military personnel and the supporting platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed or for the improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the armed forces. It is NEITHER a procurement contract, grant, nor cooperative agreement overseen by Federal Acquisition Regulations, NOR is it bound by the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA), the Bayh-Dole Act, the Truth in Negotiations Act, the Contract Disputes Act, the Procurement Protest System, the Procurement Integrity Act, or the DoD Grants and Agreements Regulations (DODGARS).
What are the benefits of an OT agreement (i.e., pilot contract) and our process?
- Non-dilutive capital
- A streamlined application process requiring only minimal corporate and technical information
- Flexibility to use best practices with relief from federal acquisition regulations
- No mandatory cost accounting standards or reporting requirements
- Certified cost and pricing data is not required
- Fast-track selection timelines with most awards within 30 calendar days of proposal submission
- Negotiable payment terms
- Negotiable intellectual property rights
- Direct feedback from customers within DoD, and testing and evaluation opportunities (e.g., range-time for hardware technology) to help product teams develop and hone their products
- Potential follow-on funding for successful pilot projects
What are the prerequisites for an OT agreement (i.e., pilot contract)?
There must be significant nontraditional or small business participation, defined as:
- At least one nontraditional defense contractor participating to a significant extent OR
- All significant participants in the transaction other than the DoD are small businesses or nontraditional defense contractors
If neither of these conditions is met, there is a mandatory one-third cost share for a traditional defense contractor. Cost-sharing can include contributions of cash or non-cash items.
What does "nontraditional defense contractor" mean?
Under 10 U.S. Code 2302, a nontraditional defense contractor is an entity that is not currently performing and has not performed, for at least the one-year period preceding the solicitation of sources (i.e., solutions) by DoD for the procurement or transaction, any contract or subcontract for DoD that is subject to full coverage under the cost accounting standards (CAS) prescribed pursuant to section 1502 of title 41 of the U.S. Code and the regulations implementing such section. Full CAS coverage applies to contractor business units that either receive a single CAS-covered contract award of $50M or more or received $50M or more in net CAS-covered contracts during its preceding cost accounting period.
What qualifies as a "small business?"
Whether a company qualifies as a small business is dependent upon the criteria and size standards in part 121 of title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Small Business Administration (SBA) establishes small business size standards on an industry-by-industry basis. Size standards matched to industry North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes are published by the Small Business Administration and are available at http://www.sba.gov/content/table-small-business-size-standards
What does "significant participation" of a nontraditional defense contractor mean?
While there is no statutory definition, it generally includes:
- Supplying new key technology or products
- Accomplishing a significant amount of the effort
- Causing a material reduction in the cost or schedule or increase in performance
The nontraditional defense contractor does not necessarily have to be a prime contractor; it can be a subcontractor, lower-tier vendor, intra-company business unit, or teamed with a traditional as long as participation is "significant." The determination of what is significant is flexible; however, the final decision is made by DoD.
What can I negotiate as part of this OT agreement (i.e., pilot contract)?
Virtually every aspect of the OT agreement (i.e., pilot contract) is negotiable.
Who will I be negotiating with?
The U.S. Army Contracting Command - New Jersey agreements officers will be negotiating and signing the final OT agreement (i.e., pilot contract), with support from DIU and its DoD customers.
What is a DUNS number?
A DUNS Number is a unique nine-digit identification code provided by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) for each physical location of a business. A DUNS Number assignment is free for all businesses required to register with DoD for contracts, grants or agreements. To request a DUNS Number, please visit https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/pages/CCRSearch.jsp
What is SAM?
SAM is the System for Award Management and is the official U.S. Government system that consolidated federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into one system. Registration in SAM is required for all companies that wish to receive government contracts, grants or agreements.
Currently SAM is undergoing changes which are delaying the process to approve companies to do work with the government.
Companies can register in SAM at www.sam.gov
How will I get paid?
Payment will be made by the Defense Finance and Accounting Services and will be based upon milestones agreed to by DoD and the company and incorporated into the OT agreement (i.e., pilot contract). Your company will be responsible for submitting invoices into the Invoicing, Receiving, Acceptance and Property Transfer (iRAPT) module of the Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) application. More information on iRAPT and WAWF can be found at https://wawf.eb.mil/xhtml/unauth/help/helpvendors.xhtml
What happens after an OT agreement (i.e., pilot contract) is completed?
After a successful pilot, the relationship can continue and even grow in terms of customer base, as your company and any DoD entities interested in your solutions can easily sign on to follow-on contracts. This follow on work may take two forms:
- Adjusted work: if DoD and your company agree, we may negotiate a new agreement to do additional work by changing some aspect of the pilot project.
- Follow-on work: if DoD and your company agree, we may negotiate a new agreement to continue the work.
How is intellectual property treated and protected?
Prior to the start of a project, it is important that a company identify rights in pre-existing data. In general, companies retain ownership of IP assets created during the effort. DoD is usually licensed certain rights to use these assets in accordance with the agreed OT (i.e., pilot contract) terms and conditions. These rights control, inter alia, how DoD can use, disclose, or reproduce company-owned proprietary information.
What are the different ways IP is licensed under an OT agreement (i.e., pilot contract)?
Unlimited Rights. These give DoD the ability to use, disclose, reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, and perform publicly, in any manner and for any purpose, and to have or permit others to do so (absent any separate security classification or export control restriction). We usually don't need this and do not anticipate awarding any OT agreements (i.e., pilot contracts) with unlimited rights.
Government Purpose Rights. These give DoD the ability to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display, or disclose data only within the Government (including competitive re-procurement). However, DoD cannot release the data for any commercial purpose.
Limited Rights. DoD may use the company’s data, other than computer software, within DoD but not release the data outside of DoD except in limited circumstances. DoD may not use the data for manufacturing additional quantities of the item. Data may not be released without company permission/associated nondisclosure agreement.
Restricted Rights. These apply to noncommercial computer software only. DoD may only run the software on one computer at a time, and may make only the minimum copies needed for backup. The software may not be released outside of DoD except with company permission/associated nondisclosure agreement.
If specific rights in data are proposed, how should they be marked?
If a company asserts for itself (or for any subcontractor, vendor, team member, partner, etc.) that DoD's right to use, release, or disclose technical data should be restricted, the company must list in its proposal:
- The Technical Data to be Furnished with Restrictions
- The Basis for the Assertion
- The Asserted Rights Category
- The Name of the Person Asserting Restrictions