The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is looking into establishing an agency-wide Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Consortium to help manage research and prototyping efforts.
According to a May 12 sources sought Request for Information (RFI) notice on beta.sam.gov, MDA is considering a missile defense consortium “in an effort to expand MDA’s reach into innovative solutions through research, development, and prototyping.”
The notice explained the RFI is an attempt to gather information to help MDA develop a business case analysis to then determine if an OT Consortium is suitable for the agency’s needs. The agency is reviewing courses of action on the best method to establish the consortium and the selection for the Consortium Manager (CM).
The notice said the agency is considering a CM OTA “structured to assist MDA in managing the OT Consortium to carry out basic, applied and advanced research projects, prototype/production OTs.”
MDA said these agreements aim to “provide MDA with the necessary flexibility to allow potential bidders and/or their subcontractors to utilize commercial/industrial best practices, improving opportunities to explore cutting-edge innovative capabilities within industry and research facilities that do not normally contract with the Federal Government.”
MDA envisions the CM’s scope will cover managing the entire consortium including initial consortium establishment/stand-up, identifying and recruiting qualified technical and innovative members, management of the consortium’s award process, and technical support.
The CM would have to “ensure that the research projects and prototypes to support the MDA mission are compliant with the OT authorities,” as well as act as the focal point for industry reporting, mitigation of organizational conflict of interests and personal conflicts of interest, and cyber-security compliance.
MDA anticipates, pending funding availability, the OT Consortium may obligate about $75 million to $125 million per year.
The notice said the consortium may include traditional and nontraditional defense contractors, small businesses, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, partnerships, teams, or joint ventures capable of carrying out basic, applied and advanced research projects and prototyping efforts. This would cover “a multitude of diverse fields supporting the development of the [Missile Defense System] (e.g., Space, Communications, Sensors, Interceptors, Propulsion, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, and Command and Control).
MDA is requesting responses by any experience interested parties have in acting as a CM or working with a CM. RFI responses are due by July 2.