dept of defense

Program assisting defense manufacturers delivers strong ROI

Faced with one of the largest drawdowns in defense spending in American history, the Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program (DMAP) targeted affected companies and communities across Michigan, Ohio and Indiana for assistance. The program aimed to support economic stabilization and diversification across the region during the five-year period from 2013 to 2018.

FY 2019 final budget from Congress: Defense, Labor, HHS

Congress is set to pass portions of the overall FY 2019 federal budget before the end of the current fiscal year, which has been rare over the last decade. To keep pace, SSTI will be running a series of FY 2019 budget updates. Part I is Energy and Water (including Regional Agencies), Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. Part II is Defense with Labor and HHS, as well as a CR for the rest of the government through Dec. 7.

 

DARPA announces $2B AI initiative

The “AI Next” campaign, announced by DARPA last week, is geared toward moving AI defense applications into a “third wave” of advancement, capable of complex problem-solving. DARPA will be investing $2 billion into AI through a variety of programs, and a core element of this initiative will be “AI Exploration” projects designed to move from proposal to start in three months, and from start to feasibility assessments within 18 months.

Six innovation highlights in the new defense bill

The House and Senate have agreed to the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019. As anticipated, the legislation addresses many small business and innovation policies. Changes relevant to tech-based economic development affect SBIR, advanced manufacturing, and partnerships with defense labs.

Panel would dramatically move Dept of Defense toward innovative small businesses

As hearings for the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) begin this week, a report by the “Section 809 Panel” is likely to influence the bill’s acquisition provisions. The panel, authorized by the FY 2016 NDAA, has emphasized efforts the Department of Defense can implement to work better with innovative small businesses, including simplified contracting and strengthening SBIR.

DoD launches $6M pilot program to spur new university-industry research partnerships

Last week, the Department of Defense (DoD) released a public announcement on the launch of a new pilot program that supports university-industry basic research collaborations focused on the discovery of novel solutions to challenging defense and national security problems. SSTI members, however, were alerted to the release of the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) for the pilot program in a December edition of the SSTI Funding Supplement. Each week, the Funding Supplement provides SSTI members with an expansive list of FFOs and other founding opportunities for their client companies, researchers, and own organizations! Learn more about the SSTI Funding Supplement and the other benefits that SSTI members receive by visting: https://ssti.org/membership-benefits.

Committees pass defense authorization bills affecting small business policy

The U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committees recently passed their versions of the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The legislation includes provisions for federal labs, SBIR and SBA technical assistance programs. These portions of the bills are currently very different between the chambers, and, if passed in their current forms, the final bill could address a wide range of policies affecting small business and innovation.

US House appropriations bills would make major cuts to innovation

The House Appropriations Committee began releasing FY 2018 “markup” budget bills this week, and the proposals would cut billions in non-defense spending. EDA would lose $100 million* in funding, SBA’s entrepreneurial development programs would lose $34 million, NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership would lose $30 million, and Energy’s ARPA-E would be eliminated, among other cuts.

Does Defense have $250M IOU to small businesses?

The SBIR program has been a legislated requirement of the Department of Defense, an agency responsible for roughly 40 percent of all federal extramural R&D spending, for more than three decades. One might expect that over that amount of time, the Department of Defense would have developed a system to become compliant with SBIR’s fundamental provision that a minimum threshold of innovation research spending be directed toward small businesses. Yet, a new report from the Government Accountability Office concludes DOD couldn’t say if it was meeting the threshold because, DoD did not submit the required obligations data. The report states “DOD officials told [the GAO] that obtaining obligations data would require requesting information from more than 10 individual program offices that, in turn, would have to request the information from various DOD comptrollers, which would be a major effort.”

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: Dept. of Defense

The FY 2018 budget request for the Department of Defense (DOD) would provide $574.5 billion in discretionary base funding. Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) would receive a total $83.3 billion – an $11 billion (15.2 percent) increase. This includes $13.2 billion for Science and Technology, a $0.6 billion (4.8 percent) increase, which is comprised of Basic Research, Applied Research and Advanced Technology Development. DoD Basic Research would receive $2.2 billion ($0.2 billion; 4.8 percent increase), Applied Research $5 billion ($0.2 billion; 3.3 percent increase), and Advanced Technology Development $6 billion ($0.4 billion; 6.4 percent increase).

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