Department of Defense Releases Funding Opportunity for Innovative Solutions to National Security Needs

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On July 9, 2012, the Department of Defense (DoD) released a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) soliciting proposals for the Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF). Enacted by Congress in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, RIF facilitates the rapid insertion of innovative technologies into military systems or programs that meet critical national security needs. Projects funded under this BAA will resolve operational challenges characterized by the following four science and technology thrust areas:

  1. Enhancing energy security and independence
  2. Developing advanced materials
  3. Improving manufacturing technology and the defense industrial base
  4. Advanced microelectronics

RIF is administered by DoD's Washington Headquarters Services and is positioned to work with eight DoD non-service components: Chemical and Biological Defense, Defense Information Systems Agency, Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Missile Defense Agency, United States Northern Command, United States Special Operations Command, and United States Transportation Command. Total federal government expenditures for projects chosen under the funding opportunity announcement will not exceed $27.5 million, and individual awards will total up to $3 million each for two years or less. Small businesses are favored and teaming is permitted.

Candidates are required to submit a white paper that includes a narrative of up to three pages, as well as supporting technical attachments, by September 7, 2012. After the September 7 deadline, DoD components will conduct the white paper evaluation and make requests for proposals. Once proposals are submitted, the components in the following round will select proposals for awards (contract or cooperative agreement). The full solicitation can be found here.