The Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Communications–Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD( in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), held its Sensors COI Independent Research and Development (IR&D) Technology Interchange Meeting (TIM) at Ft. Belvoir, VA, 2-4 August 2016. The Sensors COI team included over 40 subject matter experts (SMEs) across the three Services, including AFRL Sensors Directorate, AFRL Directed Energy Directorate, Army CERDEC, ONR, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Center, AFRL, Central Command (CENTCOM). Dr. Jennifer Ricklin, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, also attended.
This team of Sensor COI SMEs actively engaged with 10 companies. Individually, they discussed the details of 26 IR&D investments representing over $261M ($134 M for IR&D + $127 M for other R&D) of research and development focused on IR&D technology developments, addressing many of the challenges facing the warfighter’s near-term capability areas.
One of the important aspects of August’s Sensors COI IR&D TIM was the opportunity for industry to present their IR&D efforts and the ability of the government SME team to caucus on salient points and provide real-time feedback to presenting companies. This feedback was deliberate in framing possible ways forward in potential R&D partnering, e.g., Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), future discussions at the technical expert level, data exchanges, site visits/demos, and referrals to relevant DoD and other governmental agencies. These activities are ongoing and will prove to be beneficial to both government and industry.
Those attending the meeting agreed it was a critical forum for sustaining meaningful interchange between Sensor SMEs and industry representatives, consistent with DoD’s Better Buying Power 3.0 initiatives. We anticipate another Sensors COI event within the next two years, and will continue to share news on the Defense Innovation Marketplace and the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) websites, as well as across social media. Stay tuned for further updates.