The Department of Defense is seeking to work with companies on the cutting edge of technology and innovation in the fast-growing commercial sector. Firms, including those that traditionally have not worked with the military, are being invited to participate in the Dual Use Science and Technology Program at meetings scheduled this fall in Los Angeles, Calif. and Arlington, Va.
"Many of the technologies being actively pursued by industry to meet the demands of the commercial marketplace will also provide a military advantage on the battlefield," says Dan Petonito, program manager of DoD's Dual Use Science & Technology Program. "The Department must increase its reliance on technologies developed commercially. In many cases we simply do not have a choice."
Project managers with the Dual Use Science & Technology Program (DU S&T) will describe the military services' overall thrust into the commercial sector Oct. 22 in Arlington, and on Oct. 29 in Los Angeles. The Dual Use Science and Technology Investment Strategy Conference will provide detailed information on the latest solicitation seeking proposals from companies in eight focus areas:
- * Information systems and technology
- * Distributed training systems
- * Affordable sensors
- * Medical technologies
- * Environmental monitoring
- * Fuel efficiency and advanced propulsion
- *Aircraft sustainment
- *Advanced structural systems for high-speed sea-based vessels
Program managers from the Air Force, Army and Navy funding R&D projects will answer questions on commercial technology needs and the process for participating in the program.
In addition, industry's views will be sought concerning both the direction of the DU S&T Program and technology areas for future solicitations. The day-long meetings to be held at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, and the Hilton, Los Angeles Airport Hotel, will provide a forum for industry to learn more about the 1999 solicitation issued this August. The closing date is in December 1998 and participants will be selected in early 1999.
The first two DU S&T Program solicitations have resulted in more than $500 million being invested by the Department and industry for the development of technologies that could be used by both the commercial and military sectors. A significant increase in DoD spending for dual use technologies is anticipated. Congress has established a goal that by 2001 at least 15 percent of the military services' applied research be developed in the dual use environment.
Incentives for industry to work with DoD's DU S&T Program include a 50 percent project cost share by the government; access to technology from the government; and increased market opportunities with the military services. The Department is making it easier for commercial companies to sign contracts by using procedures that are outside the normal acquisition regulations.
"Defense R&D spending has grown by 50 percent since 1960, but U.S. commercial R&D has grown by more than 400 percent over the same period," Petonito points out. "Reduced defense procurements are another reason the Department has to increase its utilization of commercial technologies. We can no longer afford to maintain a separate industrial base."
For more information on these conferences or to register set your browser to www.dtic.mil/dust. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Early registration fee is $75.00.