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Defense Acquisition Challenge (DAC) Program Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Requesting Rapid Fielding Proposals

Solicitation Number: DAC-FY12-BAA0001
Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: Washington Headquarters Services
Location: WHS, Acquisition Directorate
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DAC-FY12-BAA0001
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Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
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Added: Feb 17, 2012 2:40 pm
The Defense Acquisition Challenge (DAC) Program was established by Congress (Chapter 139 of Title 10 USC, 2359b) to increase the introduction of innovative and cost-saving technologies and products into existing Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition programs. The DAC Program is managed through the Office of Secretary of Defense (Acquisition Technology & Logistics), Rapid Fielding, Comparative Testing Office. DAC provides any person or activity within or outside the DoD the opportunity to propose alternative technologies and product improvements. Opportunities known as "Challenge Proposals" proposed at the component, subsystem, or system level of an existing DoD acquisition program, will be evaluated for resulting improvements in performance, affordability, manufacturability, or operational capability of that acquisition program. DAC Proposals will be evaluated under the guidelines and criteria outlined in Title 10 USC Section 2359b, Defense Acquisition Challenge Program.

This Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is open to any technologies, products, or processes demonstrating a near-term potential to improve existing DoD acquisition programs that address the specific operational areas outlined below. Preference will be given to those technologies and products that "challenge" an incumbent and have the potential to be applied within 6-12 months after contract award, with highest priority given to proposals that demonstrate near-immediate transition to operations/production at the completion of evaluation. To meet this time-line the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of technologies or processes proposed must be TRL 7 (a working prototype demonstrated in a relevant or operational environment), TRL 8 or 9 (qualified through testing or ready for production) by completion of DAC testing. The following operational areas (not listed in priority) are focus areas for US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, Special Operations Command, or other Defense Agency activities engaged in Overseas Contingency Operations: Hostile Fire/Aircrew Protection (small arms & man-portable air-defense systems); Extended Range Small Arms; Improved Unmanned Systems & Sensors (Autonomous, Portable, Air, Ground, and Underwater); Tactical Unit Field Medical Capabilities; Decision Support/Cognitive Assistance for Operational Planning; Enhanced/Lightweight Soldier Protection & Cooling; Space & Situational Awareness; Improved Efficiencies/Alternative Power Sources & Synthetic Fuels; Trusted Cell Phones with Improved Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP); Electro-Optic/Infrared (EO/IR) turrets with improved SWaP; Live, Virtual, Immersive, Mobile and Adaptable Training; Non-Lethal Weapons; Fast Craft "Swarm" Protection; Underwater Craft Detection; Sea-Mine Neutralization; Man-Portable Electronic Countermeasures; Low to No-Metal Signature Mine/Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Detection/Defeat; Expeditionary Forensics; Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Robotics; Personal Small Arms Fire Detection; Standoff Suicide Bomber Detection; Tunnel Detection; Composite and Alloy Structures; Aircraft Sensor Fusion; Blue Force/Red Force Battlefield Tracking; Proactive Information Assurance; Vehicle Restraint & Occupant Protection Systems; Affordable Precision Munitions; Scalable Effects Munitions; Extended Range Munitions; Parasitic Weight Reduction; Infrared Signature Reduction; Detection of Low Observables; Improved Hearing Protection; Cyber Defense; Counter Anti-Access and Area Denial; Counter-Proliferation; Ordnance/Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Detection, Identification, Safing, and Disposal; Urban/Cultural Geospatial Situational Awareness; Frequency Spectrum Management and Optimization; and Chemical-Biological Protection/Detection Capabilities. Proposals that specifically address solutions for acquisition programs experiencing a Nunn-McCurdy breach will be given consideration if they address any design, engineering, manufacturing or technology integration issue causing said breach and satisfy all other DAC legislative requirements identified in Title 10. Additionally, appropriate priorities will be given to those proposals from businesses that are not major contractors with the DoD.

The full review and evaluation of proposals will be conducted in two phases. In the FIRST PHASE, any person or activity within or outside the DoD interested in participating must submit an Initial Proposal via the website: https://cto.acqcenter.com and attach a Quad Chart using the most current Quad Chart format under "Reference Materials" on the website. Although not required in this first phase, a letter of support/endorsement from the Service/USSOCOM Program Management Office or Program Executive Office responsible for the acquisition program can be electronically submitted with the proposal. All correctly completed proposals will undergo a panel review. Evaluation criteria for selection in this phase include at a minimum: (A) whether the proposal has merit; (B) whether the proposal is likely to result in improvements in performance, affordability, manufacturability, or operational capability at the component, subsystem, or system level of an acquisition program; (C) whether the proposal could be implemented in the existing acquisition program rapidly, at acceptable cost and minimal disruption. Initial Proposals that meet the requirements as outlined above, and any additional evaluation criteria deemed appropriate for project selection, will be prioritized based on potential for providing innovative and cost-saving technologies or products into existing DoD acquisition programs and ability to meet warfighter needs. The DoD program manager of the acquisition program of record (POR) identified as the most likely to benefit from the proposed technology or product will be asked to conduct a technical review of the proposal. The DoD Program Manager, with input from the prime system contractor on the program, as appropriate, will decide whether to accept the proposal and further refine/develop the proposal for submittal as a Full Proposal for the SECOND PHASE. The DoD Program Manager will determine the scope of the DAC project to include validation/qualitative or comparative testing based on market evaluation, acquisition best practices and program need. In this second phase the Proposals submitted by Program Managers are prioritized and compete for DAC funding to test the proposed technology. In addition to the required areas completed on the initial DAC proposal submission, the Full Proposal must include: key performance parameters (technology/product/process objectives); test concept and schedule for the test planning, administration, and data analysis; a plan for integration (to include cost and schedule) of the technology or product into the acquisition program; estimated vendor support costs; test article cost; projected facility/laboratory/test range costs; Quad Chart and a Project Chart (using the most current formats under "Reference Materials" on the website), with cost category summary for the test and evaluation of the technology/product/process for the intended application. The integration plan must include all applicable certifications (safety, flight worthiness, insensitive munitions, operational utility, etc.) required to insert the product/technology/process into the acquisition program. Letter(s) from the DoD acquisition authority expressing intent to procure, or the weapon system prime expressing intent to incorporate, pending successful testing, are required for the Full Proposal. By law, DAC funds can be used to purchase test articles and related test costs only, and cannot be used for full rate production. At the completion of the Second Phase a Government-led evaluation team will review all competing proposals and assess each against the evaluation criteria set forth in Title 10, USC Section 2359b and those criteria deemed appropriate for project selection. The Second Phase Government review of the Proposals will include all criteria listed above, as well as: (A) an assessment of the cost, ease, and likelihood of adopting the challenge proposal and implementing it in an acquisition program; and (B) consideration of any intellectual property issues associated with the challenge proposal. Proposals will be selected for funding based on their assessment rating and the availability of Government funding. Selection for funding is highly competitive. Every attempt will be made to ensure that all submitters are notified of the outcome of their challenge proposal(s).

Although selections may be made at any time after the close of the BAA, we anticipate complete the deliberate proposal review and selection for the FY 2012 funding by 1 June 2012. All submissions into the Defense Acquisition Challenge website must be UNCLASSIFIED. Classified submissions, up to SECRET, can be accepted through the mail. Classified responses must be appropriately marked, sealed and mailed in accordance with classified handling procedures. Classified proposals must adhere to the same proposal and Quad Chart formats provided on the website. Email defensechallenge@osd.mil for mailing instructions. Classified documents must be mailed and received by the applicable due date and time. Classification does not in any way eliminate the offeror requirement to comply with all instructions in the BAA. Notification of rejections will be emailed to the proposal submitter. It should be assumed that the reason a proposal was not considered for further review was due to failure to meet the requirements for DAC.

This should not be construed as a commitment by the Government, and any information submitted by industry will not constitute an offer that could be accepted by the Government to create a binding contract. Persons submitting proposals are advised that only a contracting officer may obligate the government to any agreement involving expenditure of government funds. This BAA and two-phased evaluation process meets the requirements for fair and open competition. However, the final determination for contract award resides with the DoD contracting officer from the sponsoring organization. Proposals must be received at the DAC website NLT 1700 hours EST, 23 March 2012. Proposals submitted after the deadline will have to be submitted as an UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL and may result in the proposal not being considered for funding during the initial selection cycle. All proposal submissions must comply with the submission guidelines and use the templates provided on the website. Failure to comply with the above instructions may result in the rejection of the proposal during the administrative review. The agency posting this announcement, Washington Headquarters Services / Acquisition Directorate / Enterprise, Technology, Logistics & Research Division, is not responsible for the DAC program and therefore cannot answer submitter questions or accept proposals. Original Points of Contact: Comparative Technology Office, Attn: Paul Frichtl, (571) 372-6804 or Dan Cundiff, (571) 372-6807, defensechallenge@osd.mil . For Service-specific questions: for Army: Mr. Randy Everett, (410) 306-4824, email: william.r.everett.civ@us.army.mil; for Navy/Marine Corps: Mr. John Barkley, (703) 696-3158, email: john.barkley@navy.mil; for Air Force: Mr. J.R. Smith, (571) 256-0316, email: john.r.smith@pentagon.af.mil; for US Special Operations Command: Mr. Jim Santa Lucia, (813) 826-0052, email: james.santalucia.ctr@socom.mil. More information can be found at: https://cto.acqcenter.com/.
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