DoD Rapid Innovation Fund (Formerly Rapid Innovation Program) About to Launch

The DoD’s Rapid Innovation Program (RIP) is now the Rapid Innovation Funding (RIF) Program and should be released in the form of a Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) on or about September 1, 2011.

In a memo circulating the Agency and the Hill, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (ATL), Dr. Ashton B. Carter describes the DoD’s overall goals for use of these funds made available in PL 111-383, the Defense Authorization Act of 2011.

It is anticipated, the first round of funding will be $99.5 M, with Army, Navy and Air Force having $24M each, and the remaining components with an aggregate of 27.5M.

Projects should not exceed 24 months and $3M. It is expected that supplemental guidance memos from acquisition executives will be issued from the service specific component (army, navy etc.).

Undersecretary Carter suggests that the goals for use of the RIF should reflect the DoD’s emphasis on rapid, responsive acquisition and engagement of small innovative businesses in solving defense problems.

Although this is not an SBIR program, and the funding is not from SBIR dollars, SBIR Phase II projects are mentioned. From the memo, it appears that the focus should be on small businesses providing solutions to advanced technically challenged areas.

DoD is looking to transition innovative technology that resolve operational challenges characterized by Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONs), as well as into ACAT I-IA, II, III, IV or other defense acquisition programs.

You can download a copy of Deputy Undersecretary Carter’s memo regarding RIF HERE.

A more interpretive description of this program can be read at SBIR Insider

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