The Pentagon will begin taking submissions for its Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) at the end of the month, according to a March 17 announcement. The fund is used to quickly test and integrate innovative technologies that solve critical national security needs.
Mature prototypes may receive up to $3 million and will have up to two years to complete work, according to the broad agency announcement (BAA). That figure remains in question until the fiscal 2017 Defense Department appropriations bill, H.R. 1301, clears Congress. The spending bill would provide $250 million for the fund.
The BAA covers hundreds of requirements for the military services and each vendor’s white paper must show how their product can enhance a system’s capability, accelerate its development, reduce its costs or failures, or help the system reach results in a timely fashion. Technology developed through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Independent Research and Development (IR&D) programs may qualify for RIF money.
RIF has a two-phase selection process: first, unclassified white papers on mature prototypes will be accepted from March 31 to May 19, then full proposals will be requested by invitation only. While there’s no limit on the number of papers an offeror can submit, there is a preference toward small businesses.