Acquisition

Pentagon seeks more visibility into industry R&D

09/15 FCW Magazine Feature.

Defense officials are proposing a change to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement that they say would improve government-funded research and development carried out by private firms.

Under the proposal, firms undertaking new independent R&D efforts that are being reimbursed by the government would have to tell defense officials before doing so, and to share the results of those investments afterward.

Independent R&D investments are more rewarding for both firms and the Pentagon when the government is aware of these investments, the proposal states, and when firms are aware of related investments being made elsewhere in federal R&D.

The Defense Department and industry "need to work together to ensure that DOD has visibility into the opportunity created by government-reimbursed IR&D efforts performed by defense contractors," the proposal reasons.

Officials do not expect the proposal to have a big economic impact on very many small contractors because the DFARS measure in question does not apply to them, the proposal states.

Improving independent R&D is a key aim of the Better Buying Power set of acquisition reforms that defense officials initiated in 2010.

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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