On July 1, 2014, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Vehicle and Robotics Alliance (VRA) entered into (what is now) a Section 815 Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the National Advanced Mobility Consortium (NAMC) covering a broad range of ground vehicle and system technologies. Through this Ground Vehicle Systems OTA (GVS OTA), the Government is able to legally engage NAMC industry members on an expedited basis to undertake projects to develop, harden, and integrate ground vehicle systems and component technologies and produce prototype, manned and unmanned systems and components.

image_20151222Accordingly, the VRA and NAMC have partnered to form the Defense Mobility Enterprise (DME) which is responsible for closely coordinating and managing these expedited processes, related tools, and other joint ground vehicle system-related activities. Through the DME there is a faster award cycle, negotiable terms (especially for IP and data rights), and fewer and less stringent requirements than Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) contracts. Furthermore, the DME removes the traditional barriers between Government and industry, giving the DoD expedited access to the best in commercial technologies while allowing NAMC members to collaborate and focus on what they do best: deliver cutting-edge ground vehicle solutions. Small businesses and nontraditional contractors now have the opportunity to do business with the DoD through the NAMC without unduly straining their operations. To date, DME research areas have included Architecture, Security, and Modularity (ASM), Autonomy, Mobility, Modeling and Simulation (M&S), Payloads, Petroleum and Water Systems (PAWS), Platform, Powertrain, Survivability, Test and Evaluation (T&E).

image_20151222.2Originally formed as the Robotics Technology Consortium in 2008, the NAMC is open to any and all traditional and nontraditional, large and small, for-profit companies, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations with ground vehicle and robotics technological capabilities. The joining fee, i.e. annual dues, is sufficiently low that it does not pose a barrier to entry for even the smallest of companies. NAMC members enjoy a host of benefits to include: proposal preparation training, a nationwide network of industry and academic partners, and access to exclusive events, updates, and solicitations of Government customer ground vehicle system technology requirements. If your organization is interested in exclusive opportunities to collaborate and advance the development of manned and unmanned ground vehicles, click here to join today.

Many DoD program offices have used the VRA for their ground vehicle projects. If you are a member of Government and your group would benefit utilizing the GVS OTA, click here to access the VRA milbook site and click the Follow button on the top right corner Here you may browse the documents featured on the site (Read Ahead, Process, Timing, Dictionary, Training, videos, etc.). To view prototype R&D projects that VRA members (government employees across all DoD services) are working on, register for access to the DME “app” called BIDS. Instructions for BIDS registration is also in the VRA milBook site. With BIDS access, you can decide whether to participate as a passive VRA member (i.e., viewing projects), or as an active VRA member (i.e., leading projects or evaluating proposals or funding increments/deliverables).