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AIR FORCE INDEPENDENT RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Posted 3/18/2013 Printable Fact Sheet
Related Links
  Defense Innovation Marketplace


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The Air Force (AF) Independent Research and Development (IR&D) program is managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson AFB Ohio. The AF IR&D program office, organizationally located in AFRL/XPPD, manages a technology interchange process to enhance communications and collaboration efforts between the Air Force and Industry. This process is the "single voice" of the Air Force to inform industry of Air Force technology development needs and interests.

IR&D is a contractor's own investment in basic and applied research and development and certain studies. IR&D initiatives are funded independently by defense contractors, and a portion of these costs are recovered as overhead cost on current government contracts in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation and Defense Contracting Audit Agency regulations. Each year, DoD invests approximately $4 billion in defense firms' IR&D. This investment results in technology advances that ultimately benefit the department and its warfighters.

Defense contractors that claim more than $11 million in a year on IR&D and bid and proposal costs are required to submit information on their IR&D projects to the government through a secure website called the Defense Innovation Marketplace found at the following URL, (www.defenseinnovationmarketplace.mil). This industry portal is an important communication tool used by the Department of Defense (DoD) to inform industry of technology gaps and to identify relevant research efforts by industry.

The AF IR&D program office manages technology interchanges that are organized by technology domain (e.g. Human Systems, Space Systems). Each technology interchange is comprised of three steps. Step 1 consists of the AF publishing a comprehensive summary of technology needs on the Defense Innovation Marketplace website for industry to review. Industry may then respond to these published needs by submitting an abstract of relevant IR&D activity via the portal. AF subject matter experts review the submissions from industry, and decide which technologies are of interest for further exploration. Step 2 consists of industry providing a detailed presentation of their IR&D project(s) to the AF subject matter experts. In Step 3, the AF decides if a formal collaboration opportunity exists. Once a collaboration opportunity has been identified, the IR&D office will assist in selecting the proper tools for formalizing the partnership.

The information gained from these AF/Industry technology interchanges is used to continually improve and expand AF/Industry IR&D collaboration efforts.

For additional information on AF IR&D initiatives, please contact AFRL HQ IRDPM.


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