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Air Force contracting process enhanced with new hybrid Funding Opportunity Announcement

The Title III Program partnered with Lehigh Heavy Forge Corporation to refurbish and upgrade key forging equipment, controls, and supporting infrastructure, preserving the U.S. heavy forging industrial base. (Courtesy photo)

The Title III Program partnered with Lehigh Heavy Forge Corporation to refurbish and upgrade key forging equipment, controls, and supporting infrastructure, preserving the U.S. heavy forging industrial base. (Courtesy photo)

Bird’s eye view of AltAir’s Bio-Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene Refinery in Paramount, California. Title III involvement was instrumental in advancing the manufacturing capacity for Bio-Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene biofuel blend. (Courtesy photo)

Bird’s eye view of AltAir’s Bio-Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene Refinery in Paramount, California. Title III involvement was instrumental in advancing the manufacturing capacity for Bio-Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene biofuel blend. (Courtesy photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Research Laboratory, serving as Department of Defense Executive Agent Program Office of the Defense Production Act Title III Program, has issued a hybrid Funding Opportunity Announcement that will provide extensive flexibility to efficiently award production technology projects to strengthen domestic manufacturing and the defense industrial base.

DPA Title III authorities were established in the Defense Production Act of 1950 and provide the President broad authority to ensure the timely availability of industrial base capabilities essential to national defense. The DPA Title III Program is managed by the Office of Industrial Policy within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and a component of the Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory serves as the EAPO.

The new hybrid FOA is a two-part announcement offering an alternative acquisition strategy for the DPA Title III Program. One path is the open FOA, in which white papers may be submitted at any time by industry. These must be submitted in one of three broad topic areas: sustainment of critical production, commercialization of research and development investments or scaling of emerging technologies.

The second path is the issuance of individual production technology calls under the FOA, in which proposal announcements may be issued by the government via FedBizOpps, a platform to collect maintain and disseminate information on federal procurement solicitations to the public. All calls will be issued for projects that fit within one of the three broad topic areas.

“Utilizing a hybrid approach with an open portion and individual project calls provides a dynamic method to address critical domestic production capability and capacity issues,” said Diana Carlin, Air Force Executive Agent Program Manager, DPA Title III Program.

By utilizing this approach, the DPA Title III Program is able to pursue government and industry ideas related to the topic areas (open portion) and address specific topics of interest for proposals (call announcements).

The FOA also provides industry with information on expected project deliverables, eligibility, white paper/proposal submission requirements and general evaluation criteria. By providing key explanatory, administrative and proposal assessment information ahead of time, industry is in a better position to respond to and align with program objectives.

In addition to providing greater flexibility in the solicitation of projects, this new approach assists in reducing acquisition timelines. Industrial base issues can be addressed in a timely manner providing enhanced responsiveness to established stakeholder requirements.

The Title III Executive Agent Program Office anticipates that the hybrid FOA option will enable the DOD and industry to efficiently engage in successful partnerships that have a sustainable, long term impact on the defense industrial base.

The hybrid FOA was posted on July 12, and will remain open for 60 months.

The announcement can be found at fbo.gov, under the title Defense Production Act Title III Expansion of Domestic Production Capability and Capacity, FA8650-19-S-5010.