In October and November of 2019, the NAVAIR Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program participated in the DoD 2019.3 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Inaugural Navy Technology Acceleration program directed at Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), with specific focus areas in Readiness and Sustainment, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Autonomy and Automation, Predictive Maintenance, Cyber, Counter AI, and Digital-Streamlining Business Operations.The empowered NAVAIR SBIR Program Office took on the challenge to reduce the SBIR Phase I process from 120 days, down to 30 days. The team collaborated with all stakeholders resulting in added SharePoint automation to accelerate the technical evaluations, and streamlined the procurement package, financial review and approval, and contract award processes for increased efficiency. The 19.3 Navy Technology Acceleration program received 345 proposals for evaluation (across NAVAIR, ONR, NAVSEA and NAVWAR), resulting in 79 firms being selected for Phase I awards across the Navy Agencies.The NAVAIR SBIR Program Office assembled and hosted Navy subject matter experts in the fields of AI/ML from NAVAIR Headquarters, COMFRC, NAWCTSD Orlando, NAWCWD China Lake, NAWCAD Patuxent River, and NAWCAD Lakehurst. The teams evaluated 148 NAVAIR specific SBIR proposals in just three days, resulting in the selection of 29 proposals for Phase I award.All procurement packages were completed, purchase requisitions processed within seven days of the close of the BAA, and financial documents processed and approved within 1 day. In addition to the work done in the Program Office, NAWCAD Lakehurst Contracts Department executed all 79 Navy Technology Acceleration contracts by Nov. 15, 2019, just 23 calendar days after the BAA closed vice the normal 120 days. These efforts have allowed for the fast tracking of innovative solutions to the fleet, with prototypes available within 18-24 months.The now postponed Navy Technology Acceleration Demonstration Day, originally scheduled for May 20, will be rescheduled for a future date. This event will feature a subset of the 79 Phase I firms. Hosted by the Department of the Navy SBIR/STTR Program Office, Demo Day will be open to program stakeholders interested in viewing solutions, developing partnerships, investing in small business, and assessing military/commercial compatibility. Demo Day promises to expose attendees to the newest portfolio of Navy Small Business innovators competing for $40 million in SBIR Phase II investments in the areas of AI/ML, autonomy, and training technologies. We hope you will join us as we leverage small business to enable technology adoption at the pace of innovation.Registration for Demo Day will be announced as soon as a new date for the event has been identified.Please follow our progress on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NAVAIR/), Twitter, and https://myteam.navair.navy.mil/mysites/Pages/MyContent.aspx newsfeed #SBIR #USNAVY #TechAccel #Innovation and #SmallBusiness.Or log into https://fusion.navair1.navy.mil/waterfall.
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