As part of a consortium led by the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), USC has earned access to compete for upcoming Defense Systems Technical Area Tasks (DS TATs) contracts.
The consortium won what is known as a contract vehicle, which places its partners into a select group that will be given the opportunity to compete for government funding of specific projects that fall under the contract vehicle’s domain.
Since this contract vehicle is run by the U.S. Department of Defense, many of the projects will be geared toward keeping members of the U.S. Armed Forces safe and well-equipped.
“The right to compete for DS TATs contracts provides a unique opportunity for exceptional research projects by USC Viterbi faculty to be presented and considered for funding by the DoD. It also strengthens the interaction between DoD and USC Viterbi for the benefit of the nation,” said Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
“The university’s eligibility for these government grants will offer an incredible boost to USC Dornsife’s dedication to research with consequence,” said Steve A. Kay, dean of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “We are honored by the opportunity to help investigate innovative ways of protecting our soldiers.”
The contract was awarded by the Defense Technical Information Center, a part of the DoD.
The Information Center, which reports to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, established DS TATs in June. The vehicle has a $3 billion ceiling and is established as a five-year, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ), multiple-award contract for research and analysis services.
“Contract vehicles are very important for military contractors in general and GTRI in particular,” said Rod Beard, GTRI researcher and director of the DS TATs. “We could have the greatest ideas in the world for a government office, but if we don’t have a way for them to reach us through a contract vehicle, it could be too time-consuming for the complete procurement process.”
According to Beard, it should take about six or seven months to begin procuring contract awards through the vehicle. USC and GTRI’s collaborators include California Technical Institute, New Mexico Tech, Utah State University, Purdue University, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Notre Dame, Pennsylvania State University, Vanderbilt University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Florida International University. In addition, GTRI recruited several industry and small business partners, as 9 percent of the work done in the first year must be designated to small businesses.
The multiple-award contracts were competitively procured by full and open competition along with a partial small business set-aside via the Federal Business Opportunities website. The Air Force Installation Contracting Agency at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska is the contracting agency.