DOD SBIR 24.4 Annual

Active
Yes
Status
Open
Release Date
October 3rd, 2023
Open Date
October 3rd, 2023
Due Date(s)
March 31st, 2025
Close Date
March 31st, 2025
Topic No.
A244-020

Topic

A/I Enabled ARP, Select, and Monitor

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024

Summary

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the topic "A/I Enabled ARP, Select, and Monitor" as part of its SBIR program. The objective of this solicitation is to develop and deliver an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled system to modernize and automate the Army's acquisition process, starting with the development of an Acquisition Requirements Package (ARP). The proposed system aims to alleviate current problems in the Army acquisition community, such as inconsistent results, lengthy and inefficient ARP development, and limited tools available to the workforce. The technology will use AI/ML to assist program managers in building ARP, conducting source selection activities, and monitoring contracts post-award. The Phase I of this project is only accepting Direct to Phase II (DP2) proposals with a cost of up to $2,000,000 for a 24-month period of performance. The Phase II effort is expected to deliver a basic AI capability to guide ARP development, with potential for expansion to other types of acquisitions. The Phase III dual-use applications include the use of Contract Management Software (CMS) technologies in various sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail, IT and telecom, transportation and logistics, government, and financial services. The deadline for proposal submission is March 31, 2025. For more information, visit the solicitation agency's website here.

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Trusted AI and Autonomy; Advanced Computing and Software; Integrated Network Systems-of-Systems

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop and deliver a state-of-art Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled system to modernize and automate the acquisition process starting with how the Army develops an Acquisition Requirements Package (ARP).

 

The primary objective of this requirement is to solicit comprehensive solutions for the development of a cutting-edge AI-enabled expert system to transform and automate how the Army generates its ARP.

 

A suitable solution should alleviate the problems currently plaguing the Army acquisition community:

						Varying levels of program expertise and experience yield inconsistent results. 
						ARP development is lengthy, labor-intensive, and inefficient. 
						ARP does not reflect state-of-the-art technology or needs and/or are missing key requisites. 
						Tools available to the acquisition workforce are few and limited in functionality.
					
				
			
		
	

 

DESCRIPTION: The current state of preparing ARP in support of contracting for capability is cumbersome, variable, and antiquated, leading to longer than necessary lead times to contract award and therefore value delivery. We propose to use AI/ML to assist program managers in building ARP, conducting source selection activities, and monitoring contracts post award. Technology can automate and standardize many functions of contracting, leading to quicker awards, less protests, and better contracts. This seeks to significantly expedite the delivery of soldiers' capabilities through accelerated production of accurate contract requirements. In contrast to today's solutions, the proposed system stands out in several crucial aspects:

Expediting generation of accurate contract requirements reflecting Army’s true need now;
Reducing the likelihood of errors that could impact soldiers' capabilities;
Benefiting from a reliable and uniform approach, reducing variations, and enhancing the predictability of capability delivery;
Ensuring adaptability to emerging technologies to inform soldiers’ requirements.

 

PHASE I: This topic is only accepting Direct to Phase II (DP2) proposals for a cost up to $2,000,000 for a 24-month period of performance.

 

Proposers interested in submitting a DP2 proposal must provide documentation to substantiate that the scientific and technical merit and feasibility equivalent to a Phase I project has been met. Documentation can include data, reports, specific measurements, success criteria of a prototype, etc.

 

(DIRECT TO) PHASE II: At the conclusion of the Phase II effort, we expect the contractor to deliver a basic AI capability to guide ARP development in support of software development (specifically), from ingest of requirement, through helping select contract types/clauses, building required documents based on past successes, and finally delivery of an AI built request for proposal that can be presented on SAM.gov. Follow on Phase II efforts would expand the above to other types of acquisition (materiel, services, etc.) each with their own unique challenges.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Contract Management software (CMS) technologies automate and streamline contract processes during critical phases such as initiation, authoring, process and workflow, negotiation and approval, execution, and ongoing management. They are widely used to reduce infrastructure investments related to contract management and boost overall profitability. Market segmentation by end-user shows wide applicability across multiple sectors including: healthcare, manufacturing, retail, IT and telecom, transportation and logistics, government, and financial services.​

Healthcare organizations are utilizing CMS technologies for clinical trial apps to reduce contract turnaround for drug trials by reducing overall reliance on spreadsheets, fragmented file storage, and email.​
The financial sector is utilizing CMS technologies to enhance enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities.  They are also using blockchain-powered solutions to track contractual requirements and commitments.

 

REFERENCES:

						https://hbr.org/2018/02/how-ai-is-changing-contracts
						https://www.forbes.com/sites/martinrand/2021/03/13/companies-are-adopting-ai-for-supplier-negotiations-but-which-ones-should-the-machines-handle/?sh=3b7a1a4f4f42
						https://ncmahq.org/Web/Shared_Content/CM-Magazine/CM-Magazine-February-2023/AI-Is-Coming-For-Contracting.aspx
					
				
			
		
	

 

KEYWORDS: Acquisition Requirements Package (ARP); Artificial Intelligence (AI); Contracting; Contract Management Software (CMS); Automation

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