January 7, 2019

Democratizing Contracting: Part 1

OTA Consortia Democratize Government Contracting for Small Businesses and Nontraditional Contractors

Through OTA consortia, small businesses and academic institutions can bring innovative technologies to the DoD to advance critical defense capabilities

This week, we’re looking at how diverse OTA consortia of government, industry, and academic organizations can better support federal contracting through collaboration with small businesses, large businesses, and academia. By bringing together the groundbreaking technologies from small businesses and academic institutions and the production and integration capabilities of large companies, diversity in federal contracting ultimately improves defense capabilities.

Before we begin explaining how OTAs democratize government contracting, it may be helpful to understand the current state of this market.  Historically, the federal government has awarded most of its big contracts to large contractors in order to meet the substantial procurement needs of federal agencies.  As the missions of these agencies continue to grow in both scope and complexity, only companies with the infrastructure to support wide-reaching national and international missions have the resources necessary to complete considerable initiatives or meet strict contracting, accounting, or security requirements.

The federal market offers significant opportunities for small and emerging business that can meet critical government technology needs: in 2017 alone, the federal government spent $3.98 trillion across all of its contracts with U.S. businesses, benefitting both these federal agencies and the domestic companies providing the talent necessary to complete that contract work.  However, due to the nature of government contracting, in which large sums are often allocated to a single large vendor, small businesses and nontraditional contractors have typically been unable to participate in this “built for titans” contracting market.  In the long run, this approach can restrict the government’s access to innovative technologies available from across industry.

Join us next time to learn how nontraditional contractors can offer better solutions to many of the government’s challenges!

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