ATI used a robust recruitment strategy to strategically expand the membership of the National Spectrum Consortium
To meet a government need for rapid access to electromagnetic spectrum technologies produced by industry innovators, ATI helped start up the National Spectrum Consortium (NSC). Today, the NSC facilitates collaborative partnerships between the government and nontraditional contractors.
ATI and NSC program management collaborated throughout the start-up process to build a diverse NSC membership base using a sophisticated, comprehensive branding and outreach strategy that would appeal to companies who normally avoid the complex vetting and contracting requirements associated with federally-funded work.
To jumpstart project work through the NSC, ATI also worked closely with the government to organize and host a week-long meeting during which NSC members, subject matter experts, and government personnel discussed opportunities and priorities for executing the first $500M of project funding.
Through targeted recruitment, collaborative engagement, and step-by-step guidance throughout the government contracting process, ATI was able to grow and diversify NSC membership significantly, allowing the consortium to quickly respond to specific government needs. Today, NSC has more than 200 members throughout the United States, including 130 nontraditionals and industry leaders like Nokia and AT&T.
Using the ICON web portal, the Defense Logistics Agency saved $275k on a recent purchase of critical airplane parts
Purchasing high quality, cost effective replacement and repair parts for legacy weapons systems poses a significant challenge for the DoD, especially as vendors go out of business or stop producing certain items. One agency is filling this need by sharing its requirements with hundreds of diverse suppliers—and this approach is yielding excellent results.
In order to expand its access to cast metal parts, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) worked with the Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society and the American Metalcasting Consortium to develop the Integrated Casting Ordering Network (ICON). ICON is an online marketplace where DLA can share its requirements for critical cast parts with more than 400 capable, responsive manufacturers from across the industry. Using the ICON portal, these manufacturers can quickly and easily find information to help them bid on the parts that DLA is looking for. This process allows small businesses to work with the DoD where a traditional procurement process would be too cumbersome; DLA benefits from increased competition for awards and ready access to parts that it normally could not easily find.
Recently, ICON disseminated requirements for the F-15 and F-16 Air Superior Target Program nose landing gear bumper assembly. As a result, DLA Aviation was able to conduct a fully competitive procurement, allowing the agency to expand its sourcing base for the assembly. Through this competition, DLA realized a cost reduction of approximately $275k on the first solicitation. Through the increased competition it provides, the ICON portal not only saves thousands of taxpayer dollars, but also leads to stronger, safer, and better cast parts for the warfighter.
Industry-government project teams increase the efficiency and reliability of ships, saving millions for the Navy
Premature failure of a component on submarines due to the buildup of calcareous deposits on these parts often necessitated unscheduled repairs and caused operational limitations for the Navy. Keeping these ships and submarines out of commission led to significant costs for the Navy and impacted mission readiness.
By bringing together companies across industry and leading academic institutions, the ATI-managed Naval Shipbuilding and Advanced Manufacturing Center (NSAM) used collaboration to address this—and many other—Navy challenges. Working with the Institute for Manufacturing and Sustainment Technologies and General Dynamics Electric Boat, the team developed a thermal spray coating solution for extend/retract cylinder rods in the submarine’s bow plane system. This coating will prevent the build-up of calcareous deposits on the cylinder rods and will reduce the need for unscheduled maintenance.
Projected savings from the project are more than $9M per hull over the life of each platform, with a total submarine lifecycle cost savings of approximately $300M. In recognition of these enhancements of the Navy’s mission readiness, the project team was awarded a 2017 Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award in the Readiness Improvement category.
Three other NSAM projects were nominated for awards for their outstanding achievements in manufacturing technology: The Dynamic Change Awareness project provides identification of baseline process gaps to reduce process times. The Enhanced Task Assignment and Progressing (eTAP) project streamlines tasking assignment work for shipyard foremen. Finally, the Machine Readable Material Transactions project reduces the cycle times of material transactions using machine-readable data entry.
By facilitating collaboration between the Navy, shipbuilding and manufacturing industry leaders, and premier academic institutions, NSAM project teams combine efficiency and cost savings with innovation to increase mission readiness.
The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) uses a first-of-its-kind funding mechanism that enables both the government and private sponsors to support groundbreaking medical research.
The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium has been able to expand its funding base using a novel funding construct in which private sector and philanthropic funds augment government sponsor contributions. ATI’s team of contracting experts were able to design this first-of-its-kind funding structure based on the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s identified needs and MTEC’s program goals, resulting in a customized solution that minimizes government risk and builds on industry’s R&D investments. Funding provided by private sponsors or investors allows MTEC to facilitate development and application of new medical technologies that help heal our warfighters and veterans.
To leverage this innovative funding structure, MTEC partnered with The Allergan Foundation, a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation that supports programs working to improve patient diagnosis, treatment, care, and quality of life. Through MTEC, The Allergan Foundation recently awarded funding to Stanford University (PI: Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg) to continue a vision restoration research effort originally funded by the Army via MTEC.
ATI rapidly established the Space Enterprise Consortium by leveraging our expansive infrastructure for collaboration management
When the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center wanted to quickly access cutting edge space technologies from across industry and academia, ATI was able to stand up and begin operating the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) in less than 60 days! We worked closely with the Air Force to quickly and efficiently adopt governance documents, elect consortium leadership, and recruit members that met the government’s specific technology needs.
ATI was awarded the SpEC OTA on November 2, 2017, began adding member organizations by Day 36, and issued its first solicitation to 40 active members on Day 67. By Day 180, SpEC had more than 140 members, had released five solicitations and had made eleven project awards to ten different members totaling $22M of funding on contract!
By strategically leveraging our suite of template governance documents, best practices developed while building five other OT consortia since 2014, and our staff surge capacity, ATI made SpEC’s speedy ramp-up possible.
By enabling collaboration between government, industry, and academia, the AMC successfully delivers innovative metalcasting solutions and best-value support to our Warfighters
Government agencies like the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) were having trouble obtaining repair or replacement parts for critical weapons systems because many US manufacturers had gone out of business as a result of manufacturing globalization. The sensitive nature of these defense materiels meant that DLA needed to source all components domestically, but it had difficulty replacing or repairing parts where the American manufacturers had closed their doors, so multi-million dollar systems were out of commission when the government couldn’t get thousand dollar replacement parts.
To bring these systems back into operation, DLA worked with ATI to form and manage the American Metalcasting Consortium (AMC), a collaborative partnership made up of 95% of existing US metalcasting suppliers and manufacturers, as well as academic organizations with expertise in critical need areas. Today, AMC funds critical research and development on behalf of DLA, like:
Reducing production costs and lead times for production of weapons system components by improving manufacturing processes that strengthen the US supply chain;
Developing industry product data standards that communicate needs and expectations along the supply chain, reducing production costs, lead times, and failure rates; and
Identifying and evaluating new technologies that improve the strength, effectiveness, and efficiency of cast parts, ensuring technological superiority of our defense systems.
By enabling cohesive collaboration between government, industry, and academia, ATI and the AMC successfully deliver innovative metalcasting solutions and best-value support to our Warfighters while maintaining the US metalcasting industry’s position as a world leader in this field.
Other Transaction collaborations bring the Federal Government up-to-speed on industry’s newest technologies.
One of great benefits of the Other Transaction-consortium model is the collaboration between government and industry that can take place. Often these discussions help industry understand the government’s technology needs, and the government gets rare insight into industry’s latest capabilities. Recently, this paid off big time for both DoD and industry members of the National Armaments Consortium…
When the Army needed new armaments technology ideas to replace existing mine capabilities, they reached out to the government’s Department of Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium (DOTC) and the ATI-managed National Armaments Consortium (NAC). Alongside DOTC, we organized an Industry Day where government and industry membership exchanged technical know-how, discussed industry armaments abilities and new ideas, and refined the Army’s project requirements.
The Industry Day resulted in three (3) prototyping agreements through DOTC for innovative armaments technologies, representing opportunities to significantly improve the effectiveness of our armaments systems. ATI’s other consortia facilitate similar collaborations with the government that lead to equally meaningful results.
By facilitating teaming, ATI and the Vertical Lift Consortium help industry respond quickly to government needs for critical technologies.
One of our clients, the US Army Aviation Development Directorate Science and Technology Program recently had an urgent need for project ideas that would help them figure out their needs for the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS). Their goal was to find out what technologies from industry they could incorporate into the FTUAS when replacing a legacy Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System.
The Army came to the ATI-managed Vertical Lift Consortium (VLC), asking VLC members to form teams and send in short summaries of their project ideas (called whitepapers) for five separate Topic Areas of Interest in less than 30 days. The Army released the request to ATI and the VLC on July 5, 2017. To help build these teams and meet the quick turnaround the Army needed, we hosted a series of five Speed Networking Webinar events on July 11 and 12 that let VLC members find partners with capabilities in the needed technology areas. In Speed Networking sessions, each participant gets a few minutes in the spotlight to tell the rest of the group what their company does and their areas of technical expertise. Contact information is shared between members, and companies reach out and build teams when members have capabilities that complement each other.
VLC members submitted their project ideas to the Army on August 1, and four of the six teams selected by the government for award were formed through the Speed Networking Webinars we hosted. By introducing these companies to one another, ATI led meaningful teambuilding that helped VLC members realize business opportunities, introduced the Army groundbreaking ideas, and eventually delivered critical technologies to Warfighters.