Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs) offer agencies ready access to cutting edge technologies only available from companies that don’t typically work with the government
The government needs innovation from small and emerging companies, which is where many breakthrough technologies are created. For these small companies, government work represents a terrific business opportunity.
So why are so few small companies involved in federally-funded research? Because they are what they are: researchers, technologists, innovators, and creators. These startups and small businesses simply don’t have the contracting experience to navigate the FAR and often lack the financial and accounting systems required to do business directly with the government.
The engagement of these “nontraditional” contractors—companies that have not performed major work for the government in the last year—is a hallmark of the Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) model. The big guys often partner up with the little guys. They learn from each other. Everyone wins (except for our adversaries).
With an average membership makeup of 73% nontraditionals, substantial participation of small businesses, nonprofits, and academic institutions typical of ATI-managed consortia. Nontraditional participation is even greater in a number of our programs: nontraditionals make up 149 of 180 members (82%) of the Medical CBRN Defense Consortium (MCDC) and 169 of 213 members (79%) of the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Consortium (CWMD). Moreover, nearly every project across all of the ATI-managed OTA consortia involves significant nontraditional participation.
This nontraditional involvement brings radical innovation to research and prototyping work, enhancing government capabilities.