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Deltek’s Alex Rossino: Reconciled FY 2016 Defense Policy Bill Contains Tech Offset Program, Rapid Innovation Fund Provisions

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CongressAlex Rossino, a principal research analyst at Deltek, has outlined three provisions on technological innovations in the reconciled bill of the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2016.

Rossino wrote in a blog post published Oct. 13 that House adopted a Senate provision on the Defense Department’s Technology Offset Program based on the conference report the lower chamber issued in September.

The TOP seeks to maintain the U.S. technological superiority through the development of “offset” platforms, such as undersea warfare, directed energy and autonomous platforms.

According to the House report, DoD will have leeway on how to spend the $200 million in funds allotted for directed energy.

“This means that approximately $200 million is specifically for development work related to low-cost high-speed munitions, autonomous systems, undersea warfare, cyber technology, and intelligence data analytics,” Rossino wrote.

Although both chambers of Congress agree on Pentagon’s use of government laboratories, industry partners and federally funded centers for research and development in order to help lower the procurement costs of information technology systems, the House has put a condition on DoD.

Rossino noted the House requires the department to analyze gaps with regard to various science and technology issues, such as commercial software customization, open architectures, business process re-engineering and legacy software modernization.

He also cited that both NDAA versions would reauthorize DoD’s Rapid Innovation Fund through 2023.

That provision suggests “that contract dollars will continue to be directed into R&D pertaining to [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance], power and energy, software-defined systems, wireless technologies and unmanned vehicle platforms” through 2023, Rossino added.

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