The Air Force is interested in new management for an organization aimed at accelerating contract awards for space-related prototypes and launched less than two years ago.

According to a request for information posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website Aug. 20, the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center is looking to re-compete the Space Enterprise Consortium Other Transaction Agreement which was awarded in 2017.

The Space Enterprise Consortium is a new organization focused on space-related prototypes, such as a space vehicle capable of expanding the Link 16 network to Beyond Line of Sight communications, that can award contracts faster than the traditional Department of Defense acquisition process. Prototypes can range from space vehicles to payloads to ground control systems to launch capabilities to software. The program is meant to open up opportunities for small businesses and nontraditional vendors to work with the government on space-related projects and to address the Air Force’s desire to move faster on acquisition.

The Space Enterprise Consortium lists 52 awarded projects on its website, ranging from military GPS user equipment to a missile defense tracking system concept design.

In 2017, the SMC established the Space Enterprise Consortium by awarding the Advanced Technology Institute, based in North Charleston, S.C., a $100 million contract to act as the consortium manager. That contract was set to run out in November 2022.

Now SMC is looking for responses from industry on how they would handle acquisitions and management of a space prototyping consortium as they seek to recompete the consortium management contract.

A major focus in the new competition is cybersecurity. According to the request, the Air Force wants the consortium manager to be aware of government cybersecurity requirements and promote cybersecurity best practices among consortium members.

In addition, the Air Force wants the next consortium manager to increase engagement with nontraditional venders, facilitate a smooth transition for existing member and improve the timeline from solicitation to award.

The Air Force is considering a $12 billion ceiling for the award over a 10 year period. Responses are due September 6.

Nathan Strout covers space, unmanned and intelligence systems for C4ISRNET.

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