A research and development collaboration management company has been awarded a contract to helm a technology prototype consortium as part of a new acquisition process employed by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, in Charleston, South Carolina.

SPAWAR awarded an other transaction authority to Advanced Technology International, of Summerville, South Carolina, for consortium management for SPAWAR’s Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP).

Under the contract, Advanced Technology International will manage a group of defense contractors who will complete projects for the government that address SPAWAR technology needs, and the consortium will facilitate competition for projects. Topics will be open to competition beginning in August 2018, the SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic said.

The contract is worth $100 million over three years.

IWRP OTA is an acquisition tool that allows nontraditional industry partners to work with organizations across SPAWAR to prototype technology that supports naval information warfare capabilities. IWRP focuses on information technology areas such as cyberwarfare, cloud computing and data science.

SPAWAR announced OTAs as an acquisition tool through the IWRP at an industry day in February 2018, where prospective offerors learned about OTA strategy and the technical scope of IWRP OTA projects.

“The IWRP will allow us to take advantage of commercially developed capabilities that are keeping pace with emerging technologies; technologies and innovation that we cannot take advantage of in a [Federal Acquisition Regulation]-based contract environment,” said Chris Miller, executive director of SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic.

OTAs, which are not covered by the FAR, are a more flexible acquisition tool used by the Department of Defense. OTAs provide for the production of prototype systems. OTA contracts are mostly awarded to nontraditional defense contractors.

OTA contracts enable departments under the Department of Defense to access commercial technologies that support the overall goal of IWRP, said SSC Atlantic Deputy Executive Director Bill Deligne, in a news release.

“This mechanism is faster and more attuned to getting something quickly that we want today, as opposed to traditional federal acquisition,” Deligne said.