2023 Year in Review: Highlights in Rapid Prototyping

February 26, 2024
Government contracting

At NSTXL, we are on a mission to utilize rapid prototyping to transform Government innovation efforts with commercial best practices, tools, and expertise that compress timelines, decrease costs, and improve outcomes. To date, over $5.5B in funds have been awarded across NSTXL-managed Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs).

2023 Highlights 

As I reflect on the achievements of the past year, I am impressed by what our team has been able to accomplish and the programs that have been built to support ongoing innovation in the U.S. Government and surrounding industry. As we look ahead to 2024 and beyond, we are committed to investing more in our people and offerings to capitalize on the successes we’ve achieved in supporting the Department of Defense’s ever-evolving needs..”

-Mark McIntosh, Chief Executive Officer

In 2023 alone, we released 29 opportunities across each program which, following their award, were supported by 267 performers. Additionally, NSTXL hosted 89 events, both in-person and virtually, utilizing a human-centric event model to increase collaboration. This year we were also proud to:

  • Welcome 278 new member organizations.
  • Release 29 opportunities across each program supported by 267 performers.
  • And host 89 collaboration-driven events for members.

Read the full 2023 Year in Review >

OTAs: The Future of Government Contracts for Rapid Prototyping

The Other Transaction Authority has proven to be a more efficient contracting method, with the ability to create prototyping contracts in less than 90 days, compared to FAR-based contracts that can take years to produce.

NSTXL is the consortia manager for some of the most prominent contracting vehicles in the DoD. We believe OTAs have the potential to set a new standard in rapid prototyping for Government contracting: a process that puts the best available technology in the hands of the Warfighter, faster than ever before. Currently, more than 70% of our performers are Non-traditional organizations, giving Government customers access to a mission-ready pool of innovators.

“In 2023, our consortium achieved remarkable milestones, such as introducing a groundbreaking contracting model through Microelectronics Commons and witnessing the successful launch of prototypes into orbit. This year truly showcased the effectiveness of our OT programs, which consistently transformed unknown risks into next-gen deliverables through an innovator network dedicated to shaping tomorrow’s national defense. As we transition into 2024, the demand for critical technologies continues to surge. I’m confident that our unified team of problem solvers will meet this growing demand, ensuring overmatch in both traditional and Non-traditional arenas.”

-Iain Skeete, Senior Strategic Advisor

Government contracting

In 2023, we continued to invest in our membership network and foster collaboration, offering more ways to partner with fellow innovators and connect 1:1 with government teams. Additionally, we celebrated the announcement and success of impactful nationwide programs like the Microelectronics Commons as well as ongoing endeavors including RAMP and SHIP. Moving into 2024, we’re excited to drive forward the development and distribution of vital prototypes through our collaborative consortia partnerships.

-Shelley Tweedy, Chief Marketing Officer

Project Highlights



Multi-Service Advanced Capability Hypersonics Test Bed

Mission Area: Hypersonics

The Department of Navy (DoN) released this effort in order to advance the domestic manufacturing capacity in support of high-temperature capable composite materials including those needed for hypersonic flight. USC will produce high-rate production of composite parts and assemblies with complex geometries for hypersonic vehicle applications that produce trusted quality parts with significant reduction in per unit time.

RAMP-C Phase 2/3 + 4B

Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes – Commercial

Mission Area: Microelectronics

Led by Intel Foundry Services, the Department of Defense (DoD) awarded additional Phases 2/3 and 4B of the RAMP-C program following a successful Phase 1 in 2022. The RAMP-C program was created to facilitate the use of a U.S.-based commercial semiconductor foundry, a vital foundational piece in the U.S. effort to re-onshore microelectronics. The RAMP-C program is part of a larger initiative to strengthen Government supply chain security and accelerate U.S. leadership across the full spectrum of integrated circuit design, manufacturing and packaging.


Enterprise Parts Management System

Mission Area: Microelectronics

EPMS seeks to grant visibility into the supply chain, enable better supply chain risk management, allow aggregation of demand and improve purchasing power to enable collaborative solutions to obsolescence and other parts-related issues.

The DoD’s Office of Industrial Base Policy, through its Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization (MCEIP) office, awarded the EPMS prototype to two Non-traditional Contractors (NTDCs): JRC Integrated Systems LLC and Systems Innovation Engineering. This $6 million investment will support the iterative design and development of the cloud-based platform.

Read more project highlights >

“In 2023, the S2MARTS OTA excelled with 15 new prototype projects and nearly $1 billion in obligations, addressing critical DoD and NSWC Crane technology needs. Boasting a 900-strong membership, predominantly Non-Traditional Defense Contractors (NTDC), S2MARTS directed almost 70% of funds to NTDCs, emphasizing fruitful industry collaboration. Groundbreaking achievements in microelectronics included the acclaimed State of the Art Heterogenous Integrated Packaging (SHIP) projects and Microelectronics Commons, as well as the MACH-TB project for hypersonics.”

-Doug Crowe, S2MARTS Director

rapid prototyping

Microelectronics Commons

Funded by the CHIPS and Science Act, the DoD created the Microelectronics Commons to address domestic prototyping challenges and expand global leadership in microelectronics within the United States. With support from the S²MARTS OTA and the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division, Microelectronics Commons is establishing a national network of prototyping innovation Hubs. The Hubs will provide a direct pathway to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign microelectronics and safeguard the nation from supply chain risks by accelerating domestic prototyping and growing a pipeline of U.S.-based semiconductor talent.

2k+ innovators engaged with the Commons program leading to the submission of more than 80 proposals.

Following a rigorous evaluation process by more than 50 government subject matter experts, the project was awarded less than a year from it’s release.

8 Hubs were officially awarded during a live briefing at the Pentagon. 30+ states are represented among the awardees as well as 640+ individual organizations.

Learn more about Microelectronics Commons >

contracting for government opportunities



Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution Command and Control

Mission Area: Space Domain Awareness

The FORGE C2 prototype project was awarded by SSC to Ball Aerospace, Parsons, General Dynamics, and Omni Federal who will develop, integrate and deliver a consolidated Missile Warning C2 system.

The prototype will serve as the foundation for a Government-owned, cyber-secure Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) for Missile Warning satellite command and control, including mission management, ground control, telemetry, tracking, and commanding.


Space Mobility Logistics

Mission Area: Space Mission Design

Astroscale U.S. Incorporated is leading the $25.5 million Space Mobility and Logistics (SML) prototyping project, which seeks to accelerate in-space capabilities, including refueling, transportation, servicing, and debris mitigation.

The SML prototype project will enable the movement and support of military equipment and personnel in and through the space domain.


Data Exploitation and Enhanced Processing for Space Domain Awareness

Mission Area: Space Domain Awareness

The DEEP-SDA prototype project was awarded to Riverside Research, supported by three non-traditional organizations: CMSOC Corp, Spire Global Subsidiary, and SciTec Inc. The DEEP-SDA prototype will utilize existing star trackers to collect and exploit data already being collected, filling the gaps in space domain coverage.

The unforeseen interest from small, non-traditional contractors is a strong indication of how OTAs are working to create collaboration between industry and Government.

Read more project highlights >

“2023 was a milestone year for the SpEC OTA: 7 new prototype projects were awarded, totaling nearly $500M in obligations, all supporting the Space Systems Command mission. Notable achievements include the DEEP SDA and FORGE C2 project awards, which are both set to change the landscape in Data Exploitation and Command and Control, respectively. I am confident that our efforts within the SpEC OTA are laying the groundwork for U.S. capabilities in space domain awareness and security.”

-Mike Malinowski, SpEC Director

Project Success: A Post-Award Service Designed to Increase Rapid Prototyping Success

Project Success is a unique offering NSTXL provides to further support the advancement of crucial government technology, going beyond conventional support, providing a comprehensive framework for active, awarded Government contracts.

Learn More >

  • Creates more transparent collaboration with the Government and performers to allow for early mitigation of challenges.
  • Hosts project kick-off meetings to introduce all relevant parties (NSTXL, performer, and Government) with 41 hosted in 2023.​
  • Offers a continuous reporting loop to seamlessly relay any performance-related feedback to the Government.
  • Monitors, tracks, and oversees each milestone to completion to ensure that the Performer meets the Government expectations and that payments are appropriately sent.​


By hosting multiple human-centric events, NSTXL showcased the success of its programs, cementing its role in advancing innovation.

GOMAC Tech 20-23 | San Diego, CA

Matt Kay, OUSD(R&E) DCTO(CT) T&AM Program Manager, Darren Crum, OUSD(R&E) Advanced Packaging Lead, and other key OUSD(R&E) leaders spoke and led discussions on advancing microelectronics, and members were given a chance to discuss their projects and white papers and build their networks.

SATELLITE | Washington, D.C.

Space Enterprise Consortium met with innovators in the space and satellite industry in Washington, D.C. at SATELLITE 2023 to provide insight into how we are bringing government and industry together to collaborate and innovate.

RAMP Awareness Days | Washington, D.C.

To highlight the progress of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes Program (RAMP), S²MARTS held a RAMP Awareness Days event. At the forefront, Dr. David A. Honey, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (DUSD(R&E)); Dr. Linton Salmon of Semi Tech Associates, LLC; and Dr. Mujtaba Hamid of Microsoft delivered keynote speeches on the advancements in the domestic supply chain, the CHIPS and Science Act and the RAMP program. The event provided a platform for a discussion on critical issues in microelectronics manufacturing.

Space and Missile Defense (SMD) Symposium | Huntsville, AL

During this two-day event in Huntsville Alabama, SpEC held a social event and gave members a chance to meet SpEC Program Manager Maj. Philip Duddles. This event supported the mission of encouraging the entry of small businesses and non-traditional contractors into the space industry.

Space Symposium | Colorado Springs, CO

The SpEC team had a strong presence at Space Symposium in Colorado Springs and engaged with the over 80 exhibiting SpEC members while showcasing cutting-edge capabilities under the OTA. The in-booth Col. TALX gave attendees a chance to hear from Col. Joseph Roth, Col. Jeremy Raley, and Dr. Andy Williams as they shared insights into multiple programs taking place within SSC and AFRL. Visit our Space Symposium Spotlight Playlist on YouTube to see member interviews from the event.

SpEC General Member Meeting | Los Angeles, CA

“We need to ensure that we are harnessing the entire space enterprise across all of the US, the commercial industry, academia, everything; so, SpEC is one of those key tools that we use and continue to use,” -Dr. Andy Williams, Deputy Technology Executive Officer for Space, AFRL

During this two-day event in Los Angeles, nearly 550 SpEC members were given direct access to guidance from Space Systems Command (SSC) leadership, with speakers like Ms. Joy M White, Col. Joseph Roth, Claire Leon, PhD, MBA, Col. Bryon McClain, and Mr. Cordell DeLaPena Jr.

Microelectronics Commons Annual Event | Washington, D.C.

To mark the launch of Microelectronics Commons, the first award out of the CHIPS and Science Act, NSTXL hosted the 2023 Microelectronics Commons Annual Event in Washington, D.C., with 700+ in-person attendees, 1.1k+ virtual participants, participation from multiple DoD program offices and country-wide bipartisan support. The event featured the new leaders of microelectronics, the 8 awardees of the CHIPS and Science Act. As they begin developing various technologies over the next 5 years, the 8 awardees shared an overview of their programs.

Speeches were given from Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks, Dr. David Honey (DUSD), Dr. Dev Shenoy (OUSD (R&E)) and more on the future of the Commons program. Also during the event, a Fireside Chat hosted by NSTXL CEO Tim Greeff featured Arizona Senator Kelly and Indiana Senator Young.

Read more event highlights >


S²MARTS Research

S²MARTS Research is creating a more connected and streamlined Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) ecosystem, uniquely positioned to better establish the relationship between research and prototyping. Operating under the 10 U.S.C 4021 authority, the S²MARTS Research vehicle can carry out research projects that meet the needs and requirements of the Government at any stage, allowing for a natural transition from research to prototype development.

In 2023, S²MARTS Research released its inaugural project: Boron Nitride. This initiative aims to enhance capabilities in designing, processing, characterizing, and testing materials for research and development. This materials research opportunity ensures that the Navy remains at the cutting edge of material science, fostering advancements that can enhance mission success and bolster national security.

Learn more about S²MARTS Research >

“In 2023, NSTXL continued our commitment to revolutionizing Government innovation by leveraging commercial innovation to help support mission-critical needs in the U.S. The OTA framework executed under our unique platform continues to transform the way the government approaches industry collaboration. As a part of our continuing efforts to illustrate the importance of OTAs to delivering key innovations, we are pleased to share noteworthy successes of the year.”

-Tim Greeff, President & Founder

Join a network of 850+ companies today by becoming a member of NSTXL. Want to partner with NSTXL? Learn more about the NSTXL difference.

NSTXL is focused on building a network of innovators and creators across the most sought-after emerging technology fields. As an open-source platform, our approach was designed to encourage network growth and collaboration without stifling change. NSTXL supports their network by providing commercial-term contracting, open-source technology discovery, modern-day marketing outreach, a strongly interconnected network for easy teaming, and cybersecurity compliance support.

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