Biden Signs Defense Spending Bill Making Way For a Booming Year of Rapid Contracting

December 15, 2023
defense spending bill

President Biden has signed a defense spending bill as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2024, amounting to $841.4 billion. The 2024 budget promises to increase America’s competitive edge with more fiscal support for the technical advancements needed to stay ahead of foreign adversaries – the 2024 budget is 115% higher than the second-highest defense budget, which belongs to China, which has an allotted $224B for 2024. While allocating these funds is an instrumental step forward in securing America’s position as the leading technical innovator, collaboration between industry and government is crucial.

“The Act provides the critical authorities we need to build the military required to deter future conflicts, while supporting service members and their spouses and families who carry out that mission every day,” stated President Joe Biden.

The signing of the National Defense Authorization Act signals further revitalization of U.S. innovation, a common theme in the last few years as new industry players enter the defense market and open the door to the emerging technology being developed in Silicon Valley, the Research Triangle, and other upcoming incubator cities.

More Research = More Contracts

Every year, defense companies highly anticipate this funding as it creates a competitive playground to push the boundaries of innovation. In an effort to increase the success of new prototyping technologies, the 2024 bill includes policies and requirements that must be met by specific divisions of the U.S. military in order to receive funding. This is good news for innovators, as this can include requirements for research. Consequently, more budget will be dedicated to technology research and prototyping, which opens many doors for traditional and non-traditional industry players.

“This important legislation… directly invests in America’s national security and military power projection to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder during a briefing at the Pentagon.

Notably, the spending bill sheds light on critical technology focus areas for the Biden administration with special requirements for studies on integrated air and missile defenses and hypersonic and ballistic missiles as the U.S. continues to respond to threats from China and Russia. These threats have garnered more nationwide support for research and prototyping, leading to more unique responses to challenge statements issued by the Pentagon. A prime example is in the specific allocation for the expansion of the U.S. Space Force as NDAA toys with the idea of setting up a Space National Guard,

More Avenues for Non-Traditional Innovators

Industry players are the backbone of innovation for the United States military, and as such, their expertise is the driver that will bring this bill to its full potential. Now that the bill has been passed, funding will begin to pour into national security and military efforts. A key enabler to creating an ecosystem that supports increased involvement from industry is the growing popularity of less traditional avenues for rapid contracting, specifically Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs), which are already 3-5 times faster than traditional contracting avenues.

Other Transaction Authority (OTAs) are non-traditional government contracting methods designed to help fast-track research initiatives and prototype innovation. These efficient innovation vehicles allow for a more agile and well-informed technology contracting process. Unlike traditional FAR-based contracts, OTAs increase the government’s ability to capitalize on emerging technology opportunities and leverage flexible processes that reduce risk.

NSTXL manages two OTA consortiums, Strategic & Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS) and Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC), managed by Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane and Space Systems Command (SSC), respectively. As a member of NSTXL, you are able to leverage our managed OTAs to compete on upcoming projects funded by bills like the National Defense Authorization Act. NSTXL members have immediate access to all opportunities across our OTAs. Regardless of your DoD contracting experience, our platform easily aligns members to the right opportunities and potential partners.

Additionally, government program offices can leverage our contracting vehicles to get their prototypes on contract quickly and with less wasted effort. Learn more about our approach and working with NSTXL here.

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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