faq’s

What is considered a “prototype”?

A prototype is defined as as a preliminary pilot, test, evaluation, demonstration, or agile development activity used to evaluate the technical or manufacturing feasibility or military utility of a particular technology, process, concept, end item, effect, or other discrete feature. Prototype projects may include systems, subsystems, components, materials, methodology, technology, or processes. By way of illustration, a prototype project may involve: a proof of concept, a pilot, a novel application of commercial technologies for defense purposes; a creation, design, development, validation, demonstration of technical or operational utility; or combinations of the foregoing, related to a prototype.

How long after the down-selection has been made will the contract be finalized and work be allowed to begin on the project?

Each project timeline differs in complexity and structure based on the requirement, so it is difficult to give a standard for any one part of the process. However, the typical timeframe from prototype project solicitation posting to project agreement finalization under NSTXL managed OTAs is 60-70 days.

Do I have to be a member to view prototype solicitations?

No. All prototype project requests will be publicly posted on the NSTXL and specific consortium websites. Non-members will be able to download and review the full request and requirement. However, membership in NSTXL is required to submit a response to any request. For information on NSTXL membership, click here: Membership.

How do I become a member of NSTXL?

To join NSTXL, simply fill out the membership application: Membership Application. You’ll be able to submit your application and once payment is made, you’ll be a member. We are required to confirm that you firm meets the requirements for membership listed in the application, so we’ll review the membership after payment is processed. If for some reason we have questions, we’ll contact you. If you do not meet our criteria for membership, we’ll refund your membership dues in full.

What are the terms of membership?

There are three requirements for membership. One: your firm must have a solution in a technology area relevant to our contract scope areas. Two, your firm must be allowed to do business with the federal government. And three, members must agree to abide by our Principles of Engagement. Members will be able to review contract scope areas and acknowledge the Principles of Engagement during the membership application process.

Can my firm join a specific OTA consortium?

We don’t offer memberships to specific OTAs. Instead, we offer membership to NSTXL which provides your firm access to all our OTAs. Currently, NSTXL is the consortium manager for two OTAs, TReX and DTIC, but we do bid on additional OTAs that are a good fit to our platform. As new OTAs are added, there is no additional membership fee – just more opportunities for your firm to compete and grow.

Why are small businesses considered “nontraditional”?

All contracts and subcontracts with small businesses are exempt from CAS requirements (FAR 9903.201-1(b)(3)).

What is the cost of membership?

NSTXL membership dues vary by entity type and size. The full dues schedule for each can be found here: Membership.

How do I determine my company’s membership dues?

Corporate dues are based on total annual revenues for the parent company in the previous 12 month period. Once a specific division, subsidiary or line of business of a corporation joins NSTXL at the full membership cost, the whole corporation is considered a member. If the organization is a separate subsidiary or division of a large corporation, it cannot apply based on its own annual revenues – only the parent company’s revenues.

If I am part of a university system, does membership apply to all campus’ within the system or is it specific to the campus I am on?

University membership is done by campus. For example, a membership for the University of Texas at Austin covers the entire Austin campus. The University of Texas El Paso would require a separate membership for that campus.

Can a large company benefit from being a NSTXL member, or is it only for nontraditional contractors?

Traditional defense contractors can greatly benefit from engaging with NSTXL in a variety of ways: NSTXL encourages teaming agreements among members (traditional and non-traditional) to deliver solutions to the Warfighter; and NSTXL events also offer traditional contractors opportunities to identify business opportunities with innovative technologies from start-ups, universities, and incubators who engage in technology challenges and showcases.

Can SBIR and/or STTR participants apply?

Yes, the NDAA FY18 made changes to the Small Business Innovation Research (“SBIR”) and Small Business Technology Transfer (“STTR”) programs (Section 864: Other Transaction Authority for Certain Prototype Projects). This (1) increases the amount of funding that can be authorized through the rapid prototyping program from $50 to $100 million for Department Secretaries and from $250 to $500 million for the Secretary of Defense and (2) specifically authorizes SBIR and STTR firms to compete for such funding through the Other Transaction Authority (“OTA”) contracting vehicle. 10 U.S.C. § 2371b.

What are the benefits of NSTXL membership?

The most valuable benefit of joining any OTA is the ability to consistently bid on solicitations with secured funding. The government mandates only members may submit a response to a solicitation. But NSTXL offers the most comprehensive platform of benefits of any OTA manager, including:
– Single membership allows access to all of the OTA consortia we manage.
– Ability to sign up as many members of your firm as you like so that multiple team members can track their own areas of interest.
– A Learning Center with webinars, videos, and other member-only content to give you an edge on winning work and preparing for solicitations.
– Access to a member community where your firm can interact with other members (find bidding partners, discuss new prototypes, advance your plans for market domination, etc).
– A customizable Opportunity Tracker that allows you to track opportunities and technology areas, ensuring you never miss out on an opportunity.
– Access to special member-only events at major commercial and government conferences
– More to come.

What is an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA)?

An OTA is an acquisition method authorized under Title 10 USC § 2371. Congress authorized its use to accelerate the prototyping and deployment of technologies that address national security needs. OTAs also provide a great deal of flexibility compared to more traditional government contracts for both the Government and industry user to enable rapid development and acquisition of innovative technologies. For more information on OTAs, please click here:  OTA.

What is the difference between a traditional and nontraditional defense contractor for the purposes of the OTA?

A “Non-traditional defense contractor” is defined by statute as “an entity that is not currently performing and has not performed, for at least the one-year period preceding the solicitation sources by the Department of Defense for the procurement or transaction, any contract or subcontract for the Department of Defense that is subject to the full coverage under the cost accounting standards (CAS) prescribed pursuant to Section 1502 of title 41 and the regulations implementing such section.” In plainspeak, larger contracts (i.e. greater than $50M in total value) are typically subject to CAS. However, contracts awarded to small businesses are exempt from the cost account standards regardless of size. If you are not sure of your entities status, we recommend that you consult your internal contracting and/or accounting department that manages compliance for your existing government contracts. Your entity will be responsible for accurately representing its status as a traditional or nontraditional defense contractor as a part of any response to a solicitation.

Can a traditional defense contractor be awarded projects under the OTA?

Yes. A traditional contractor may still receive project awards under the OTA given that at least one of the following conditions is met: 1) the traditional contractor includes one or more non-traditional contractors or nonprofit research institutions to perform a significant portion of the billable work; 2) the traditional contractor includes a nontraditional contractor that participates to a significant extent to the success of the prototype; 3) the traditional contractor provides for a one-third cost share on the project.

What is cost sharing?

Cost sharing is a statutory requirement for an Other Transaction when a non-traditional contractor is not participating to a significant extent. Cost Sharing under an OTA requires one-third of the total cost of the prototype project to be provided by sources other than the Federal Government. Cost sharing can be represented as cash or in-kind value. Cost sharing is typically determined on a project by project basis depending on the nature of the prototype and related technology.

What are other good sources of information for OTAs?

What is the difference between traditional and non traditional defence contractor for the purposes of OTA's in clear words ?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged.

Do i have to pay to view prototype project requests ?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged.

What is an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) ?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged.

Who comprises the selection team for any given solicitation through NSTXL?

The Government requirement sponsor is responsible for conducting a fair, reasonable evaluation and provide selection recommendations to the Agreements Officer. NSTXL does not play a role in the selection of any vendors.

How often will NSTXL accept and release prototype project requests?

NSTXL accepts and releases prototype project requests on demand, year-round. The requesting program offices will determine the frequency of the release of prototype project requests.

What agreement is put into place between NSTXL (the Consortium Manager) and the selected performer(s) for an opportunity?

Once a performer(s) has been selected based on the evaluation of white papers or solutions by the government, NSTXL will enter into a Performers Agreement with the selected vendor(s). This takes approximately 3-5 business days after NSTXL has been notified of the selection by the government. Every agreement is different and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the vendor and government program office.

What technology areas is NSTXL current searching for solutions?

NSTXL is a demand-driven process, with government clients prioritizing technology areas on an ongoing basis to meet national security requirements. The general technology areas of NSTXL include Synthetic Terrain, Gaming Technologies, Soldier Immersion, Cyber Training, Medical Simulation & Modeling, Live-Fire Training, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Software, Cybersecurity, Hypersonics, Logistics Software, Laser-based Systems, Counter UAS, Cross-Domain Simulation, and Instrumentation & Testing. This changes often and members will be notified of new tech area solicitations via our members dashboard.

Is this vehicle open to program offices outside of PEO STRI, outside of the Army, and/or outside the U.S. Department of Defense?

Yes. The Training and Readiness (TReX) OTA is available to support any U.S. Government agency or program office with Modeling, Simulation, Training, and/or Readiness needs. Within only the first year in operation, TReX has already executed contracts for every branch of the U.S. military. Please contact the NSTXL Team for specific policies and instructions to let TReX support your organization’s mission.

How are IP and data rights handled under the OTA?

Under an OTA, IP and Data Rights are negotiated on a project-by-project basis prior to final agreement. Consideration is given to existing IP and data. Commercial and proprietary IP and data developed prior to engagement on specific prototype efforts remain the sole property of the vendor.

Projects

What is considered a “prototype”?

A prototype is defined as as a preliminary pilot, test, evaluation, demonstration, or agile development activity used to evaluate the technical or manufacturing feasibility or military utility of a particular technology, process, concept, end item, effect, or other discrete feature. Prototype projects may include systems, subsystems, components, materials, methodology, technology, or processes. By way of illustration, a prototype project may involve: a proof of concept, a pilot, a novel application of commercial technologies for defense purposes; a creation, design, development, validation, demonstration of technical or operational utility; or combinations of the foregoing, related to a prototype.

How long after the down-selection has been made will the contract be finalized and work be allowed to begin on the project?

Each project timeline differs in complexity and structure based on the requirement, so it is difficult to give a standard for any one part of the process. However, the typical timeframe from prototype project solicitation posting to project agreement finalization under NSTXL managed OTAs is 60-70 days.

Membership

Do I have to be a member to view prototype solicitations?

No. All prototype project requests will be publicly posted on the NSTXL and specific consortium websites. Non-members will be able to download and review the full request and requirement. However, membership in NSTXL is required to submit a response to any request. For information on NSTXL membership, click here: Membership.

How do I become a member of NSTXL?

To join NSTXL, simply fill out the membership application: Membership Application. You’ll be able to submit your application and once payment is made, you’ll be a member. We are required to confirm that you firm meets the requirements for membership listed in the application, so we’ll review the membership after payment is processed. If for some reason we have questions, we’ll contact you. If you do not meet our criteria for membership, we’ll refund your membership dues in full.

What are the terms of membership?

There are three requirements for membership. One: your firm must have a solution in a technology area relevant to our contract scope areas. Two, your firm must be allowed to do business with the federal government. And three, members must agree to abide by our Principles of Engagement. Members will be able to review contract scope areas and acknowledge the Principles of Engagement during the membership application process.

Can my firm join a specific OTA consortium?

We don’t offer memberships to specific OTAs. Instead, we offer membership to NSTXL which provides your firm access to all our OTAs. Currently, NSTXL is the consortium manager for two OTAs, TReX and DTIC, but we do bid on additional OTAs that are a good fit to our platform. As new OTAs are added, there is no additional membership fee – just more opportunities for your firm to compete and grow.

Why are small businesses considered “nontraditional”?

All contracts and subcontracts with small businesses are exempt from CAS requirements (FAR 9903.201-1(b)(3)).

What is the cost of membership?

NSTXL membership dues vary by entity type and size. The full dues schedule for each can be found here: Membership.

How do I determine my company’s membership dues?

Corporate dues are based on total annual revenues for the parent company in the previous 12 month period. Once a specific division, subsidiary or line of business of a corporation joins NSTXL at the full membership cost, the whole corporation is considered a member. If the organization is a separate subsidiary or division of a large corporation, it cannot apply based on its own annual revenues – only the parent company’s revenues.

If I am part of a university system, does membership apply to all campus’ within the system or is it specific to the campus I am on?

University membership is done by campus. For example, a membership for the University of Texas at Austin covers the entire Austin campus. The University of Texas El Paso would require a separate membership for that campus.

Can a large company benefit from being a NSTXL member, or is it only for nontraditional contractors?

Traditional defense contractors can greatly benefit from engaging with NSTXL in a variety of ways: NSTXL encourages teaming agreements among members (traditional and non-traditional) to deliver solutions to the Warfighter; and NSTXL events also offer traditional contractors opportunities to identify business opportunities with innovative technologies from start-ups, universities, and incubators who engage in technology challenges and showcases.

Can SBIR and/or STTR participants apply?

Yes, the NDAA FY18 made changes to the Small Business Innovation Research (“SBIR”) and Small Business Technology Transfer (“STTR”) programs (Section 864: Other Transaction Authority for Certain Prototype Projects). This (1) increases the amount of funding that can be authorized through the rapid prototyping program from $50 to $100 million for Department Secretaries and from $250 to $500 million for the Secretary of Defense and (2) specifically authorizes SBIR and STTR firms to compete for such funding through the Other Transaction Authority (“OTA”) contracting vehicle. 10 U.S.C. § 2371b.

What are the benefits of NSTXL membership?

The most valuable benefit of joining any OTA is the ability to consistently bid on solicitations with secured funding. The government mandates only members may submit a response to a solicitation. But NSTXL offers the most comprehensive platform of benefits of any OTA manager, including:
– Single membership allows access to all of the OTA consortia we manage.
– Ability to sign up as many members of your firm as you like so that multiple team members can track their own areas of interest.
– A Learning Center with webinars, videos, and other member-only content to give you an edge on winning work and preparing for solicitations.
– Access to a member community where your firm can interact with other members (find bidding partners, discuss new prototypes, advance your plans for market domination, etc).
– A customizable Opportunity Tracker that allows you to track opportunities and technology areas, ensuring you never miss out on an opportunity.
– Access to special member-only events at major commercial and government conferences
– More to come.

OTAs

What is an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA)?

An OTA is an acquisition method authorized under Title 10 USC § 2371. Congress authorized its use to accelerate the prototyping and deployment of technologies that address national security needs. OTAs also provide a great deal of flexibility compared to more traditional government contracts for both the Government and industry user to enable rapid development and acquisition of innovative technologies. For more information on OTAs, please click here:  OTA.

What is the difference between a traditional and nontraditional defense contractor for the purposes of the OTA?

A “Non-traditional defense contractor” is defined by statute as “an entity that is not currently performing and has not performed, for at least the one-year period preceding the solicitation sources by the Department of Defense for the procurement or transaction, any contract or subcontract for the Department of Defense that is subject to the full coverage under the cost accounting standards (CAS) prescribed pursuant to Section 1502 of title 41 and the regulations implementing such section.” In plainspeak, larger contracts (i.e. greater than $50M in total value) are typically subject to CAS. However, contracts awarded to small businesses are exempt from the cost account standards regardless of size. If you are not sure of your entities status, we recommend that you consult your internal contracting and/or accounting department that manages compliance for your existing government contracts. Your entity will be responsible for accurately representing its status as a traditional or nontraditional defense contractor as a part of any response to a solicitation.

Can a traditional defense contractor be awarded projects under the OTA?

Yes. A traditional contractor may still receive project awards under the OTA given that at least one of the following conditions is met: 1) the traditional contractor includes one or more non-traditional contractors or nonprofit research institutions to perform a significant portion of the billable work; 2) the traditional contractor includes a nontraditional contractor that participates to a significant extent to the success of the prototype; 3) the traditional contractor provides for a one-third cost share on the project.

What is cost sharing?

Cost sharing is a statutory requirement for an Other Transaction when a non-traditional contractor is not participating to a significant extent. Cost Sharing under an OTA requires one-third of the total cost of the prototype project to be provided by sources other than the Federal Government. Cost sharing can be represented as cash or in-kind value. Cost sharing is typically determined on a project by project basis depending on the nature of the prototype and related technology.

What are other good sources of information for OTAs?

The MemberPortal

What is the difference between traditional and non traditional defence contractor for the purposes of OTA's in clear words ?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged.

Do i have to pay to view prototype project requests ?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged.

What is an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) ?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged.

NSTXL

Who comprises the selection team for any given solicitation through NSTXL?

The Government requirement sponsor is responsible for conducting a fair, reasonable evaluation and provide selection recommendations to the Agreements Officer. NSTXL does not play a role in the selection of any vendors.

How often will NSTXL accept and release prototype project requests?

NSTXL accepts and releases prototype project requests on demand, year-round. The requesting program offices will determine the frequency of the release of prototype project requests.

What agreement is put into place between NSTXL (the Consortium Manager) and the selected performer(s) for an opportunity?

Once a performer(s) has been selected based on the evaluation of white papers or solutions by the government, NSTXL will enter into a Performers Agreement with the selected vendor(s). This takes approximately 3-5 business days after NSTXL has been notified of the selection by the government. Every agreement is different and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the vendor and government program office.

What technology areas is NSTXL current searching for solutions?

NSTXL is a demand-driven process, with government clients prioritizing technology areas on an ongoing basis to meet national security requirements. The general technology areas of NSTXL include Synthetic Terrain, Gaming Technologies, Soldier Immersion, Cyber Training, Medical Simulation & Modeling, Live-Fire Training, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Software, Cybersecurity, Hypersonics, Logistics Software, Laser-based Systems, Counter UAS, Cross-Domain Simulation, and Instrumentation & Testing. This changes often and members will be notified of new tech area solicitations via our members dashboard.

Our OTAs

Is this vehicle open to program offices outside of PEO STRI, outside of the Army, and/or outside the U.S. Department of Defense?

Yes. The Training and Readiness (TReX) OTA is available to support any U.S. Government agency or program office with Modeling, Simulation, Training, and/or Readiness needs. Within only the first year in operation, TReX has already executed contracts for every branch of the U.S. military. Please contact the NSTXL Team for specific policies and instructions to let TReX support your organization’s mission.

How are IP and data rights handled under the OTA?

Under an OTA, IP and Data Rights are negotiated on a project-by-project basis prior to final agreement. Consideration is given to existing IP and data. Commercial and proprietary IP and data developed prior to engagement on specific prototype efforts remain the sole property of the vendor.