ARLINGTON, VA. – Jan. 18, 2021 – The U.S. Air Force has awarded the National Security Technology Accelerator (NSTXL) one of the military’s premier technology innovation incubators focused on rapidly developing systems for use in space.
Dubbed the Space Enterprise Consortium or SpEC, NSTXL will be responsible for encouraging a range of innovators – from traditional and non-traditional defense companies to commercial companies — to work with the military on systems that ensure U.S dominance in space, and then managing those systems through prototyping and testing.
Established in 2017, SpEC is funded through what is known as Other Transaction Authority (OTA). The OTA process provides a flexible contracting mechanism to attract firms with innovative technological concepts, whether or not they have defense contracting expertise. The OTA process also is much faster than typical defense contracting, streamlining contracting award times significantly.
“We are honored to contribute to US space advancement,” said Tim Greeff, NSTXL’s CEO. “This has been a very successful program thus far, and we look forward to taking it to next level to unlock more value for the U.S. military by engaging more non-traditional defense companies and bringing great innovation to the nascent Space Force.
“NSTXL was founded with the vision of helping our military draw from the best available technologies of the private sector. Our intent has always been to keep the U.S. on the forefront of innovation to secure its spot as a global leader,” Greeff added. “The NSTXL platform brings advanced functionality in support of this mission.”
Under the terms of the agreement, NSTXL will manage the Space Enterprise Consortium for 10 years and be responsible for shepherding up to $12 billion in space-related projects.
The advantage of NSTXL is it’s new approach to rapid acquisition. NSTXL’s best-in-class, agile acquisition platform is built to attract, retain, and mentor emerging technology providers and help them successfully navigate the intricacies of the federal acquisition process. It then prepares them to compete for future space-related prototype projects. NSTXL supports companies by providing commercial-term contracting, open-source technology discovery, modern-day marketing outreach, a strong interconnected network for easy teaming and cybersecurity compliance support.
The selection of NSTXL comes as the U.S. military is increasing emphasis on protecting civilian and military space-based systems. “Having seen the benefits of space-enabled operations, some foreign governments are developing capabilities that threaten others’ ability to use space. China and Russia, in particular, have taken steps to challenge the United States,” the Defense Intelligence Agency said in a 2019 report.
“The advantage the United States holds in space—and its perceived dependence on it—will drive actors to improve their abilities to access and operate in and through space. These improvements can pose a threat to space-based services across the military, commercial, and civil space sectors,” the report said.
This is the fourth OTA powered by the NSTXL innovation platform. It also supports the Army’s Training and Readiness Accelerator (TReX), the Navy’s Strategic & Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS), and the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) Energy OTA.
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