The Secretary of Defense shall establish a competitive, merit-based program to accelerate the fielding of technologies developed pursuant to phase II Small Business Innovation Research Program projects, technologies developed by the defense laboratories, and other innovative technologies (including dual use technologies). The purpose of this program is to stimulate innovative technologies and reduce acquisition or lifecycle costs, address technical risks, improve the timeliness and thoroughness of test and evaluation outcomes, and rapidly insert such products directly in support of primarily major defense acquisition programs, but also other defense acquisition programs that meet critical national security needs.
“(b)Guidelines.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 7, 2011], the Secretary shall issue guidelines for the operation of the program. At a minimum such guidance shall provide for the following:
The issuance of an annual broad agency announcement or the use of any other competitive or merit-based processes by the Department of Defense for candidate proposals in support of defense acquisition programs as described in subsection (a).
The review of candidate proposals by the Department of Defense and by each military department and the merit-based selection of the most promising cost-effective proposals for funding through contracts, cooperative agreements, and other transactions for the purposes of carrying out the program.
The total amount of funding provided to any project under the program shall not exceed $3,000,000, unless the Secretary, or the Secretary’s designee, approves a larger amount of funding for the project.
No project shall receive more than a total of two years of funding under the program, unless the Secretary, or the Secretary’s designee, approves funding for any additional year.
Mechanisms to facilitate transition of follow-on or current projects carried out under the program into defense acquisition programs, through the use of the authorities of section 819 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Public Law 111–84
; 10 U.S.C. 2302
note) or such other authorities as may be appropriate to conduct further testing, low rate production, or full rate production of technologies developed under the program.
Projects are selected using merit-based selection procedures and the selection of projects is not subject to undue influence by Congress or other Federal agencies.
“(c)Treatment Pursuant to Certain Congressional Rules.—
Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to require or enable any official of the Department of Defense to provide funding under this section to any earmark as defined pursuant to House Rule XXI, clause 9, or any congressionally directed spending item as defined pursuant to Senate Rule XLIV, paragraph 5.
Subject to the availability of appropriations for such purpose, the amounts authorized to be appropriated for research, development, test, and evaluation for a fiscal year may be used for such fiscal year for the program established under subsection (a).
The Secretary may transfer funds available for the program to the research, development, test, and evaluation accounts of a military department, defense agency, or the unified combatant command for special operations forces pursuant to a proposal, or any part of a proposal, that the Secretary determines would directly support the purposes of the program. The transfer authority provided in this subsection is in addition to any other transfer authority available to the Department of Defense.”