The Air Force awarded a contract after just 3 minutes

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8 March 2019

In the so-called great power competition with Russia and China, defense experts have worried that the United States is at a disadvantage because those countries are not subjected to the same contractual and legal hurdles as the Pentagon when it comes to adding new tools and weapons.

But the Air Force wants to change that and their solution plays off the popular television show “Shark Tank,” where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch solutions and win contracts in minutes, not months or years.

The Air Force’s pitch days, powered by the Small Business Innovation Research Program, looked to solve problems within the portfolios of Program Executive Offices Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Special Operations Forces and Digital.

The first of such events took place in New York City March 6 and 7. The Air Force awarded 51 proposals in 15 minutes or less, David Shahady, Air Force SBIR/STTR Program Director, said March 7. In one day, the Air Force awarded $3.5 million, including one contract in just three minutes.

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