Government Contracting: Space Force Pursuing Space Age Acquisition Methods

Written on January 14, 2020

The brand-new Space Force is holding its first pitch day at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida on March 4. And while it wants to hear about “innovative solutions” to several problem areas around installation support and space operations, this event also plans to use innovative acquisition methods to obtain those solutions. Space Force will use its Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) authority to obtain desired solutions in the hopes of moving quickly and attracting innovative solutions from traditional, or especially non-traditional, companies. CSO authority is similar to Other Transaction Authority (OTA). CSO acquisitions are not FAR-based, are intended to be used for prototyping, and use incremental funding to move a project through four phases of development. Pitch days are becoming an increasingly popular method inside DOD to attract non-traditional companies. The Air Force and Army have used such days, often coupled with non-standard acquisition methods, over the past year or so with good results. Whether or not a company is truly new usually does not matter, making such days a great opportunity to get in front of prospective buyers if there is a match between the focus of the pitch day and what a company would like to offer. The March 4th pitch day notice offers a list of specific areas the branch wants to hear pitches for, as well as a general call for any interesting ideas, which can be referred to as the unknown-unknown.  See the article here for more.

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