Opportunity knocked for military and industry alike at the 2014
Among the speakers at the
"I'm a big fan [of the Rapid Insertion Program]," Smerchansky said. "It provides more dollars up front and lets us attack what we already know is a problem. We can use a short timeline to get a system from introduction to finish."
He also emphasized the importance of communication among the military services as well as between the military and industry representatives.
"As an example, if we are pursuing an effort that is also of value to the
Smerchansky told industry representatives he wants to give a realistic assessment of the challenges facing all parties while giving small businesses their due.
"You know in the current environment we're in. It's easy to downplay the importance of these kinds of events and interactions," he said. "Open dialogue and strong relationships between government and industry in time of peace help ensure effective communications in wartime. While we're still at war now - and there are many crazy unstable events happening around the world - we're on a path to a peacetime footing."
He noted how MCSC compares to other military services and systems commands.
"We're not designing and acquiring advanced aircraft and naval ship systems and platforms such as the new F-35," he said. "We also are not in the business of physical construction or space systems, although our systems do need to integrate and work with a majority of these systems.
"We design, build, test, acquire and sustain on behalf of the
He said all of the command's
Citing programs that MCSC does well, Smerchansky said the
"There are 710 million more reasons you should take notice of the unique nature of how we do business and what types of things we buy from small businesses," he said. "More than
About 55 percent of infantry combat equipment comes from small business, he said. However, the command is not doing as well as it should in transitioning
"We are starting an effort to baseline and document our transition successes including original equipment manufacturer transitions," Smerchansky said. "I expect this number to increase, but not by leaps and bounds without better engagement with technology developers."
While there is a traditional timeline associated with the development of a
He recalled that the advanced secure communications mode for
He said the key to tapping into opportunity is regular contact between the
"Our dedicated SBIR contracting office is meeting its goals and improving our speed of execution," Smerchansky said. "Small businesses are their own best advocates. No one knows their technologies and capabilities better than them. When in doubt, call your SBIR program manager for assistance."
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