Originally posted by sefhinny
I don't understand how it works. I get the idea, but as with anything, if you personally work with it you probably have insights others wouldn't. Do
you work in purchasing or in a department that writes contracts for the government? Or possibly a contractor that deals with the government? Or have
you researched the process a lot? Please elaborate.
A few guys including meself left LANL years ago, and started a company, we added in a few other of our ex-service friends and have a little company,
once in Huntsville, now in Pensacola, that does contract work. We do some commercial stuff, some non-class military, and we've got a SCIF to do TS and
SCI, at present I'm off campus and doing work at a customer site in California east of Tehachapi.
The process with doing jobs for DARPA is sort of like doing any other DOD contract.
DARPA doesn't actually design or produce anything itself, all the projects are bid out to contractors and managed by DARPA. DARPA comes up with the
ideas, farms them out, manages the project.
Just to play devil's advocate, how do you know DARPA doesn't get non patented tech's presented to them and turn around and swipe them?
I've never heard of it, but like Naval Weapons and Sea Systems has done to us in the past, they can snag your ideas during the bid cycle I suppose.
I've never had bad dealings with other branches, just Navy. Navy's renowned for it.
It doesn't stop at the bid level, either, generally you'll see a big first tier win those, although not always, and then there's a second set of bid
wars as the first tier will bid some or all of it out in pieces to second tiers, which is where we often are, second tiering to SAIC, LM, NG and
Boeing. Plus a few others. We have done first tier work. It's not bad to get phase I and II and then farm out the rest for phase III.
As far as the Navy goes, we have had projects where we got the RFQ, saw the wide range of possibilities they'd missed, bid them in our proposal, then
had Navy cancel the bid and resubmit it with our ideas as the new bid, effectively stealing the thing and handing it to their buddies. Never got that
with DARPA. Marines and JSOC are my favorites for doing business with, we won't do any with Navy as a first tier.
eta: it's possible to come up with something entertaining and pitch it to them off-bid, as you can with other DOD departments, in this case you may
receive a no-bid SBIR contract out of SBIR funds if they have any, you also can get non-line item funding if it's hinky enough, this is a "black"
project because it's out of the 'other funding' pool that isn't tracked. There are, of course, other black projects, but that's one way to do one.
eta further: you can generally get anyone from a colonel up to stroke a direct no-bid SBIR to you, so if you can sell it to a full bird, you can get
at least a phase I out of the thing. We've done a number of projects under 'other funding' this way, and some offbeat SBIR stuff that was never in the
edit on 26-3-2013 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)