JFCOM speeds up tech transfer

JFCOM speeds up tech transfer

PORTSMOUTH, Va.--Cumbersome formal IT acquisition processes at the Joint Forces Command are about to accelerate under a new Office of Research and Technology Applications.

Last month, the Office of the Secretary of Defense gave JFCOM new technology transfer authority to circumvent the lengthy requirements for doing business with industry.

"These new technology transfer authorities mean speeding up the best ideas from industry and academia into integrated applications,"said JFCOM commander Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., speaking at the JFCOM Symposium 2005 here. The Defense Department is "trying to make it easier for us to have a discussion with industry rather than go through the traditional acquisition rules."

DOD designed the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration concept essentially to do the same thing, Giambastiani said, but "some would argue that it hasn't."

The end goal is to get better, integrated technologies to warfighters in battle, said Maj. Gen. Charles N. Simpson, director of joint integration and interoperability at JFCOM. For example, the military currently has 750,000 radios, but many can't talk to one another.

Simpson said JFCOM and the rest of DOD are moving to open architectures and will not be buying proprietary products in the future.

"Joint things work together seamlessly, regardless of who made them, regardless of who maintains them, regardless of who operates them," Simpson said. "The power of a joint force is greater than the sum of the services. If we don't get jointness right ... we're deadly wrong."

Giambastiani agreed. "You are an integral part of the process," he told vendors. "If you are not building coherently joint capabilities, you are delivering tomorrow's joint problem. We can't afford that."

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