Organized by the San Diego Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), this year’s event was completely virtual, featuring presentations, interactive question and answer (Q&A) forums, matchmaking sessions, exhibit booths and networking opportunities with businesses, large and small, nationwide.
At the event, NAVWAR Commander Rear Adm. Doug Small joined the conference for an interactive Q&A where attendees asked Small questions on topics ranging from Project Overmatch, to NAVWAR Old Town Campus Revitalization and everything in between.
During the forum, Small spoke about how the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of small business is the driving force behind solving some of the Navy’s greatest challenges, and how now, more than ever, innovation and agility are key to maritime superiority. He went on to talk about how NAVWAR is working to lower the barrier of entry to increase the competitive landscape for small business, pointing out programs like the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) and the Artificial Intelligence and Networks Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (AINetANTX) Prize Challenges.
IWRP provides a pathway for rapid acquisition and collaboration between industry, government and academia to deliver the capabilities the Navy needs today. It uses an alternative acquisition method, called other transaction authority (OTA), to streamline acquisition processes, develop prototypes, and rapidly provide advanced technologies to the fleet.
Also focused on lowering the barrier to entry, the AINetANTX Prize Challenges are open to all U.S. citizens, including commercial, government and academic individuals or teams focused on identifying solutions at speed, for a more lethal, better connected fleet of the future in support of Project Overmatch. Each prize challenge is offering $100,000 for the best solution presented. First place entries will win $75,000, while second place entries will be awarded $25,000. Winners will be announced in November 2021.
In addition to Small’s Q&A, NAVWAR’s Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) Director, Dan Deconzo, participated in a panel where he provided information on how to do business with NAVWAR.
“Gold Coast provides a collaborative space for us to connect with current and future small business partners on high priority fleet requirements,” said Deconzo. “It allows us to leverage the specialized experience and capabilities that small businesses bring to the fight, providing innovative, agile and affordable solutions that are vital to our national defense. Additionally it teaches us how to better support small business needs, so that small business can, in turn, better address warfighter requirements.”
NAVWAR small business and contracting experts also partook in the event’s matchmaking sessions, where attendees had the opportunity to meet key government and industry contracting personnel through multiple one-on-one meetings.
Focused on creating big business for small business, the NDIA Department of the Navy Gold Coast Event is the premier Navy procurement conference in the country. Gold Coast provides a forum to educate, guide, and assist businesses in support of the warfighter mission within Department of the Navy and throughout the Department of Defense.
NAVWAR identifies, develops, delivers and sustains information warfighting capabilities and services that enable naval, joint, coalition and other national missions operating in warfighting domains from seabed to space and through cyberspace. NAVWAR consists of more than 11,000 civilian, active duty and reserve professionals located around the world.
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