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Media availability to announce Naval Undersea Warfare Center major contract award to local consortium

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs | June 12, 2018

NEWPORT, R.I. — Members of Congress will join local leaders at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Division Newport on Monday, June 18, at 11 a.m. to highlight a landmark award NUWC Newport has made to the Undersea Technology Innovation Consortium (UTIC) headquartered in Middletown, R.I., represented by their management firm, Advanced Technology International (ATI).  The availability will take place in front of Building 80 on Defense Access Highway just outside the center’s main gate.

Expected to attend are Sen. Jack Reed and Congressmen James Langevin and David Cicilline as well as Molly Donohue Magee, UTIC, executive director and Capt. Michael Coughlin, commanding officer.

UTIC and NUWC Newport signed a three-year Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Agreement with options for up to 10 years.

This OTA is for technology development and prototyping of undersea technology and innovative maritime systems.  OTAs are not covered by the Federal Acquisition Regulation and require substantial participation from non-traditional firms (all small businesses qualify as a non-traditional). This type of an agreement facilitates more efficient acquisition of prototype systems and encourages firms who do not traditionally work with Government terms and conditions.

“OTAs have been around for a while, having been originated at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as so-called ‘Space Act’ agreements,” said Ron Vien, technical director of NUWC Newport.

“They are limited in terms of who can use them – only those agencies that have been provided OT Authority may engage in other transactions.  Their core purpose is to accelerate access to and adoption by, certain select agencies within government (typically Department of Defense, NASA, and Department of Homeland Security). This authority grants access to innovative technologies from companies that otherwise would have no interest in dealing with the complexities of a standard procurement relationship,” Vien added.

This award establishes Rhode Island as the DoD focal point for undersea and maritime technology innovation with particular focus on undersea vehicles, sensors and sonars, payloads, communications, electronic warfare and applicable enabling technologies such as quantum computing and advanced materials.

“This collaboration will ensure undersea superiority for our Navy.” said Vien.

“UTIC is honored to be the consortium for the OT.  We have partnered with ATI, a pioneer in Other Transaction consortium management. As a team, UTIC and ATI, will manage a strong and innovative technology consortium for DoD’s undersea and maritime technology needs.” said Molly Donohue Magee, UTIC, Executive Director.

“It takes several years to develop, qualify, and field state of the art weapon system technologies and even more for new undersea systems” said Capt. Michael Coughlin, NUWC Newport’s commanding officer. “Often, by the time a technology is ready for fielding, the original requirement or threat has changed.

“This joint effort recognizes the challenge and has embraced this innovative process that facilitates better communication and collaboration while most importantly delivering needed capability faster!” he added.

“We have so much intellectual capital and innovative thinking in this geographic area, it’s exciting to think of the possibilities and economic impact as we execute the OT and expand the consortium membership.  UTIC will minimize barriers to participate for small and non-traditional companies, who have exciting innovative technology.   It is a unique opportunity to work collaboratively and leverage industry, academia and government capabilities. It is an even greater opportunity to deliver the needed innovative solutions to the men and women of our armed forces,” elaborated Magee.

Media interested in attending can contact John Woodhouse at 401-832-4256 or john.woodhouse@navy.mil for additional information.

NUWC Division Newport, part of NAVSEA, is one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. NUWC Division Newport’s mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures. NUWC’s other division is located in Keyport, Wash.