In this guide, we explain OT Consortia, explore a case study to illustrate how they work, and provide a link to a comprehensive list for your perusal.
Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Resources
OT Consortia Overview
In our hub guide to understanding Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs), we briefly addressed the institutions which distribute these awards: Other Transaction (OT) Consortia. OT Consortia can be thought of as a middleman between the federal government and the designated awardee. In this case, the awardee is a small business and/or non-traditional contractor.
We split OT Consortia into three tiers:
- the government sponsor
- the consortium manager
- the body of the consortium itself
Some government sponsors forgo the consortium manager altogether and manage the consortium in-house. For the sake of Vertx tradition, however, let’s consider the United States Air Force (USAF).
Two arms of the USAF, the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center (AFLCMC) and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), do employ a consortium manager, SOSSEC, Inc. This manager runs SOSSEC (the Systems of Systems Consortium; easy enough to remember). SOSSEC itself comprises over 900 due-paying consortium members, each of whom belongs to an industry that SOSSEC specializes in. Government sponsors decide on the consortium specialization.
Let’s explore some SOSSEC consortia.
SOSSEC Consortia and Their Aims
The following are a few SOSSEC consortia that are open to traditional as well as non-traditional contractors, academic institutions, and non-profit entities. There is a single $500 annual membership fee applicable to all SOSSEC OTAs.
- AFLCMC Consortium Initiative (ACI) – Sponsored by the AFLCMC, the ACI’s focus/mission is “Research, development, test, and evaluation within prototyping projects of the AFLCMC mission sets.”
- AFLMC Propulsion Directorate Consortium Initiative (PCI) – Also sponsored by AFLCMC, the PCI focuses on research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) efforts for propulsion needs and the future of the propulsion industry.
- Supply Chain Consortium Initiative (SCCI) – Sponsored by AFLCMC, the SCCI addresses RDT&E prototyping challenges relating to the 448th Supply Chain Mission Wing. (The 448th is the Air Force’s single wholesale Supply Chain Management Wing manager.) This consortium aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the military aviation acquisition process.
- AFRL OTAFI – Sponsored by AFRL, this consortium focuses on prototyping and testing, with particular emphasis placed on speeding the ability of federal, industry, and academic entities to test their technology. Technologies this consortium is interested in fall under C4ISR: command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance technologies.
- AFRL Open System Acquisition Initiative (OSAI) – Also sponsored by AFRL, the OSAI has a similar focus to OTAFI above: to prototype and test C4ISR tech, but with an emphasis on information sharing systems.
You can find each of these consortia on SOSSEC’s website, with each respective consortia manager’s contact info. The structure of SOSSEC offers a convenient one-size-fits-all membership due for prospective consortia members looking to broaden their participation.
A Comprehensive List of OT Consortia
While SOSSEC offers a convenient hub for USAF OT Consortia, not all OT Consortia are centralized. While Vertx Partners highlights the needs of the Air Force in our content, we occasionally cover other branches of the DoD and the Department as a whole.
If your burgeoning technology is in need of a different approach or would benefit from membership with a non-USAF aligned consortia, there are other options for you and your business.
Consider the following list compiled by Vertx Partners. In it, Vertx lists all available OT Consortia grouped according to technology field/area of interest.
With a list as thorough as we’ve compiled, you’re likely to be spoiled for options.
The best way to find a consortium that benefits you is to have a conversation. First, talk with representatives at Vertx Partners, then with the manager of an OT Consortia you’re interested in joining. While membership doesn’t guarantee an OTA contract, it does link you with a network of specialized contacts who may prove valuable partners in your innovative goals.
To initiate that conversation, reach out to Vertx Partners at our Contact page and fill out our quick, 6-minute survey.
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