National Defense Stockpile Supply Chain Basic Research BAA open till 02/27/2014
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Strategic Materials (SM) invites private sector companies, entrepreneurs and academic institutions to contribute ideas for innovations that maintain cognizance of worldwide strategic and critical materials supply chain conditions from the source to final assembly, evaluate the capability of these supply chains to support national defense and essential civilian industries and develop mitigation solutions when access to materials are insufficient to support national defense and emergency response requirement.
DLA Strategic Materials defines its annual research and development requirements in the National Defense Stockpile (NDS) Annual Materials Plan (AMP). These requirements address areas such as geographic locations of deposits and reserves, global mining and refining capabilities, worldwide consumption patterns and the impact of those factors on supply chains that support defense and essential civilian industries of the United States. The need for supporting this research stems from emerging and rapidly expanding requirements to restore and stabilize strategic and critical materials supply chains that have been compromised by decreased or abandoned domestic mining, refining, process and other manufacturing activities coupled with lack of domestic reserves within the United States or select allied nations.
As a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) this is only an expression of interest by the Government and does not commit the Government to make an award or reimburse costs. Those seeking to propose research must submit a white paper for consideration before a full proposal will be requested by the Government. The BAA will be open until February 27, 2014. It is anticipated that only Firm-Fixed Price contracts will be awarded and no award is expected to exceed $150,000.
White Papers are five pages plus a cover page and one-page of biographies for a total of seven pages.
The Topics of Interest are as follows:
i. Analyses of the origin of materials tapped and untapped with respect to geographic proximity, proximity to refiners/processors and geopolitical control in the source regions.
ii. Surveys and assessments of the character and condition of existing mines, including level of sophistication, age, efficiency, output and ownership/controls.
iii. Analyses of the quantities of materials remaining to be recovered from active mines. iv. Surveys and assessments of existing mines that are played out or that have ceased operation for economic or environmental reasons.
v. Assessments of regions that have known deposits where new mining operations could be established; include consideration of economic and geopolitical conditions.
2) Refining and Processing:
i. Surveys and assessments of international and domestic refining and processing facilities; including plant locations, size, normal and maximum production capacity, proximity to mines, storage capabilities and access to transportation hubs and types of transportation resources most commonly used, and types of materials transportation resources.
ii. Surveys and assessments of the character of existing refining and processing operations including ownership, product line diversity, age and efficiency of plant and equipment, availability of skilled staff resources, financial stability and/or probability the company will continue to produce assessed materials.
iii. Research, assess and evaluate emerging processes to enhance the quality of materials, improve efficiency of production processes or mitigate recurring problems. These areas include; validation of processes to yield new materials or enhance manufacturing, process development of existent manufacturing methods, etc.
iv. Research, assess and evaluate causes, impacts and solutions to external “bottlenecks” in raw material supply chains addressing materials that have been delayed, duration of the shortages, effect on production lead-times, costs and impact on delivery of finished products.
v. Research, assess and evaluate causes, impacts and solutions to internal “bottlenecks” in materials refining, consolidation, reduction and other “downstream” processes related to converting feedstock into saleable product considering issues such as incorrect or inferior feedstock, equipment failures, lack of skilled work forces, etc.
3) Recycling, Conservation, Reclamation and Substitution Options
i. Identify and evaluate material substitutes in active use by domestic and international processors and manufacturers; include limitations and common issues associated with use of the substitute material.
ii. Identify and evaluate ongoing development efforts to qualify materials as acceptable substitutes including use of existing and emerging products; of special interest are advanced materials used in defense electronics, optics, communications, energy, armor, shipboard and aviation systems and platforms.
iii. Identify and evaluate active and potential recycling opportunities, including industrial infrastructure and logistical perceived limitations.
iv. Identify and evaluate existing and potential conservation opportunities with impacts on materials mining, refining, processing and consumption.
v. Evaluate alternative product designs which serve to enable end-of-product-life materials recovery or minimize strategic and critical materials requirement.
For assistance in preparing a white paper e-mail Don. (don©kachmanconsulting•com)