Other Transaction Authority (OTA) – an Overview for research universitities and how they provide defense funding outside traditional means.

An OTA is an acquisition instrument which allows Department of Defense (DoD) agencies to enter into transactions “other than” standard Government contracts, grants and cooperative agreements. It is expected to provide almost $10B in awards in 2022. As an alternative to the complex Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which may discourage small businesses and other non-traditional contractors like universities from seeking to work with the Government, OTAs provide a commonsense, flexible and user-friendly way of linking buyers and sellers of advanced technologies through a rapid, efficient and cost-effective acquisition instrument. An OTA replaces nothing. It simply is an additional tool that Congress has authorized to help Government program managers accomplish their missions. OTAs offer great flexibility in tailoring the terms to a particular project and the needs of the participants, achieving the best approach to fulfilling the Government’s technology needs. R&D and Protype projects can therefore be awarded more quickly and cost-efficiently and engage more small and large businesses, as well as academic institutions. Universities are considered “Non-Traditional Contractors,” and therefore a desirable component to OTA consortium teams should the university not bid direct.

An OTA is a cost-effective and collaborative acquisition alternative to the FAR for members seeking to do business with the DoD, and for rapid acquisition across the DoD of innovative technologies in support of the Warfighter. Approximately $10 Billion in OTAs will be awarded by the DoD in 2022 – half to the Army. Each military service has authority to execute OTAs up to $500M with authorization by their Service Acquisition Executive, with no limits on how many.
• It is NOT a standard procurement contract, grant, or cooperative agreement
• It is NOT subject to many provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
• Project awards CANNOT be protested
• It is a legally binding instrument, similar to a commercial-sector contract
• It is provided by 10 U.S.C. § 2371b: Authority of the Department of Defense to carry out certain R&D and prototype projects
• It is open to research universities, especially in engineering, computer sciences/IT, and medicine/health, pharmaceuticals, weapons systems, and more.
• OTAs can be submitted directly to agencies within the DoD, or as part of a collaboration team (usually headed by a defense consulting prime or major defense supplier).

Avonis can help you find the right Traditional Defense Contractor team member and help write the OT proposal with the team, or act as lead in writing an OT proposal directly to a DoD agency itself.