The United States Innovation and Competition Act has passed the Senate, and is headed over to the house, with President Biden acknowledging support of the bill. The bill increases DARPA’s annual budget by $3.5 billion. This bill focuses on strengthen U.S. competitiveness against adversaries like China. Research and development efforts in artificial intelligence, robotics, and quantum computing are game changers for national security. DARPA plays a critical role in identifying long term technology leaps and figuring out innovative solutions. Funding for 5G research and development is also in the bill, as well as a new directorate at the National Science Foundation.
“I’m glad we won big victories by doubling DARPA’s budget and developing new sanction authorities to go after China for stealing American intellectual property,” Se. Ben Sasse said in a statement provided to Breaking Defense. “As a China hawk and a fiscal hawk, I would have liked for this bill to take a more focused and aggressive approach to the China threat – but this is a strong start. The Chinese Communist Party is working overtime on cyber, AI, and machine learning so that they can become the world’s preeminent super power. We can’t let our foot off the gas.”
Contract Opportunities to Watch
|Tomahawk Robotics||Tomahawk Robotics received the award of the Radio Agile Integrated Device (RAID) Program through the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL). Program activities and deliveries will take place over the course of 2021 and 2022.
The RAID Program provides a fully integrated common control and communications solution for both air and ground unmanned systems. It will enable universal robotic control of legacy Program of Record (PoR) systems as well as next generation unmanned systems, sensors, and payloads for dismounted Marine Corps units. Universal robotic control technologies provide infantry units significant improvements in situational awareness, mobility and lethality and ultimately ready Marines for the challenges of tomorrow’s battlefields.
The RAID Program leverages Tomahawk Robotics’ product family, including the Kinesis universal robotic control software, Grip, KxM and MxC-Mini. “This is a tremendous opportunity to provide universal robotic control technologies for the Marine Corps and build on the investments of other DOD units and allies. The Marine Corps is doing superb work preparing for the multi-domain battlefield of the future; you see this reflected in their force structure, doctrine, and technology adoption. We are proud to be part of this program and to support their efforts to achieve effective Manned Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T),” said Brad Truesdell, CEO of Tomahawk Robotics.
Key Employer in the Cleared Industry
Cleared Job of the Week
|Contract Administrator||Whether you want to work directly for the federal government or support the contracts work for a defense contractor, the role of a contract administrator is important. Contracting has a strong impact on national security – whether that’s through consulting, new technologies, or on-site, SETA support, the federal government needs its contractors. In order to make all of that work possible, we need contract administrators to make sure we get everything right.
Contract administrators are representing their organization through all the phases of developing contracts, making sure that everyone is working within the confines of the contracts. The contractor administrators make sure the laws are upheld. Most enter the field as a specialist with a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or law, but as contracts can be complex, an MBA can be preferred, along with contract certifications. An understanding of contract law, attention to detail, and an understanding of the federal government will make you a standout in the contracting world. Of course, an active Secret clearance is a minimum with contracts, as you will often be tasked with managing multiple cleared contracts. In fact, an active Top Secret can make you stand out to hiring managers even more.
AT&T won a 12-year task order worth $725 million in order to support the modernization efforts of the Department of Veterans Affairs with their data network under the GSA Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract for federal agencies.
The VA needs high speed, high capacity and resilient urban and rural data network to support its missions. AT&T will work with the VA to continuously transform its IP-based data network in order to get secure, scalable, highly available, and resilient technology infrastructure that can enable rapid cloud adoption.
“It is a special honor to win the opportunity to help VA modernize its mission in the service of our many heroes. We’re thrilled to complement our broad array of AT&T programs that benefit veterans with an advanced data communications platform and capabilities that will power VA’s mission for years to come,” said Chris Smith, vice president of Civilian and Shared Services, AT&T Public Sector and FirstNet, in a statement.
AT&T will help the VA usher in digital records, as well as the network to support that. Goodbye paper and fax-based records, and hello 2021.