DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) DUAL USE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (DUST)
The Department of Defense Dual Use Science & Technology (DUS&T) Program is a joint program sponsored and conducted by the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The DUS&T Program cost shares research projects with industry for the development of technologies that have both military utility and sufficient commercial potential to support a viable industrial base. An objective of the DUS&T Program is to obtain for defense procurements the economies of scales, accelerated product improvements, and increased sustainability inherent in the commercial marketplace.
DUS&T is a 50/50 cost share program. Industry must fund at least 50% of the project cost. Annually, $60-75 million in federal funds are available for proposals. Each military service identifies technologies that they want to further develop. An annual competition is held to find new technologies or enhancements. Since all parties share the risks and benefits, the intersection between military benefits and commercial viability lies at the heart of this program.
The DUS&T projects are conducted outside the Federal Acquisition Regulations. Projects are investment partnerships that must be in the mutual interest of all the parties. This relationship typically allows more flexibility than the standard federal contract, which assumes a buyer-seller relationship. Hence, the DUS&T Program uses Cooperative Agreements and Other Transactions as funding instruments for the overwhelming bulk of its work. One major advantage of these instruments is the flexibility in dealing with intellectual property rights, thus helping attract firms that might not otherwise deal with the government.
From its inception in FY97, the Air Force DUS&T Program has initiated 121 projects with a total value of $476M.
The key to a successful project is to identify where the services and firms have mutual interests and can work together to develop technologies that meet both defense and commercial needs. Wright Technology Network (WTN) has assisted the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and companies interested in the DUS&T program. WTN provides information on the program through various media such as the WTN newsletter, the Innovator. WTN also provides direct assistance to companies for project and proposal development. The Indiana Business Modernization and Technology Corporation (BMT) and WTN worked collaboratively in assisting companies interested in the DUS&T program, and plan to continue this effort.