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DPA Title III and SBIR Promote Innovation


If you’re reading this, you probably already know something about the DPA Title III program. You know, for example, that we incentivize industry to mitigate shortfalls for items essential to national defense. What you may not realize is that we also play a vital role in bringing innovative technologies to the Department of Defense.

How do we do this? One novel way is that we work the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to take projects with proven capability and help move them to commercial production. As Melinda Woods, the Director of the DPA Title III program, said in an industry publication recently, “Title III incentives are especially appropriate for companies that have made the R&D efforts to create a product but lack an on-ramp for commercialization, a situation that some have termed the ‘valley of death.’ DPA Title III breathes new life into the R&D efforts, creating the necessary manufacturing capability and matching the product with the DoD buyer.”

Currently, the DPA Title III program is helping two SBIR projects bridge the ‘valley of death’ –one for an Electron Beam Direct Write (EBDW) Lithography Tool and one for the Modernized Production Adenovirus Vaccine (MPAV). The EBDW Lithography Tool project is designed to address the critical need for an advanced lithography tool for secure intelligence community integrated circuits. Partnering with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the DPA Title III program is working with the Multibeam Corporation of Santa Barbara, California, to establish this capability. When completed, the project will reduce the cost and time to produce circuits, while increasing security and quality.

Adenovirus infections are common in recruit training facilities across all services and are responsible for eight deaths between 1998 and 2001. The cost impact of infections is estimated to be at least $50 million per year. The risk of infection outside the military, however, is small, and there is little commercial incentive to create vaccines for the larger U.S. population. The MPAV project is designed to address the need for a full-scale manufacturing capability for an adenovirus vaccine to protect service members. Partnering with the U.S. Army Medical Material Development Activity, the DPA Title III program is working with PaxVax of Redwood City, California, to build a facility to ensure sustained commercial production of the vaccine. When completed, the project will save lives and money, while also preventing the loss of essential training time.

The DPA Title III program is always looking for these kinds of innovative technologies to support our warfighters. If you have a technology concept you think would benefit the Department of Defense, please visit the SBIR Program site for more information. For proven technology, consider submitting a white paper. Instructions can be found here