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Army Cyberspace Real-time Acquisition Prototyping Innovation Development (C-RAPID) Process and Consortium

By LTC Scott Helmore, PdM DCO

1.0 Purpose: The purpose of the Cyberspace Real-time Acquisition Prototyping Innovation Development (C-RAPID) process is to expedite development, demonstration, and delivery of prototypes to increase Warfighter readiness. The Army plans to manage this process via a Consortium Management Firm (CMF) and plans to insure innovative and collaborative industry engagements via use of Consortiums.

2.0 Overview:
  • 2.1 The C-RAPID process will be utilized to develop cyberspace related prototypes directly relevant to enhancing the mission effectiveness of military personnel and the supporting platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by the Department of Defense (DoD), or to improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the armed forces.

  • 2.2 The Government will use the CMF to foster meaningful collaboration between Government, Industry, Consortiums, and Academia to identify and develop enabling technologies necessary to broaden capabilities on the Cyberspace domain and to ensure the highest level of readiness for our nation’s Warfighters. C-RAPID will provide the Government an agile mechanism to iteratively refine critical technologies in order to inform future materiel procurement requirements through structured operational user feedback.

  • 2.3 Potential technology objectives to be addressed under C-RAPID may include, but are not limited to:
    • Forensics and Malware detection
    • Deployable and static Hardware infrastructure
    • Cyberspace Situational Understanding
    • Offensive Cyberspace capabilities
    • Threat Discovery and Emulation
    • Advanced Sensors
    • Cyberspace Tools
    • Cyberspace mission planning and execution
    • Advanced network components
    • Insider Threat detection and prevention
    • Artificial Intelligence and Patterns of Life for cyberspace analytics
    • Cyber Training

3.0 Consortium Management Firm (CMF) – The CMF will be responsible for managing a rapid prototyping process. This includes providing expert opinions on potential solutions as well as recommendations for future prototyping events and technologies. Due to the responsibilities of managing the consortium and in the interest of maintaining fairness, the selected CMF is prohibited from performing under any contract/agreement with any direct or indirect influence or impact on a known or potential consortium prototype project or follow-on effort.

4.0 Consortium Members – Industry members will make up one or several consortiums which will be utilized for the C-RAPID process. These consortiums shall be open to new industry members and have a relatively easy process to on-board new members. All Consortium members will be offered the opportunity to provide white papers to Government issues, as well as recommend new technologies to the CMF for Government consideration in a future C-RAPID event.

5.0 30 Day Prototyping Process – The intent of the 30 day rapid prototyping process is to quickly find potential solutions to Cyber requirements. This process is different than traditional Other Transactional Authority (OTA) processes by placing decision makers into a consolidated location and giving them a suspense to work to award. Consortium members that show up to C-RAPID events are expected to be empowered to negotiate on behalf of their companies. The Government contracting, programmatic, resourcing, and technical teams will be onsite at events and empowered to make decisions up to $13M without additional reviews. The process will utilize the following Steps:

  • 5.1 White Paper - The process begins with the CMF receiving a Cyber Capability Drop or Cyber Needs form. The CMF will then recommend a consortium and request 2 page highlight concept papers from consortium members. Industry representatives have 5 calendar days to respond. These papers will be reviewed by the Subject Matter Expert (SME) Panel. The Panel will consist of two to four members from the CMF, two (2) Operational user personnel, and two (2) Government program office personnel. Papers will be reviewed within three (3) Calendar days and industry will be informed of down select.

  • 5.2 Shark Tank – Down selected industry members will be invited to pitch their ideas in front of the SME panel in a “Shark Tank” like environment. Demonstrations will be done at commercial CMF, other facility, or potentially over a remote video capability. The SME panel reserves the right to recommend teaming or refinement of the idea as well as a white paper (up to ten pages) of the idea. The SME panel will decide upon conclusion of all pitches which industry members will be invited to the final “Crucible” event. This event will last no more than three (3) calendar days with two (2) additional days for SME recommended re-pitches.

  • 5.3 Crucible - The crucible event will take place at a Government location or Cyber Range and is limited to the best industry concepts (likely no more than four (4) industry representatives per requirement). The event focuses on testing the concept and its potential impacts to other Government cyberspace capabilities. During this phase industry refines their products to best meet Government requirements and provides a final capability demonstration. A final selection is made by the SME panel and a contract is awarded on the spot. The Crucible will last no more than three (3) calendar days with two (2) days for negotiations.

  • 5.4 Award/User Assessment - Concluding the selection and contract award industry provides a prototype for up to 30 days for user assessment.

Visual Graphic of C-RAPID Process C-RAPID Process


6.0 60 Day Risk Management Framework Process – As a part of the C-RAPID process an expedited Authority to Connect process will also be utilized. This process will include a group (RMF Assistance Team) within the C-RAPID CMF community that will be dedicated to helping non-traditional DoD Businesses understand the DoD RMF process and documentation that is necessary to connect commercial capabilities to DoD networks. The RMF Assistance Team will work with industry members to provide templates and understanding of documentation for their products. This is key since status of documentation may be taken into account for down selection to the crucible event.

7.0 DCO Development sandbox – The CMF is responsible for providing access to Defensive Cyber Sandbox locations throughout the United States. These locations will provide consortium members with an environment to develop and test their capabilities prior to C-RAPID events.

8.0 Next Steps – The Government plans to select a CMF in March, a Government Crucible location known as the “Forge” will be stood up by March 2018, a commercial location for the “Shark Tank” will be stood up by May 2018, and the first C-RAPID requirement will run NLT June 2018.

Posted February 01, 2018