Do you think that knowing something another person doesn’t makes you a better person than they are?

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My answer to Do you think that knowing something another person doesn't makes you a better person than they are?

Answer by Ken Larson:

I see the deeper meaning.

I am contacted regularly by individuals that wish to learn from me. I learn much more from them.

I have learned that until I understand an individual’s value system I cannot assist them as a co-worker, counselor, manager or sales person.

The only way I can achieve that end is to learn from them.

Our existence and our mental universe are driven by factors that we as individuals inherit through the gene pool, as enhanced by our experiences in life. Our innate capabilities as humans are augmented in life by that which we learn.

What I learn about someone different than I may not be the same value system as I possess, but by learning from them I will be able to make distinctions between my values and theirs, consider accepting the differences without prejudice, communicate with them and move forward on common objectives.

All wars eventually result in negotiated settlements. Avoiding them by learning and negotiation in the first place is the most effective war weapon and by far the least costly in materials, debt and lives.

Effective negotiation must involve learning the other parties values, not simply the perceived threat they represent to us because we do not know them.

We would do well to learn more about those different from us before we fight and do it genuinely.

Do you think that knowing something another person doesn't makes you a better person than they are?

Would the US have won the Vietnam war if they continued fighting?

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My answer to Would the US have won the Vietnam war if they continued fighting?

Answer by Ken Larson:

Winning and losing did not apply to the undeclared incursion, incorrectly called the “Vietnam War”.

I had a recent conversation with a fellow soldier on the other side of the war from mine. We both agreed there were no winners and could have never been winners.

Ken Larson's answer to What is it like to meet somebody you actually fought against in a war?

Your question is vital as we examine our current roles in the Middle East and Korea as well as the history of the Vietnam Conflict.

We should view the answer in the light of what the conflict should have taught us and why history must be made part and parcel of keeping these incursions (never declared wars) from shaping the future of humanity.

Put succinctly, military victory in the modern era is dead

Military Victory is Dead

Image: “Truth in Media”

Vietnam was not a declared war. It was a setup by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC).

I was there as a combatant and a US Army Intelligence Base Development Planner, working with Philco Ford CAGV, Pacific Architects and Engineers, Leo Daley and other huge corporations resident in the country supplying American occupation and making billions.

The Vietnam Conflict was an incursion; one of the first setup by the Military Industrial Complex and the "Best and the Brightest" in the Pentagon.

"WIKIPEDIA"

"David Halberstam's book offers a great deal of detail on how the decisions were made in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations that led to the war, focusing on a period from 1960 to 1965 but also covering earlier and later years up to the publication year of the book.

Image: Amazon

Many influential factors are examined in the book:

• The Democratic party was still haunted by claims that it had 'lost China' to Communists, and it did not want to be said to have lost Vietnam also
• The McCarthy era had rid the government of experts in Vietnam and surrounding Far-East countries
• Early studies called for close to a million U.S. troops to completely defeat the Viet Cong, but it would be impossible to convince Congress or the U.S. public to deploy that many soldiers
• Declarations of war and excessive shows of force, including bombing too close to China or too many U.S. troops, might have triggered the entry of Chinese ground forces into the war, as well as greater Soviet involvement, which might repair the growing Sino-Soviet rift.
• The American military and generals were not prepared for protracted guerilla warfare.
• Some war games showed that a gradual escalation by the United States could be evenly matched by North Vietnam: Every year, 200,000 North Vietnamese came of draft age and potentially could be sent down the Ho Chi Minh Trail to replace any losses against the U.S.: the U.S. would be 'fighting the birthrate'
• Any show of force by the U.S. in the form of bombing or ground forces would signal the U.S. interest in defending South Vietnam and therefore cause the U.S. greater shame if they were to withdraw
• President Johnson's belief that too much attention given to the war effort would jeopardize his Great Society domestic programs
• The effects of strategic bombing: Most people wrongly believed that North Vietnam prized its industrial base so much it would not risk its destruction by U.S. air power and would negotiate peace after experiencing some limited bombing. Others saw that, even in World War II, strategic bombing united the victim population against the aggressor and did little to hinder industrial output.
• The Domino Theory rationales are mentioned as simplistic.
• After placing a few thousand Americans in harm's way, it became politically easier to send hundreds of thousands over with the promise that, with enough numbers, they could protect themselves and that to abandon Vietnam now would mean the earlier investment in money and blood would be thrown away.
The book shows that the gradual escalation initially allowed the Johnson Administration to avoid negative publicity and criticism from Congress and avoid a direct war against the Chinese, but it also lessened the likelihood of either victory or withdrawal"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…

The Vietnam incursion was not the first nor the last of it type. Its intent was not to be won, but to make money for the Military Industrial Complex.

Others incursions, such as those in our past, and those in the Middle East, have followed the same pattern as the tax payer goes into hock for generations.

War is a racket.

Wars cost money, treasure and make millions for corporations.

THE PAST

A quote many years ago from Major-General Smedley D. Butler: Common Sense (November 1935)

" I spent thirty-three years and four months in active service as a member of our country's most agile military force—the Marine Corps. I have served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to major-general. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers, In short I was a racketeer for capitalism

Thus, I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place to live for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in…. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American Sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras "right" for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. During those years I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. I was rewarded honors, medals, promotion. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents. War Is A Racket"

THE VIETNAM WAR – THE COSTLIEST TO DATE

It's been 40 years since the U.S. ended its involvement in the Vietnam War, and yet payments for the conflict are still rising.

Now above $22 billion annually, Vietnam compensation costs are roughly twice the size of the FBI's annual budget. And while many disabled Vietnam vets have been compensated for post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing loss or general wounds, other ailments are positioning the war to have large costs even after veterans die.

Based on an uncertain link to the defoliant Agent Orange that was used in Vietnam, federal officials approved diabetes a decade ago as an ailment that qualifies for cash compensation — and it is now the most compensated ailment for Vietnam vets.

The VA also recently included heart disease among the Vietnam medical problems that qualify, and the agency is seeing thousands of new claims for that condition.

THE PRESENT

If history is any judge, the U.S. government will be paying for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for the next century as service members and their families grapple with the sacrifices of combat.

An Associated Press analysis of federal payment records found that the government is still making monthly payments to relatives of Civil War veterans — 148 years after the conflict ended.

At the 10-year anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, more than $40 billion a year is going to compensate veterans and survivors from the Spanish-American War from 1898, World War I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the two Iraq campaigns and the Afghanistan conflict. And those costs are rising rapidly.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said such expenses should remind the nation about war's long-lasting financial toll.

"When we decide to go to war, we have to consciously be also thinking about the cost," said Murray, D-Wash., adding that her WWII veteran father's disability benefits helped feed their family.”

With greater numbers of troops surviving combat injuries because of improvements in battlefield medicine and technology, the costs of disability payments are set to rise much higher.

THE IRAQ WARS AND AFGHANISTAN

So far, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the first Persian Gulf conflict in the early 1990s are costing about $12 billion a year to compensate those who have left military service or family members of those who have died.

Those post-service compensation costs have totaled more than $50 billion since 2003, not including expenses of medical care and other benefits provided to veterans, and are poised to grow for many years to come.

The new veterans are filing for disabilities at historic rates, with about 45 percent of those from Iraq and Afghanistan seeking compensation for injuries. Many are seeking compensation for a variety of ailments at once.

Experts see a variety of factors driving that surge, including a bad economy that's led more jobless veterans to seek the financial benefits they've earned, troops who survive wounds of war, and more awareness about head trauma and mental health.

THE FUTURE

Recent events involving US war "Interventions" and the incredibly out of control nature of the Military Industrial Complex have demonstrated their danger, their folly and their contribution to the largest national debt ever to grace the face of the earth.

Alternatives to war in terms of scientific advancement not only are required, but are in progress. The war makers are broke and operating on world credit subject to world approval.

What Could the USA have done to win the Vietnam Conflict and What Does this Tell Us About Current and Future Wars?

Would the US have won the Vietnam war if they continued fighting?

Pentagon Misses the Target When It Comes to Its Workforce

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Blindfold businessman look for target

Image:  Hubspot.net

“THE PROJECT ON GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT”

“Defense officials can’t tell you how many contractors they employ or at what cost. Finding out is critical to personnel reform.

The Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not been able to pass an audit since Congress required federal agencies to be audited nearly a quarter of a century ago. It’s not surprising, as I don’t think any senior leader inside the Defense Department even knows how many people are on the payroll of the military, civilian, and contractor workforces. Also, none of them can tell us about workforce costs and how personnel reforms could save billions of dollars.

Recently, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing to gather ideas on achieving greater efficiency inside the Pentagon. One subject that was raised—which deserves a lot more attention—is something called rightsizing the DoD workforce. In plain English, that means figuring out how many employees DoD needs and how much it should spend on personnel.

Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy testified that a human capital strategy is important for the agency. She said:

This [strategy] should include an assessment of the optimal mix of military, civilian, and contractor personnel across the department and by function.

Of note, a recent study by the Congressional Budget Office found that shifting 80,000 positions from military to civilian personnel, and eliminating the military positions, could save the federal government $3.1 billion to $5.7 billion a year once fully implemented. Optimizing the mix of contractors and civilian employees would undoubtedly save money as well.

A Secretary-directed Human Capital Strategy that would inform DoD’s planning, programming, budgeting, and evaluation process and determine the optimal mix of military, civilian, and contractor personnel would be a powerful enabler for reshaping the Department for the future.

John Hamre of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, testified, “We need to look honestly at the price of labor—uniformed service labor, civil service labor, and contractor-provided labor. We do not honestly show the fully burdened costs and compare them objectively.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Since 2011, the Project On Government Oversight has been mortified by the lack of effort inside DoD and Congress to better understand who is performing work at the Pentagon and the costs of the agency’s mixed workforce. Certainly there is a need for contractors to supply goods and services to the federal government. However, there is a culture within Defense that is committed to transferring to contractors responsibilities that are most cost-effective when performed by Defense civilians.

We have exposed internal and external studies showing that civilian employees offer the best bang for the buck when compared to military and contractor personnel. I have personally been contacted by government officials who described situations where hiring contractors resulted in higher costs than would have been incurred if civilian employees had performed the work.

Nonetheless, there has been little movement to properly inventory all three workforces, and review the work, performance, and costs of each. As a result, funds that could be provided for critical readiness needs are squandered.

In fact, contractors are so resistant to any such proposal that they have been arguing to eliminate the inventory of service contractors. Albeit of limited use in its current form because the inventories don’t provide the data needed to compare the relative cost of performance by federal employees versus contractors, the inventories are the only yardstick for learning about the costs, number of contractor employees, and types of services being performed.

Despite the numerous outside experts telling Congress that the DoD needs to strategically balance its workforce to improve outcomes, save money, and bolster military readiness in the long run, I predict we will see more of the same. The Pentagon and Congress will continue their efforts to avoid genuine cost comparisons and ignore the math.

Here’s a novel idea: Congress should hold a hearing on the DoD workforce, and instead of inviting senior-level appointees to testify, it should seek input from the managers who are familiar with personnel issues, specifically Department of Defense Instruction 7041.04 (“Estimating and Comparing the Full Costs of Civilian and Active Duty Military Manpower and Contract Support”).

Invite those experts to bring cost comparisons and allow them to testify about ways to obtain the most appropriate and cost effective workforce. It would be ill-informed to continue to require workforce changes and pay a price premium at the same time.”

http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2017/04/pentagon-misses-target-when-it-comes-its-workforce/137074/

How does having served in the military impact one’s employability in the private sector?

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My answer to How does having served in the military impact one's employability in the private sector?

Answer by Ken Larson:

Military core values such as – oaths, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), a culture of direct command, and a narrow focus on the task at hand are no longer available when the veteran leaves the military.

In the civilian environment political correctness, strategic group awareness, tact, organization factors, and a broad view of mission and achievement are required.

A veteran is therefore is not so much entitled to a job as he or she is entitled to be understood, and to be allowed to understand the civilian job environment, growing into it.

Professional Roles are Vital

There are two important types of professional roles to consider when hiring and managing military veterans in the business venue.

As a veteran who made the transition to civilian professional work and ultimately owned a small enterprise, and as a counselor who supports veterans in becoming business owners, my experience over several decades indicates military men and women do well in Role 1 below. They have the most challenges with Role 2.

Role 1 Technica
l – Scientific, engineering, logistics, electronics, design and similar skill sets where direct supervision, team building, corporate policy compliance and human resource planning and utilization are not major factors.

VS

Role 2- Management
Functional process capacities responsible for hiring, evaluation, supervision, compliance with civilian law and department activities involving group dynamics, customer relations and sensitive human factors.

I came out of the military having had a leadership role in engineering, base development planning and combat support. I served in war zones in Southeast Asia and on highly classified missions. I was not a manager. I was a military leader in specialized skill sets under Role 1 above.

I knew how to direct people who followed orders without question because the Uniform Code of Military Justice to which we swore an oath said they must do so.

I felt uncomfortable in jobs involving Role 2 above because they were foreign to me. I later adjusted, learned the venue and became skilled as a manager in the corporate world. I preferred staff assignments, however for most of my career.

The corporate venue seemed enormously political and bureaucratic to a former war fighter like me. I was not that tactful. I cut to the chase often and did not always take everyone with me when I made a decision.

Once I grew into a Role 2 performer, I found in interviewing, hiring, evaluating and managing young veterans, even seasoned ones, who had retired and joined the civilian work force, that almost all were better suited for Role 1. It took years and effort on my part to fit them into Role 2 and some never made it.

Management Analysis and Moving Forward

The principal reason for the logic conveyed above is that the military environment may seem to be structured in a way that fits Role 2, but the military does not turn out individuals who are suited in the knowledge and experience necessary in the civilian environment and they are not very good at it without extensive training and adaptation.

Enterprises have multiple-faceted challenges and they require multiple- faceted people. Even though individuals may hold a specific position job title, success in the civilian work force demands avenues where the human resource can contribute in multiple ways.

If a contributor has experience and training in several areas the business can utilize, that makes him or her a valuable resource and it is likely they will be professionally fulfilled and rewarded from doing so. Military personnel have specialty training and focus; few have a wide view of what is in front of them, particularly with respect to military vs. civilian professional settings.

It all comes down to the workers having an element of control in the future success for both themselves and the company and having the opportunity to realize their potential in that regard.

If the professional is in a narrow, technical discipline and his or her expectations are to have others support them in that role or if they are more comfortable in a "Stove-piped" professional setting and not attuned to group dynamics and the often politically correct nature of the civilian organization, they perhaps belong in technical roles and they do not belong in management roles at the onset of their employ.

Summary

In fairness to veterans and to our hopes for them in the future, we must understand these above distinctions, build on Role 1, understand the risk in Role 2 and assist wherever possible.Above all, a respectful partnership and realistic expectations must evolve between the veteran and the company for success in transitioning former military personnel into the civilian work force. This must be achieved through education, training, communication and assessment of both the veteran and the company personnel.

Meeting Veteran & Employer Challenges During Transition from Military to Civilian Work

How does having served in the military impact one's employability in the private sector?

Do politicians really care if the government shutdown happens since they will still be getting paid with our tax dollars?

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My answer to Do politicians really care if the government shutdown happens since they will still be getting paid wi…

Answer by Ken Larson:

Astute politicians who know the law and how our system of government works certainly do care.

Many of the services upon which the politician relies, from transportation to security, from communication to keeping the lights on are funded annually by appropriations from Congress and are administered under federal government contracts.

When the government shuts down, contracting officers are required by law to begin writing stop work orders to contractors for unfunded services.

These contractors have the option to stop work and many do, bringing services to a stop. When the shutdown ends and the funding is restored they also have the right to submit a claim against the government for the addition cost of resuming work and delays in the period of performance.

What is a Government Contract Stop Work Order?

Do politicians really care if the government shutdown happens since they will still be getting paid with our tax dollars?

What are some other sites where we can ask questions related to problems, just like Quora?

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My answer to What are some other sites where we can ask questions related to problems, just like Quora?

Answer by Ken Larson:

For my specific interests in small business, I participate in Open Forum and the Q&A section of Micro Mentor. I have found them both useful.

OPEN Forum

Community Q&A | MicroMentor

What are some other sites where we can ask questions related to problems, just like Quora?

What are some signs that a person is a fake individual?

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My answer to What are some signs that a person is a fake individual?

Answer by Ken Larson:

I have learned that until I understand an individual’s value system I cannot assist them as a co-worker, counselor, manager or sales person. The only way I can achieve that end is to learn from them. That ends the “Fakeness”

Our existence and our mental universe are driven by factors that we as individuals inherit through the gene pool, as enhanced by our experiences in life. Our innate capabilities as humans are augmented in life by that which we learn.

What I learn about someone different than I may not be the same value system as I possess, but by learning from them I will be able to make distinctions between my values and theirs, consider accepting the differences without prejudice, communicate with them and move forward on common objectives. That precludes “Fakeness”

All wars eventually result in negotiated settlements. Avoiding them by learning and negotiation in the first place is the most effective war weapon and by far the least costly in materials, debt and lives.

Effective negotiation must involve learning the other parties values, not simply the perceived threat they represent to us because we do not know them. “Fakeness” is usually a response to a perceived threat or insecurity.

We would do well to learn more about those different from us before we fight and do it genuinely.

What are some signs that a person is a fake individual?

In our days we hear about half truths, alternative truths and so on. Is it correct to accept that there is more than one truth?

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My answer to In our days we hear about half truths, alternative truths and so on. Is it correct to accept that ther…

Answer by Ken Larson:

To an extraordinary degree the age in which we live is requiring us to redefine trust and the degree to which communication and expectation contribute to it.
 
Consider simpler times a few years past (say 50). Trust was necessary in many venues as a means of survival on a day to day basis. We relied on others extensively for our well being from our local store to our banker, from the policeman to the politician. And we knew them all better, we could reach out and touch them and we were not viewing them in sound bites and web sites, nor were we being bombarded with multiple forms of input to digest about them.
 
Mass marketing and communications has created expectations beyond reality in venues from romance web sites to building wealth. We must come down to earth and become much more sophisticated in the manner with which we view all this input and sift it in a meaningful way to have true trust. If we do not we run a high risk and that fact is inescapable.
 
 To a very large degree this is a personal responsibility.

In our days we hear about half truths, alternative truths and so on. Is it correct to accept that there is more than one truth?

What are the strategic ways to beat your lower-priced competitor?

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My answer to What are the strategic ways to beat your lower-priced competitor?

Answer by Ken Larson:

Profile your competition. It is not sufficient to simply see what the competition is charging. It is necessary to model the flexibility of your competitor to modify established pricing based on your competitive pressure.

An effective competitor profile contains performance, historical, demographic, statistical, physical operations, human resource and cost information that is trending in nature and provides insights and comparative balance your pricing.

It is a key tool in performing risk analysis and making related trade off judgments in your marketing strategy.

  • Visit your competitor’s location, particularly if it is local.
  • If it is not local use the competitor’s web site, BBB reports, D&B Reports and the like to determine information like:
  • Assess the size of the operation,
  • The traffic entering and leaving
  • Relative indirect cost factors that can be generally observed,
  • Square footage,
  • Headcount of employees,
  • Size and content of the parking lot and related matters.

Model labor, material and other direct costs assuming your competition is paying in the same range as your business to retain employees and supplier deals. Then burden your direct costs with your estimate of the competition’s likely overhead and a reasonable profit based on your competitor’s profile.

Compare the completed model to your pricing and conduct trend analysis as time goes on and your marketing program begins colliding with the competition.

What are the strategic ways to beat your lower-priced competitor?

Modest Small Business Innovative Research Program (SBIR) Investments Bring Big Benefits

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Soldier_Blackbox_878

Blackbox Biometrics’ Blast Gauge System

“NATIONAL DEFENSE MAGAZINE”

“The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program makes funding available to small companies to develop technologies to meet warfighting requirements and that can transition to a program of record and commercialization.

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is similar to SBIR, but requires the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution.

The defense industry is big, technologically complex and highly competitive. The bar for entry can be high. For small companies who think they have something new or different to offer, vying for a chance to compete can be daunting.

The cost and risk involved with science and technology and research and development to bring a new product or service to market can exceed the ability and resources of many small businesses. So special funding is available to help them develop their ideas and prove their technologies. Meanwhile, program managers and prime contractors have incentives to bring small companies to the table.

Then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Acquisition and Development Sean Stackley said in a 2015 memo that a competitive, healthy small business industrial base is vital to the long term success and affordability of the service. “Where affordability is paramount, a strategy that includes small business creates more affordable outcomes and promotes innovation and technical advancement,” he said.

Bob Smith, director of the Navy’s SBIR/STTR program, said in May 2016 that the service announces topics three times a year. It issued about 170 topics in its most recent cycle. From that it received about 2,800 proposals. It reviewed, evaluated and prioritized each one, and selected two proposals for each topic. One of the two is chosen to go forward as a Phase II project. The Navy looked at 252 Phase II proposals, and selected 137 Phase III awards to help those technologies transition.

“These might seem like low numbers, but if you talk to any venture capitalist, that’s a pretty good track record,” Smith said.

While SBIR can help small companies introduce and develop their new technologies, Smith said companies should not focus solely on winning these awards. “Do not make SBIR your only business model. It will not work.”

For Midé Technology Corp., a small business in Medford, Massachusetts, SBIR efforts have led to some surprising developments. From missile instrumentation to bulkhead shaft seals to smart wetsuits, Midé has seen SBIR grant activity evolve into further opportunities including the development of products for the military and commercial markets. One good idea has led to another.

“We know the cycles when the topics and solicitations come out from the different agencies and departments,” said Midé’s Vice President of Corporate Programs Rick Orlando. We have a process in our company that ties into their schedules. We look at the topics, and glean the ones where we have interest and are suited to submit a proposal.”

In general, Orlando said a high proportion of Midé’s R&D work is funded by SBIR funding. “It’s about 80 percent of our R&D expenditures, but that doesn’t count our product revenue.”

A small company in Melbourne, Florida, has used SBIR to match existing technology with a requirement to provide communications relay radios between unmanned systems and host platforms.

“We had the technology, but we had to find a way to militarize it. It had to handle the vibrations and temperatures, and be small enough to fit inside an unmanned aerial vehicle,” said Emilio Power of RSS Technology.

The RT 1944 U radio was developed by RSS using a Navy SBIR investment. Power says the RSS radio is now part of the littoral combat ship program, and the company’s equipment is on the ship and its off-board vehicles, such as the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft.
SBIR and STTR projects require a technology transition plan, that specifies the “fiscal and transition commitment of participants in the transition stream to develop, deliver and integrate a technology/product into an acquisition program.”  It calls for a “seminal transition event,” to test the technology in a mission environment before it can be used by the warfighter.

“Our Phase III funding is allowing us to finish our software and conduct the seminal transition event, which is to do 80 MB at 30 miles. We’re getting ready to put that radio into production,” Power said.

RSS Technology is taking advantage of a related funding mechanism, the Rapid Innovation Fund, to further validate the concept. The Navy’s RIF enables participants to develop concepts and technologies to meet operational or national security needs, and invests in ways to reduce technical risk and cost.

“The SBIR program is fantastic,” Power said. “But one has to know how to work it. There is only a certain amount of money. But that investment can make the difference between an idea and a reality.”

Powers understands the importance and value of working with big companies. But being smaller is an advantage. “A lot of the big guys have tried doing some of these projects, but it takes a long time. A small company can act and react faster.”

Janet Hughes with Robotic Research of Gaithersburg, Maryland, said her company has participated in SBIRs for a number of agencies, such as the Army, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

“We’ve had success moving to Phase II and III by working closely with the TPOCs (technical points of contact),” Hughes said. “We’ve taken technologies developed through one agency’s SBIR program and transitioned them into other agencies.

“Today we use SBIR funding almost exclusively for our research and development,” added Hughes.

Rochester, New York-based BlackBox Biometrics (B3), has been selling the Blast Gauge System, a small, wearable sensor that can detect and measure overpressure from explosions such as artillery or bombs, that can cause brain injuries. According to B3’s Scott Featherman, the Blast Gauge technology was first developed with DARPA, and was adopted by the Army. Now, because of a SBIR from the Marine Corps Systems Command, BlackBox has demonstrated the effectiveness of the technology to the service.

“We’re completing our Phase II now and getting ready to enter Phase III, and begin commercial sales,” Featherman said.

Once a company wins a Phase II SBIR award, the Navy SBIR program offers a course to the company to learn how to create a business plan and navigate the complex Defense Department business structure. This is called the SBIR/STTR Transition Program (STP).

A good percentage of NAVSEA’s SBIR companies participate in the program, Smith said. “We teach them how to be a success. That’s what STP does; we foster the relationship between the Navy and the company and teach these companies how to transition their technology.”

“Our naval acquisition community considers SBIR/STTR part of the solution for delivering quality innovation to our warfighters — quickly and cost-effectively,” said Smith. “The Navy cares about our small businesses, and we care about them succeeding.”

Tad Dickenson, Raytheon’s director of the company’s SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar program, said Raytheon has some big reasons why it embraces small business. “Small companies offer more diverse input, and help us to think like a smaller company.”

Raytheon has developed the radar with open architecture to be flexible.  “There’s nothing proprietary, and any-sized company can be involved in the program. In fact, we can insert different algorithms for the same function next to each other to see which works best. We can select one, or both. And we can easily put in new functionality, or replace something with a better version.”

Raytheon’s SBIR teammates bring important attributes to a project, Dickenson said, because they are lean and agile, and can produce results quickly at a lower cost. “Their ideas evolve very quickly, and we can leverage that innovation. That adds up to better capability, performance and affordability for the Navy.”

Dickenson said the SBIR program creates win-win-win situations that benefit the Navy, Raytheon and the small businesses. “We look to nurture these relationships. We learn a lot from our small business partners, and we think we can offer them a mentorship relationship with our experience and expertise.”

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2017/4/5/modest-sbir-investments-bring-big-benefits