MU named a preferred defense contractor
The partnership would allow MU to sidestep the formal bidding process for defense contracts.
Aug. 17, 2014
The Department of Defense named MU’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute and Center for Physical and Power Electronics preferred contractors.
The new partnership will allow MU to sidestep the formal bidding process and save time obtaining Defense Systems Technical Area Tasks contracts to develop weaponry and defense systems.
According to the Department of Defense’s website, Defense Systems Technical Area Tasks contracts include “research, development, test and evaluation, and advisory and assistance services related to research and development efforts for technical area tasks.”
“The fact that MU is part of a team which has been vetted as preferred contractors for the above areas means that when task orders are issued in these areas of need, MU can streamline the process to win a bid,” said Mark Prelas, Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute director of research . “This is significant since it typically takes two years from the time the need has been tasked to the time a contract is awarded.”
Up to 12 other research institutions across the U.S. and Canada were named preferred contractors.
Preferred contractors like MU are also able to receive indefinite quantity contracts — contracts put in place when the General Service Administration is unable to specify an exact quantity they want from a given contractor.
Prelas said indefinite quantity contracts help institutions in the Association of American Universities to secure Department of Defense research funding and benefit local economies.
The amount of federal research funding awarded to an institution is among several key metrics the AAU measures to review a university’s membership within the association.
Prelas said the partnership represents not only a status change for MU, but also new potentials for future projects.
“This gives MU a competitive advantage when working with DoD offices,” Prelas said. “MU is in the process of putting teams together or being asked to participate on teams which are in the process of securing (indefinite quantity) contracts.”