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Title: Federal Research and Development Contract Trends and the Supporting Industrial Base, 2000-2014
Authors: Jesse Ellman
Kaitlyn Johnson
Keywords: Contract Trends
Industrial Base
R&D Contracting
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2016
Publisher: Acquisition Research Program
Citation: Published--Unlimited Distribution
Series/Report no.: Contracting
Abstract: Using FPDS data, this report examines what has happened to federal R&D contracting, and the industrial base that supports those efforts, during the current budget drawdown. It finds: 1. Federal R&D contracts have been disproportionately impacted by the budget drawdown. 2. DoD is in the midst of a six-year trough in its development pipeline for major weapons systems. 3. The budget drawdown has caused profound changes to the DoD R&D contracting industrial base. 4. Much pre-analysis conventional wisdom was incorrect in that for six of seven hypotheses, the data either did not provide significant support for the hypothesis or actually strongly pointed in the opposite direction. Only one hypothesis, which looks at new entrants into the federal R&D marketplace, was even partly supported by the data. This result underscores the importance of relying on data for analysis of trends in federal contracting; while anecdotes and the conventional wisdom may tell stories which make intuitive sense, good data is the only way to understand what is really happening. This finding also suggests that management matters, as leaders were able to avoid some of the more commonly feared outcomes of sequestration and its aftermath through resource management and policy initiatives. However, the overall concern that R&D contracting would be disproportionately impacted by sequestration and its aftermath was proven correct, showing the limits of management alone in mitigating the impact of the budget drawdown on U.S. technological superiority in the face of sudden, massive funding reductions.
Description: Contract Management / Grant-funded Research
Appears in Collections:Sponsored Acquisition Research & Technical Reports

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