In a time of shrinking budgets and increasing requirements, the IACs are a valuable resource to leverage for subject matter expertise within the defense arena. Whether it’s a brief question to look into a particular topic, the collection of relevant Scientific and Technical Information (STI) from completed efforts, or detailed technical problems requiring specialized expertise, CSIAC has the capabilities and contracting flexibility to solve even the most challenging technical issues.
Technical Inquiry Services
The CSIAC provides up to four hours of Free Technical Inquiry research to answer users’ most pressing technical questions. To do so, CSIAC relies on its extensive Subject Matter Expert (SME) network, which includes retired senior military leaders, leading academic researchers, and industry executives. Our SMEs can help to provide answers to even your most difficult questions.
Technical inquiries can be submitted online, by email, phone or fax (using the contact information in the footer of the page). Once submitted, the inquiry is sent directly to an analyst who identifies the staff member, CSIAC team member, or external SME that is best suited to answer the question. The completed response is then compiled and sent to the user. Responses can take up to 10 working days, though they are typically delivered sooner.
If necessary, CSIAC may also provide additional information for clarification. If the amount of research is expected to exceed the IAC’s four free hours of staff time, CSIAC will provide as much information as possible, and can engage in discussions to determine whether a more extensive, funded analysis is needed. These types of efforts, known as Extended Technical Inquiries (ETIs) and Core Analysis Task (CAT), are described below.
Extended Technical Inquiry (ETI)
ETIs are customer-funded efforts that involve a more in-depth analysis of a particular topic within the CSIAC’s technical domain (software engineering, cybersecurity, modeling and simulation, and information sharing/knowledge management). ETIs have a $50k funding ceiling, and the period of performance cannot exceed 60 days. To initiate this type of effort, a one to two page Performance Work Statement (PWS) is required, and SMEs can be put on task in less than one week.
CAT (Core Analysis Task) Program
Challenging technical problems that are beyond the scope of a basic inquiry or even an ETI can be solved by initiating a Core Analysis Task (CAT). CATs are customer-funded work efforts over and above basic CSIAC products and services. Through the CAT program, CSIAC can be utilized as a contracting vehicle, enabling the DoD to obtain specialized SME support for specific projects. Similar to ETIs, the subject matter must fall within the CSIAC’s technical domain. Examples of past and current projects range from the development of information/knowledge management doctrine and practices to the development of prototype software applications and exercising cybersecurity risk- and threat-based assessments frameworks.
CATs are very flexible, but are limited to a 12 month period of performance and a maximum budget of $1M per project. The ID/IQ CAT vehicle has an expedited contracting process that allows for tasks to be awarded in as few as 5-8 weeks. Tasks may be ordered by any DoD component, and subject to appropriate agreement, U.S. Government Agencies and Departments may also order CATs.