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The US Navy and Marine Corps are harnessing the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programmes to extend support to the national response against the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The $30m programmes are located at the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Through a new Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), rapid-funding opportunities for scientific or research proposals will be provided.

DoN SBIR/STTR director Bob Smith said: “During this national emergency, the Naval Research Enterprise must engage all activities to ensure we accomplish our current workload, make sure vital naval partners survive current economic conditions, and bring in new partners.

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“I’m proud the DoN SBIR/STTR programmes are taking bold steps to maintain the defence industrial base through accelerated funding awards.”

Titled DoN SBIR FY20.4, the new BAA is expected to close in May.

It seeks proposals from small businesses and startups for high-impact, scalable technologies.

The technologies address naval requirements and cater to the needs of the commercial market.

Areas of interest to the navy and Marine Corps include the modernisation and sustainment of military assets and digital logistics of security, analysis, management, and the flow of digital information and data.

Other areas of interest include on-demand deployable manufacturability with diverse payloads and resilient communications.

BAA FY20.4 will fund more than $250m over the next 90 days.

The DoN programmes will also serve as technology enablers for the Naval Expeditions (NavalX) Agility Office.

NavalX provides sailors, marines and DoN civilians with resources that enable naval organisations such as the ONR and SBIR/STTR to connect warfighters with experts and small businesses.

SBIR and STTR programmes will also provide expertise at NavalX’s multiple Tech Bridge locations globally.