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This report discusses what the Army needs to do to attract more nontraditional military suppliers (NTMSs) and what specific Army organizations and associated technologies are best suited for a pilot program designed to attract NTMSs. We find that there are significant opportunities for Army collaborations with NTMSs, but that the Army has had limited success attracting them using such traditional options as contracts, CRDAs, and PLAs. To attract NTMSs, the Army must eliminate many cumbersome regulations — something that can be accomplished using Cooperative Agreements and Other Transactions — but must also understand and identify the relevance of the Army's research in terms of the commercial markets. The Army can do three things to significantly improve its chances of successful collaborations with NTMSs: align technology objectives, produce business plans, and plan for success. Finally, an assessment shows five promising areas for a pilot to attract NTMSs — Natick RDEC (food, clothing, or biotechnology); STRICOM (advanced simulators); DISC4 (expert systems); NAC (vehicle technologies); and ARL (information warfare).

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This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.