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Use of these organizations could result
in efficiencies that touch multiple areas
in the guidance from USD(AT&L), but
only if the workforce is aware of their
existence and understands their role.
The Army results project sought to mea-
sure current awareness of FFRDCs and
UARCs in the acquisition community
and customer satisfaction with them. The
goal was to provide USAASC with find-
ings and recommendations to support
decisions on how to increase the Army
Acquisition Workforce's awareness and
use of FFRDCs and UARCs.
THE FFRDC S ROLE
FFRDCs are unique nonprofit entities
sponsored and funded by the U.S. govern-
ment to meet special long-term research
or development needs that cannot be met
effectively with existing in-house or con-
tractor resources. The FFRDCs operate in
the industries of defense, homeland secu-
rity, energy, aviation, space, health and
human services, and tax administration.
They are grouped into three categories
focusing on different types of activities:
1. Systems Engineering and Integra-
2. Study and Analysis Centers.
3. Research and Development Centers
(including national laboratories).
First established during World War
II, FFRDCs---previously called Fed-
eral Contract Research Centers---were
semi-academic laboratories and research
groups created by the federal government
for defense research. FFRDCs grew out
of the need to obtain objective assess-
ments of military problems or programs
of increasing technical complexity.
FFRDCs can be not-for-profit or non-
profit organizations, or managed by an
industrial firm as an autonomous orga-
nization that does not have shareholders
or partners. FFRDCs do not have a
prescribed organizational structure.
They can be built around traditional
entities; government-sponsored private
organizations; or government-owned,
contractor-operated entities. Or they can
reflect blended relationships.
The benefit of FFRDCs is that there is no
profit motive or conflict of interest, allow-
ing them to function as independent,
trusted advisors and honest brokers. The
FFRDCs are answerable to the govern-
ment customer and have no vested interest
in particular technologies or solutions.
It is important that FFRDCs do not
compete for federal contracts against non-
FFRDC entities, but they may compete
against other FFRDCs for government
contracts and work. FFRDCs are required
to work within the purpose, mission, gen-
eral scope, or competency assigned by
their sponsor. FFRDCs must not perform
work that is otherwise performed by a for-
THE UARC S ROLE
UARCs are strategic DoD research centers
associated with a university. They were
formally established in May 1996 by the
Director of Defense Research and Engi-
neering to ensure that essential engineering
and technology capabilities of particular
importance to DoD are maintained.
Although UARCs receive sole-source
funding under the authority of 10 U.S.C.
Section 2304(c)(3)(B), they also may com-
pete for science and technology work
unless precluded from doing so by their
contracts with DoD.
These not-for-profit organizations pre-
serve essential research, development, and
engineering "core" capabilities; maintain
long-term strategic relationships with
their DoD sponsors; and operate in the
public interest, free from real or perceived
conflicts of interest. Collaboration with
the educational and research resources
available to them enhances the UARCs'
ability to meet the needs of their sponsors.
EIGF RESULTS PROJECT
In Phase I, the pilot program survey, the
project team set out to establish a baseline
measurement of U.S. Army Acquisition
Corps (AAC) knowledge and expertise
on the use of FFRDC and UARC sup-
port. The base survey of a select, small
(fewer than 1,500) acquisition population
would then be refined for a final survey
and data collection.
The pilot survey of 16 questions was
designed to measure awareness and satis-
faction related to the use of FFRDCs and
UARCs. The survey allowed for write-in
answers, multiple-choice selections, and
comments. It was given to a small pool
of participants within Program Execu-
tive Office (PEO) Missiles and Space
and PEO Aviation, resulting in 598 total
responses for an approximate response
rate of 39.9 percent. Before releasing the
pilot survey, fellows briefed each Deputy
PEO on the process and desired results
to gain command endorsement. Because
the pilot survey had this endorsement,
better participation occurred than in the
The feedback and data collected from
the pilot survey resulted in changes to
questions and an improved final survey.
Write-in responses were removed to allow
for faster compilation of results and data.
The pilot survey also resulted in a ques-
tion tree analysis and logic diagramming
for use on the final survey, providing bet-
ter clarity and a better survey product.
In Phase II, the final survey was sent to
the greater Army acquisition community.
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