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With support from the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program, Mile Two LLC created a set of applications collectively known as Smart Decision Support Suite.
Mile Two’s ongoing collaboration with the Air Force’s SBIR/STTR and T3 programs has bolstered its growth. The firm has received $4.6 million via a Phase III contract with the Air Force. The contract has a $50 million ceiling.
The project sparked the growth of the company’s roster and its facilities. Mile Two added fifteen employees for work related to the Smart Decision Support Suite and saw unprecedented growth in 2020 that nearly led to a doubling in size. The company is slated to move to a larger office in downtown Dayton during the second quarter of 2021.
Mile Two’s revenue and staff growth, along with its Phase III contract, mark critical milestones for a SBIR company.
The purpose of the Smart Decision Support Suite is to act as a catalyst in driving innovation through participation in the SBIR program, facilitating collaboration between Air Force and small business partners and leveraging innovative dual use technologies that come out of the R&D process.
Smart Bid reduces barriers for small businesses who want to work with the Air Force by helping companies submit high-quality, valid SBIR proposals while also saving money. Mile Two says this application will cut development costs for a Phase I proposal from $10,000 to $2,000, and costs of a Phase II proposal from $20,000 to $5,000. Features like a compliance checklist allow companies to efficiently develop and submit proposals for Phase I, Phase II, and
Direct to Phase II SBIR/STTR proposals. The technology should also reduce proposal rejections due to errors from 15 percent to 5 percent.
Smart Connect provides a social network where Air Force problem holders and small businesses with innovative technology solutions can connect. The tool uses AI and human-machine teaming to amplify the matchmaking process. Government problem holders can rapidly search for existing technology solutions (both inside government labs and industry), make contact with solution holders, and build teams to rapidly capitalize on emerging technologies. Small businesses can promote their technologies and build relationships with potential partners and government customers.
Smart Plan bridges the gap between prototype and program of record. This tool is designed to support the teaming of government, small businesses, and investors who are working together to plan the transition from R&D to commercial product. Smart Plan provides a guided workflow and will allow stakeholders from all teams to collaborate on building a flexible roadmap to success.
Additional tools are also under development, providing solutions for contract data search, task prioritization, and email marketing. Mile Two says the Smart Decision Support Suite will benefit the warfighter by streamlining the technology discovery process and helping innovative new technologies get developed and implemented in the field.
“We’re pleased with the results of our partnership with Mile Two,” said Matt Howard, acting director of the Air Force SBIR/STTR program. “The advent of TechSuite will make it easier and cheaper for companies to seek SBIR funding. Further, it will advance the Air Force’s efforts not only to get cutting-edge technology into the hands of the warfighter, but also support commercialization of SBIR technologies.”
Since 2018, Air Force SBIR has granted nearly $800,000 in contracts to Mile Two to develop Smart Decision Support Suite. That money allowed the company to modify two of its existing applications – TNebula and Ergo – into a tool capable of supporting the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Small Business office and the SBIR program.
Mile Two’s initial contract, issued in November 2018, had called for it to build the Smart Decision Support Suite platform. The company had proposed using TNEBULA, an existing Mile Two product, as the foundation for Smart Decision Support Suite. The aim was to provide AFWERX a technology for tracking innovations and intellectual property. The proposed application would use advanced analytics and recommendation algorithms to match intellectual property owners with Air Force officials seeking solutions to specific problems, company officials said.
In March 2019, the Air Force awarded the company a Phase II SBIR contract for nearly $750,000. Mile Two had proposed creating discrete, complementary applications for tech scouting and project management rather than a single application. The project tracking and management tool was based on Ergo, another Mile Two creation.
Mile Two was awarded the Phase III contract Sept. 25, 2019 to build usable prototypes of the Smart Decision Support Suite applications, as well as continuing development of other innovative concepts to improve the effectiveness and user-friendliness of the AF SBIR/STTR program.
TOPIC NUMBER: AF183-005
TOPIC TITLE: Open Call for Innovative Defense-Related Dual-Purpose Technologies/Solutions with a Clear Air Force Stakeholder Need
CONTRACT NUMBERS: FA3002-19-P-A010 (Phase I), FA875119CA048 (Phase II), FA8649-19-9-9038 (Phase III)
SBIR COMPANY NAME: Mile Two
TECHNICAL PROJECT OFFICE: AFRL/SB
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: AFRL/SB
PUBLISHED: February 2021
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