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Department of the Navy (DoN) Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF)

The Department of the Navy (DoN) Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) is administered by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). It is a technology transition program that allows the military to collaborate with small businesses to provide innovative technologies that can be rapidly inserted into acquisition programs that meet specific defense requirements.

The RIF program is a point of entry for small businesses to win research and acquisition contracts with the DoN. RIF refines technology from military science and technology investments and adapts commercially available technology, funding the final maturation, testing, certification and/or integration needed to ensure that the products successfully make it to operational users.

Small businesses with mature technologies at a technology readiness level of at least 5–6 that resolve naval challenges should engage with naval systems command chief technology officer–appointed RIF Leads and acquisition program managers and look for the next BAA.

How does it Work?

  • Annual broad agency announcement with military service-specific requirements
  • Navy requirements come from the Naval R&D Establishment, Program Executive Offices (PEO) and Program Management Offices (PM) thru the System Commands (SYSCOM)
    • Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED)
    • Marine Corps System Command (MCSC)
    • Naval Air Warfare Systems Command (NAVAIR)
    • Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC)
    • Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)
    • Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP)
    • Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR)
    • Strategic Systems Programs (SSP)
  • Two-step application process:
    • White paper and quad chart (BAA submission)
    • Full proposal (by invitation only)
  • Up to $3 million/project (average award is ~$2M)
  • Source selection preference for small businesses
    • 80-90% of past awards have been to small businesses
    • 60-70% of past awardees have had a previous SBIR relationship
  • Technology readiness level (TRL) of at least 5–6 at project inception; TRL 8 desired at completion
  • Up to 24-month project duration; the government then has 12 months to integrate the technology into an existing acquisition program

What does it accomplish?

  • Enhanced military capability
  • Accelerated military development capability
  • Cost savings to acquisition programs and fielded systems

Program Links

  • Defense Innovation Marketplace RIF: OSD uses this site as the hub for information about RIF, such as Service points of contact, contract award status, source selection timelines and hyperlinks to the current BAA(s).
  • OSD Office of Small Business RIF: RIF information from OSD’s Office of Small Business Programs, including an overview video.


Scott Bartlett
DoN RIF Program Manager
Office of Naval Research