On Tuesday, March 22, NIDV attendees received a briefing from the U.S. armed forces on its “Foreign Comparative Testing” program, and its benefits to interested companies.
The goal of the FCT program is to find, assess and put into practice mature foreign technologies that fill existing capability gaps. It is a more clearly defined, less expensive alternative to International Prototyping and not only enables the discovery of innovative solutions, but also strengthens international ties, cooperation and interoperability.
To date, the FCT program has collaborated with 34 countries and funded 819 projects. Many of these projects were ready for implementation earlier than expected, as participation in the FCT program accelerates fieldwork by 2 to 4 years. The average investment per project is between $500,000 and $700,000 per year, and an average project lasts about 18 to 24 months. In total, about $1.42 billion has been invested in the FCT program. Successful projects include the Naval Strike Missiles and the Soldier Borne Sensor Systems.
- It must represent a new, innovative approach;
- It must represent a significant performance improvement;
- It must provide time savings, allowing for earlier commissioning of capacity;
- It must provide significant cost savings.
Directly involved are the U.S. OSD, Army, Navy, Air Force, and SOCOM. Companies that believe they have a product that meets these requirements are invited to submit a proposal for evaluation. Interested companies can contact the FCT program directly (available through the contact person) or the Dutch Embassy in America.