Space Launch Delta 45 Hosts Pitch Day 2022 at Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne
By Senior Airman Dakota Raub // July 31, 2022
Pitch Day is hosted to obtain innovative solutions that meet mission needs
BREVARD COUNTY • PATRICK SPACE FORCE BASE, FLORIDA – Space Launch Delta 45 hosted Pitch Day on Friday at the Eastern Florida State College-Melbourne Campus.
Pitch Day is hosted to obtain innovative solutions that meet mission needs, close capability gaps, or provide potential technological advancements.
It is an opportunity for leadership to access innovative commercial items and technologies or services from industry developers whose intent is to bring cutting-edge ideas to the U.S. Space Force and Air Force.
Leading up to Pitch Day, the 45th Contracting Squadron releases “challenge statements,” or “areas of interest” which are problems or statements identified in the organization during day-to-day job execution.
“In preparation for this year’s pitch day, the 45th CONS held the first ever “requirements rodeo” where units pitched their problem statements to SLD 45 senior leaders,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Neal Wall, 45th Contracting Squadron Commander.
“This rodeo allowed senior leaders to dig into each unit’s problem areas and prioritize capability gaps.”
Wall went on to state that doing so led to highly focused areas of interest which made pitches more relevant to get after capabilities that SLD 45 units need now.
SLD 45’s areas of interest for this year’s Pitch Day were as follows:
■ An A.I. camera system that tracks movements of potential threats or actual threats on or around Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
■ A common operating picture for the security forces control centers. They have a need for an annunciating system to provide members with scenes of real-time information.
■ A 3-D/virtual reality system that scans vehicles coming into the 45 Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Maintenance shop to identify any issues and help mechanics’ proficiencies.
Industry developers then submit proposals of potential innovative solutions to the challenge statements and get evaluated before getting an official invite to the event. On Pitch Day, contractors pitch their ideas and if they are approved, a contract is awarded on the spot.
A panel of evaluators listen to the pitches and evaluate them on funds availability, importance to agency program, and technical merit.
The three-member panel for this year’s Pitch Day included U.S. Air Force Col. Mark Shoemaker, Vice Commander for Operations, U.S. Air Force Col. Anthony Graham, Vice Commander of Support, and Gregg Kraver, executive director.
“When we award the contracts on Pitch Day, we pay 15% of the contract immediately,” said Wall.
“When we accelerate cash flows to small businesses, they can use those funds sooner to grow their businesses and continue to provide innovative capabilities for the Space Force and Air Force. Now, SLD 45 receives innovative capabilities faster than the typical acquisition time.”
The total amount budgeted for the event this year was $600,000. Each vendor who attended was awarded a contract totaling five, for a total of $413,380 and 15% was paid upfront.
Each vendor was awarded a contract for the following area of interest:
■ A.I. camera system: Anduril Industries, Misram LLC, and Picogrid
■ Common Operating System: Anduril Industries and Intrepid Networks
■ LRS 3-D/virtual reality diagnostic tool: Modest Tree Media
The benefits of awarding contracts to vendors include gaining access to emerging technology, removing barriers to entry, speed capability to the warfighter, restoring agility to the acquisition process, and small business opportunities.
“Space Launch Delta 45 prioritizes shaping the future through revitalizing our squadrons, transforming the enterprise, and innovating at every level,” said Shoemaker.
“This year’s Pitch Day was successful in helping us accelerate acquisition and implementation of key enabling technologies and capabilities to execute our mission of assuring access to space and delivering combat capabilities for the Nation.”
For more information on Pitch Day, CLICK HERE.