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Improving defense acquisition is an urgent national security need.
The Acquisition Research Program provides the real-time information and analytical capabilities needed by acquisition professionals and policymakers to deliver superior capabilities to America’s warfighters. Since its beginnings in 2003, ARP has evolved organically to meet the needs of the acquisition community. As the demand for innovative acquisition approaches continues, ARP remains committed to providing resources that inform and inspire acquisition professionals working on the front lines to acquire traditional and emerging technologies within regulatory guidelines.
ARP's warfighter-focused acquisition research leverages a vast network with a range of perspectives. We connect military and civilian acquisition professionals, policymakers in DoD and Congress, industry, and acquisition researchers from a range of federal and independent institutions.
ARP actively supports acquisition research and innovation in four main ways:
- An academic research program that supports executive education for students pursuing graduate degrees at Naval Postgraduate School, reaching both residential students on campus and distance learning students around the world. ARP coordinates with NPS’s Graduate School of Defense Management, which offers military and civilians four master’s degree programs and 13 graduate-level certificates in specific defense acquisition disciplines that educate future defense leaders on management principles as applied to defense.
- An annual acquisition research symposium that gathers over 340 individuals annually from NPS faculty and graduate students (all services and allied nations); senior acquisition professionals (to include GAO); industry representatives; think tanks; and researchers from universities across the country, interested in defense acquisition research.
- A robust and dynamic searchable repository of over 2,500 original research documents that provide historical and contemporary data and analysis produced by practitioners and subject matter experts. The Defense Acquisition Innovation Repository includes a special collection of documents from the congressionally mandated Section 809 Panel, which made 98 recommendations to improve defense acquisition.
- A robust external grants program, funded since 2007 by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense, which has created a consortium of accomplished researchers at prestigious universities and non-profit think tanks around the country.
Continuing the Section 809 Panel Legacy
In 2019, the Acquisition Research Program expanded its research and analytical capabilities with the addition of resources that continue the work of the Section 809 Panel, a congressional panel mandated in the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to provide recommendations that would better position the defense acquisition system to meet the continuously evolving threats posed by the nation’s near-peer competitors, non-state actors, and a rapidly changing global threat environment.
With these resources, ARP is increasing its impact and capabilities, supporting new research and approaches for innovating in the defense acquisition system. Researchers can use the Section 809 Panel repository to produce actionable, data-driven recommendations to existing acquisition policies and practices, informed by a robust collection of primary and secondary documents.