USAMRMC Uses New Products and Ideas Site to Coordinate Vendor Interest
Broad news coverage of the Ebola outbreak has sparked a tremendous response from vendors interested in collaborating with the Army to help curb the spread of the disease. To assist Army Medicine with the influx of submissions, staff is asking interested vendors to submit their concepts using the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's New Products and Ideas webpage at http://mrmc-npi.amedd.army.mil.
The NPI site allows subject matter experts at the USAMRMC to access ideas and evaluate their applicability to the USAMRMC mission. Vendors, in turn, are able to showcase their products using the two-step, password protected process with minimal effort. Participating businesses can then receive feedback on USAMRMC interest in their submissions in as early as 30 days.
"USAMRMC needed to have a starting point for individuals who weren't sure how to work with USAMRMC," said Amanda Cecil with the Strategic Partnerships Office of the site's origins. "USAMRMC also wanted a mechanism to gain information about vendor products and ideas in a fair and equitable way."
Users submit a product concept through the NPI site by first creating an online account. The system then prompts users to provide detailed information about their product or idea and its relevance to the military. Given the current urgency Army Medicine is facing in response to the Ebola crisis, site administrators request that users submitting a product related to combating the disease include the word "Ebola" in the title to expedite reviews.
Some products currently in use by the military were first introduced through the NPI site. For example, an adjustable, coiled IV tubing design submitted through the site is now being used to support combat medical troops.
"Thus far we've had submissions for litters, dental items ... We've had various combat kits and we are exploring a textile technology for Army Natick Soldier Center for effectiveness against Ebola that could potentially add a new protection factor for Army shelters worldwide," said Cecil.
The USAMRMC does not award contracts, provide research grants, or offer other forms of financial support through the NPI. Funding opportunities are advertised through FedBizOpps.Gov and Grants.Gov. Even though there are many formal avenues for doing business with the USAMRMC, acquisition representatives suggest that vendors still submit their information through the NPI site. They explain that NPI site submissions may help pique interest within Army Medicine.
For more information on the NPI site or doing business with the USAMRMC, the "Guide to Working with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command - USAMRMC" is available online.