This month the Government Accountability Office released its report on the Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) (Also known as the Rapid Innovation Program), and found that around 50% of funded RIF companies have or will successfully transition their technologies to acquisition programs or other military users.
They also found that 85 percent of the fy 2011 funded projects and 78 percent of the fy 2012 funded projects were likely to meet 80 percent or more of their technical performance goals.
From a performance standpoint, this young program appears to be succeeding in its goals to help small businesses transition their technologies, while at the same time meet the needs of the Department of Defense.
While the preliminary indications are that RIF is successful, GAO’s report criticizes the DOD for not doing more to track and report transition outcomes, and recommends that the DOD set specific transition targets to improve accountability and transparancy. It also encourages Congress to reauthorize the program with a requirement that the DOD report to Congress on the transition results of the program.