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Decision Lens & SBIR: Benefits for the USAF

Solving problems and enhancing the effectiveness of the Air Force by enabling thoughtful, deliberate, ground-up innovation.


What is SBIR?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research / Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. This competitive awards-based program grants approximately $600 million per year to small businesses. SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and find innovative approaches to solve Air Force needs, while providing the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, SBIR helps foster our nation’s entrepreneurial spirit and stimulate high-tech innovation to fulfill specific research and development needs.

How was Decision Lens chosen?

AFWERX is a US Air Force Program dedicated to fostering a culture of innovation. Every four months, AFWERX and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) send out an 'Open' call to small businesses to help solve Air Force needs. Airmen may submit specific problems or ideas in the open call campaign. The approved topic submissions will be included in the AFWERX +AFRL SBIR 'Open Topic', wherein small business innovators will be able to see your problem and apply to help you solve it. After submission of your OPSEC-cleared idea or problem, AFWERX helps facilitate a connection between you and a commercial company. Any interested companies will reach out to you and assist with implementing your idea. AFWERX, AFRL and SBIR will handle the funding, contracting, and program management – all you need to do is focus on solving your problem.

Decision Lens responded with a solution for a specific problem identified at Air Mobility Command (AMC) as well as several Wings and Squadrons across the Air Force. With the sponsorship of AMC and several Wings, Decision Lens was awarded a Phase II contract.

More details

Why was Decision Lens chosen?

Our sponsors believe in our solution – a unique approach to planning, informed by data and rooted in proven decision science.

Planners throughout the United States Air Force must align mission goals, balance short- and long-term priorities, minimize risk and seize opportunity. They require greater insights and agility to meet these objectives while accounting for new threats and opportunities. Unfortunately, many still rely on outdated manual planning processes resulting in slow decision-making and limited agility.

In addition to automating many manual processes, our analytical tools enable you to compare the benefits and tradeoffs, make data sharing easier and provide the clearest view of each path forward, allowing for more confident decision making.

Key capabilities include:

  • Planning frameworks to intake requirements, prioritize, and plan
  • Prioritization Toolkit
  • Powerful, proprietary algorithms
  • What-if analysis to develop clear courses of action (COAs)
  • Unrivaled portfolio visibility

Decision Lens provides the insights for agile organizations to rapidly pivot with confidence, embrace continuous decision and increase operational resiliency

Learn more about the U.S. Air Force awarding Decision Lens $1.7 million in Phase II SBIR contract

Why is it important?

In a state of constant disruption and change, aligning strategic prioritization and resource optimization is crucial to mission readiness. Existing tools and processes aren't keeping pace in the current threat environment. Specifically, Decision Lens can provide the USAF a comprehensive business process, integrated with advanced analytics and flexible, custom visualizations and scenarios to speed software development, and rapidly deploy advanced technology.

The main goals include:

  • Ingesting USAF raw data sources
  • Tailor Decision Lens’ Service/Performance Management tools
  • Provide USAF with integrated analysis
  • Tailor a strategic planning tool to meet the unique needs of the USAF

The mission impact of this project on the Air Force and the Department of Defense will be more agile operational risk management (ORM) decision making, optimally allocated resources, and a structured framework for determining decision impact.


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What does it mean for the USAF?

A known vendor Being awarded a SBIR Phase II contract provides comfort in knowing our solution has been deemed necessary to solve a known issue fellow Airmen are facing. Additionally, interested parties can be assured Decision Lens has been vetted by AFWerx.
A roadmap for you As part of our SBIR award, we have agreed to develop roadmap features specifically designed to solve challenges faced by the USAF in a way they deem appropriate. In short, we’re building new features for you.
Easier contracts As an approved vendor, working with Decision Lens is easier than trying to forge a relationship with a non-approved vendor.
Custom Roadmap Features
The result is a roadmap which prioritizes the specific needs of the USAF. Since winning our SBIR award, we have worked closely with the 452nd Wing and others to optimize our offering for real-world use cases. Some of the features identified and being built include:

Offer scenario planning to compare different courses of action for Execution Plan Development and provide a consistent process to submit, review and communicate with visibility all the way from Resource Advisors up to Budget Officers

Standardize a method for capturing UFRs, create a consistent prioritization methodology and centralize data management of ongoing UFR funds availability and obligations.

As the fiscal year begins, actuals are captured against the Spend Plan to ensure the funds are being executed in line with planned obligations. 

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