NTIS Joint Venture Program
The Joint Venture Program (JVP), which is managed by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) within the U.S. Department of Commerce, assists “federal agencies in developing and implementing innovative ways to collect, connect, access, analyze, or use Federal data and data services.” The NTIS JVP consists of partnerships with private industry organizations that makes it easier for federal agencies to contract their services. Agencies come to the NTIS JVP with technical issues that they might otherwise address through government procurement.
According to the NTIS website: “With a simple Memorandum of Agreement or Interagency Agreement, our clients can engage NTIS and our partners to gain access to services associated with the project management, development and operation of data cataloging, capturing, storage, and retrieval, UI data portal design, cloud solutions, cybersecurity, and assistive technologies.”
In an interview with Federal News Radio, the Director of NTIS described the innovative process that NTIS uses to help federal agencies engage with the JVP. The NTIS begins by taking a problem statement from a federal agency and sharing it with all the joint venture partners. The agency then meets with interested partners for a group discussion, where the private-sector members of the JVP quizzes agency representatives on their goals and their proposed approach. Based on that discussion, NTIS works with the agency to revise the problem statement to align it with the agency’s mission and goals for the project. NTIS then releases the new problem statement to all of the Joint Venture Partners and gives them two weeks to come back with a proposed approach and proposed costs. The agency chooses a partner to work with - and begins the project with the benefit of broad private-sector input and a carefully refined problem statement.
Since launching in 2016, the JVP has worked with offices and agencies in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of Personnel Management, among others.