NRO announces EOCL RFP
On November 3, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) announced the release of the Electro-Optical Commercial Layer (EOCL) Request for Proposal (RFP). This latest acquisition opportunity marks an important step forward in NRO’s delivery of the next generation of commercial imagery, and specifically addresses the mission needs of the intelligence, defense, and federal civil agency user communities.
“The EOCL RFP is the culmination of months of collaboration with our stakeholders and is critical to meeting the needs of the national and military intelligence community,” said Dr. Troy Meink, principal deputy director of the NRO. “This solicitation, coupled with NRO’s recent Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Framework for Strategic Commercial Enhancements, demonstrates our shared commitment to the next wave of commercial innovation at the best value to the taxpayer.”
The EOCL RFP is open to U.S.-owned, operated, and controlled organizations. This decision is based on the National Space Policy of the U.S. and the desire to foster greater stability and investment in the U.S. market. NRO and its IC partners are committed to stable and increasing funding for commercial services into the future to support this acquisition.
The NRO’s BAA for Strategic Commercial Enhancements released last month is structured to be inclusive of a broader market space. It is open to U.S.-owned and/or controlled companies as well as foreign-owned and/or controlled U.S. companies that meet the security requirements outlined in the BAA.
“Global competition in commercial remote sensing is fierce, and while a growing number of U.S. companies are at the forefront, they are not alone,” emphasized Pete Muend, NRO’s Commercial Systems Program (CSPO) director. “We want to ensure that our U.S. industrial base is and remains competitive so they can continue to provide operational support to the IC and DoD in support of national security.”
The NRO collaborated with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in its role as GEOINT Functional Manager to gather and finalize user requirements from across the National System for Geospatial Intelligence community. This process determines the scope of the eventual EOCL contracts and ensures that community needs are clearly understood and prioritized.
“This next generation of commercial imagery contracts will be unique in many ways,” explained Muend. “These commercial contracts are designed to afford broad levels of shareability and user-friendly license conditions that enable greater access to and utilization of commercial imagery by a diverse user community.”
For this reason, the NRO developed a common family of licenses that will facilitate a standardized, automated approach to imagery dissemination and sharing. EOCL contracts will also include incentives for innovation and capability development.
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