Executive Summary

IP Data Repository Study

October 2021

AUTHORS:  Laura Freeman and Brian Mayer

In support of the Acquisition Innovation Research Center (AIRC), Virginia Tech was tasked to develop a data and electronic information repository for models, samples, templates, and exemplars of Intellectual Property (IP). Through the use of the “FAIR” principles (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability), the team researched government data using a two-tiered approach that explored the requested data fields in the AIRC Performance Work Statement (PWS) and publicly available metadata to create a longitudinal topology of DoD contracting activity.

From the analysis of the available data on SAM.gov, the team constructed queries to build and update the tasked repository. The team created a semi-automated search tool for the SAM.gov database to structure acquisition data and enable further exploratory analysis of data on the DoD’s Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs), Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs), Vendor Contracted Organizations, Funding Organizations, and Patents. This semi-automated search tool enabled the team to explore more than 15M unique contracting activities across 12M unique PIIDs containing obligations of $1,797B in funding (2018-2021). This semi-automated tool may be applicable to SAM.gov as well as other download-limited APIs for future AIRC projects.

Although the team accomplished analysis on open-source SAM.gov data, full access to DoD contracting data is necessary for future AIRC Digital Data Strategy development. The team found access to DoD contracting data to be restricted and “view only”, which limited the application of analytics for improving decision making, curating data and developing an IP repository.