Federal statute encourages IR&D by allowing contractors to claim a portion of their IR&D costs as part of the overhead in "cost plus" contracts. By reimbursing these costs, DoD encourages industry to explore new technologies with potential application to military systems.
Although IR&D projects are initiated by DoD contractors, they are not performed under contract. The activities are conducted to improve existing DoD products, meet dual use demands, or address a whole host of known or potential DoD requirements. The information is used to identify contractors with expertise in areas of interest to DoD and to avoid DoD duplication of industry efforts.
There are two IR&D databases housed at DTIC, both of which are restricted to DoD personnel:
The current or new version of IR&D data, tied to the January 30, 2012 Defense Federal Acquisition Requirements Supplement (DFARS) update, will be accessible to DoD government employees starting in 2013, and can be found at the Defense Innovation Marketplace.
The previous version of this database contains more than 175,000 past IR&D projects, dating from the 1960s to 2011. In order to view this information, DoD government employees must register for access to the R&E Gateway.