Future Technology Office
Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory / Futures Directorate
Quantico, VA

               The Future Technology Office (FTO) mission is to find and/or develop capabilities that enable warfighting concepts. This is accomplished through its primary Lines of Effort (LOEs) of technology screening, coordinating, and collaborating with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and a multitude of other DoD, government, and private organizations. In addition to publishing the strategic direction of Naval S&T investments for the Marine Corps, FTO researches and publishes information on forecasting future commercial innovations and administers S&T functions that facilitate significant USMC investment decisions, such as the commanding Generals Targeting Board (TB) and Future Naval Capabilities prioritization and selection. The FTO office also maintains operational control of the Marine Corps Innovation Unit (MIU) liaison officers serving at ONR, OUSD (R&E), SCO, SOCOM, NGA, DIU, AFC, NPS, SAPCO, MDA, IARPA, OSC, NRO, DARPA, DAF RCO, NSA, and ONR. The Technology Initiatives Screening Officer (TISO) provides responsive, value-added evaluations of commercial technology to senior leadership at MCCDC and its subordinate commands (See TISO Tab below for additional information).


The FAQ Page found under the TISO tab will answer questions you have and provide contact information.

Technology Initiatives Screening Office 
The Technology Initiatives Screening Office (TISO) is a function of the FTO that provides value-added evaluations of commercial technology to senior leadership at MCCDC and its subordinate commands. These evaluations save time by pre-screening vendor-initiated requests to brief new technologies to senior leadership. The evaluations are conducted in accordance with criteria for relevance, feasibility, maturity, and readiness for operational of follow-on meetings with vendors of technology products recommended for further consideration. To ensure a legal, fair, and consistent process, only those technologies that are vetted through the TISO will be considered by MCWL for inclusion into its experimentation plan and/or for further development. 



How do I submit a proposal to MCWL?
Each fiscal year MCWL announces its capability interest areas in the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Long Range Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) posted on the Internet, https://www.onr.navy.mil/work-with-us/funding-opportunities/announcementsWhite Paper submissions need to abide by the requirements and format described in the BAA.  MCWL specific interest areas can be found at, "BAA" tab.  These interest areas are intentionally broad in order to allow flexibility in the technological capabilities MCWL considers. If you or your organization have a technology, you believe is responsive to the BAA then follow the directions in the BAA to submit a White Paper to the TISO. Be sure to read ALL information on this page before you submit your White Paper as it contains important details regarding its suitability for submission, as well as information that will answer most questions about what happens after submission.

What happens after I submit a White Paper?
Once a White Paper is received, it's reviewed by MCWL's technical staff for its overall suitability for experimentation or continued development. If this precursory look deems the technology potentially suitable, the TISO will likely request additional information, invite the submitter to come brief the proposed capability, or request to visit the submitter at his or her location if advantageous to both parties. At this point the TISO may then recommend the capability be included into the formal consideration process.

What is the formal consideration process?
MCWL evaluates proposals according to their maturity and applicability to the current command priorities. The one(s) that are best suited for MCWL experimentation are then down selected and given a funding prioritization. If the proposal is ranked high enough in the prioritization, then funding is approved, and the submitter will be contacted and provided guidance on next steps. MCWL utilizes several types of contracting mechanisms to rapidly put performers under contract.

How long will it be before I hear back after I submit a White Paper?
The TISO strives to provide a response to White Paper submittals within 2 weeks. Because all papers are provided a quality review, responses may be delayed and are highly dependent on the travel schedules of TISO personnel. If you do not receive a response after 3 weeks, then submitters are welcomed to send a follow-on status inquiry.

What criteria does MCWL use to determine whether a proposal will be considered?
Suitability of a technology for MCWL experimentation is based on many factors to include responsiveness to the BAA, maturity of the capability, relative impact/value of the capability to the Marine Corps, synchronization to experimentation schedule, total lifecycle cost of the capability was it to be a program, existence or absence of other similar efforts within DoD and industry, and cost. Selection of a technology is also highly dependent on its importance relative to other technologies that are already being worked.

What can I expect if MCWL wants to experiment with or assist in further developing my technology?
It's important to understand that MCWL does not "procure" material for the Marine Corps. However, it assists those organizations that do so by helping to establish Marine Corps requirements through technology demonstrations, assessments, and experimentation.  MCWL, therefore, only obtains sufficient quantities of equipment and systems to meet this objective. Depending on the maturity of the technology, MCWL typically engages in 2–4-year agreements with performers that consist of a combination of actions such as development, testing, assessment, demonstrations, and experimentation. Following favorable acceptance of a new capability, organizations such as Marine Corps Systems Command and PEO Land Systems may begin the formal procurement process by announcing its intent to procure this type of capability.

If MCWL determines my proposal is not suitable to its mission, does that mean it has no value to the Marine Corps?
Certainly not. MCWL's mission is focused and there're many reasons it may determine a proposal is not suitable for it to pursue. Innovators are highly encouraged to seek other organizations in the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps, as well as other Services and Department of Defense organizations to consider their ideas. In many cases, MCWL is able to help facilitate meetings with other organizations.

How mature should my technology be for MCWL to consider it?
Because MCWL's primary focus is experimentation, it requires technologies it experiments with to be at a Technical Readiness Level (TRL) (TRL Chart) typically at least TRL 5. Additionally, because the government buys complete systems and not subsystems, innovators that have developed improved components need to submit White Papers that present a complete system. For example, while a lighter, more powerful and more efficient engine is of interest, the proposer should consider partnering with an existing vehicle provider as opposed to submitting the proposal to MCWL.

Can organizations keep the intellectual property developed under MCWL contract?
Yes! In most cases, the intellectual property obtained under MCWL funded initiatives is the property of the performer and can be used to compete for any follow-on contracts.

Can I meet with the TISO to present my technology?
Yes. The TISO regularly meets with vendors to gain a fuller understanding of their technology proposals. However, due to the large volume of submitted proposals, and to ensure fairness to all submitters, the TISO relies on the information in the White Papers to determine which vendors in which it will meet.

Can I provide additional materials?
Vendors can submit as much material as needed to impart a fundamental understanding of their proposed capability, to include sufficient technical information, but should do so as concisely as possible to minimize the time required to review it. Due to bandwidth constrictions, files cannot exceed 3MB or the mail will not be delivered. 

I see the BAA submission deadline is 30 Sept. Will late submissions be accepted?
This is a standing BAA and is revised and re-posted at the beginning of each fiscal year on 1 Oct. Vendors can submit white papers any time. 

How is the Marine Corps evolving to face future threats?
The work of redesigning the Marine Corps is threat informed, concept based, and accountable to a campaign of learning. Strategic guidance calls for a Marine Corps able to survive and thrive inside contested spaces. Developed concepts are tested through experimentation and wargaming. Integrated planning teams' study and analyze the concepts for validation and refinement.

For further information on current Marine Corps concepts please see: https://www.marines.mil/Force-Design/.

NOTE: If your proposal is declined by the FTO, resubmission to other MCWL Branches will not be favorably received. If you've read this page and the ONR Long Rang BAA and still have a question, then please e-mail your question to the TISO at MCWL_FTO@usmc.mil. 

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense. It manages and directs selected basic and applied research and development projects for DoD and pursues research and technology where risk and payoff are both very high and where success may provide dramatic advances for traditional military roles and missions.

The Science and Technology Integration Division provides a DARPA Transition Officer to facilitate the Warfighting Lab's ongoing efforts to develop technologies relevant to the Marine Corps. Successful experimentation may result in the transition of DARPA technologies to the warfighter and tactics, techniques, and procedures into the operating forces.

DARPA Service Chief’s Program

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Service Chiefs have instituted the Service Chief’s Program that allows officers to spend approximately 90 days at DARPA exploring numerous technology initiatives and providing operator insight into the DARPA process. The intent of the program is to broaden the exposure of Marine officers to the Department of Defense (DoD) Science and Technology (S&T), Test and Evaluation, and acquisition communities. At the conclusion of the program, officers return to their commands with a greater understanding of DoD S&T efforts and an acute awareness of how to leverage the support of DARPA for ongoing operational and support efforts.


The DARPA Service Chief’s Program is open to:

  • Active Duty Officers
  • Capt through LtCol 

The following are desired, but not required:

  • Officers serving at CDD, MCWL, MCSC, MCTSSA, TECOM, MCOTEA, ONR
  • SEP Graduates en route to their follow-on assignment in acquisitions
  • Officers with a technical master’s degree
  • Officers with a current TS/SCI clearance 

To apply, see the MARADMIN that comes out annually in the spring. Officers from other services should check their service guidelines.

Click Here for a sample application letter.

Additional Information:

What DARPA interns need to know. Click Here.
DARPA Intern Etiquette. Click Here.


Office of Naval Research

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is the principal technology developer for the Marine Corps.  ONR identifies S&T solutions to address naval needs and explores the S&T landscape for future S&T opportunities. ONR is responsible for the development of projects from Basic Research to Advanced Technology Development with the goal of eventual transition of technology into programs of record.  ONR is led by the Chief of Naval Research and the Commanding General, MCWL/Director, Futures Directorate serves as the Vice Chief of Naval Research.  

The Future Technology Office (FTO) interacts with ONR on multiple fronts.  FTO assists ONR by facilitating the identification of Marine Corps S&T needs by hosting forums that promote S&T community information exchange and coordinating the writing of the Marine Corps S&T Strategic Plan.  FTO also manages and tracks the ONR Future Naval Capabilities (FNC) program which is designed to complete development of mature technologies and transition them into Marine Corps programs of record.  All USMC S&T projects addressing Marine Corps capabilities are tracked by FTO.

Broad Agency Announcement 


Common Elements / emphasis throughout most Priority Areas

  1. AI
  2. Robotics & Autonomy
  3. Alternate PNT
  4. Open Systems Architectures
  5. Joint, Common, Interoperable
Littoral Maneuver
Surface platforms that enable rapid maneuver of forces and logistics in a distributed and contested environment. Includes capabilities that ensure access to shores such as Counter Mine.
Sustain Stand-In forces in a contested environment. Resupply and displacement of units distributed throughout a contested environment via surface, subsurface, and air domains. Scalable and agile capabilities that leverage autonomy and alternative energy (where beneficial). Forward secure cache and enhanced distribution via secure MAGTF C2. Enhanced forward medical care and casualty evacuation from contested environments. Includes novel transport, alternative fuels, assured C2, reduced size, weight, and power systems, Ultralight Tactical Vehicle (UTV), and organic foraging.
Force Protection
Integrated with C5ISRT, AI / ML enhanced to counter non-kinetic and kinetic effects to include HVAA, UAS, and protection against attack from numerous coordinated air, surface or ground systems (i.e. swarms). Includes use of sensors, directed energy, kinetics, signature manipulation, counter mine, and protection from hypersonic threats and EMP attack
C5 / Counter C5
Resilient communication architectures capable of closing kill chains in austere and denied / degraded environments. Provides an integrated all domain common operating picture and resiliency in a low bandwidth environment. Low LPI/LPD. PNT independent. Project Overmatch integrated and JADC2 compatible.
ISR / Counter ISR
Persistent passive and active sensors, EO/IR, RF, detecting from the air, surface, sub-surface, and ground. Employed from land, surface, subsurface, and air. Compatible with LRUSV(s) and aerial platforms independently or as swarms. Multi-platform to enable every platform as a sensor. Relevant architecture and formats to support all domain Fires. Includes MAGTF Unmanned Expeditionary Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) aerial systems, manned aerial systems, and ground platforms
Employ decoy, deception, camouflage, and concealment to enhance effectiveness. Masking of friendly signatures across the electromagnetic energy spectrum, as well as signatures associated with physical, administrative, and acoustic environments. The ability to scale and project deceptive signatures. Develop patterns of life and targeting. Understand adversary malign messaging and actions and counter with active and passive capabilities. Leverages joint force investments and capabilities in the space domain.
Denial of adversary’s use of systems through operations that jam, spoof, or deny. Exploration of limited yield EMP.
Offensive and Defensive with the proper equipment, approvals and structure to effect adversary C5ISRT.
“Long” range precision fires. Increase effectiveness and lethality through kinetic & non-kinetic payloads employed from all domains that can support a coordinated time on target. Includes hyper-sonic missile development, alternative air delivered fires, OPF from airborne platforms, and payloads compatible with Remotely Operated Ground Unit Expeditionary (ROGUE Fires). Includes the ability to employ payloads individually or in a swarm. Short range fires employed at the tactical unit level.
Modernization of training capabilities. Interoperable Live Virtual Constructive training simulation systems that are capable of communicating battlefield effects within multi-domain environments. Leverage low-cost, mobile, interactive simulations that are customizable, flexible, adaptable, and capable of providing user specific feedback. Includes simulation ecosystems where product design, CONEMP evaluation, feedback, requirements generation, validation, testing, and training and proficiency can be efficiently conducted.

Marine Innovation Unit

FTO Leads and coordinates Marine Innovation Unit (MIU) liaison efforts within:

  • Army Futures Command (AFC)

  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

  • Defense Innovation Unit (DUI)

  • Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (DAF RCO)

  • Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA)

  • Missile Defense Agency (MDA)

  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

  • National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)

  • National Security Agency (NSA)

  • Office of Naval Research (ONR)

  • Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD (R&E))

  • Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) 

  • United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM)

And other government organizations involved in the Department of Defense Science and Technology (S&T) ecosystem. MCWL does this in order to leverage the organizational, intellectual and financial capital to support Marines Corps S&T research and experimentation needs.  

Targeting Board 

The commanding General of the Warfighting Laboratory conducts a General Officer forum for Marine executive leaders to provide information on Science and Technology developments as well as to achieve consensus on prioritizing resource allocations for capability development. The FTO works as the executive agent for the commanding General to facilitate these quarterly forums. 


Commercial Forecasting

Commercial Forecasting is the tool that MCWL uses to inform decision makers by providing early identification of commercial technologies (5-15years / domestic & foreign) that can be leveraged by the Marine Corps to provide enhanced or disruptive capabilities. 

Commercial Forecasting is a formal process to identify, screen, mature and assess militarily relevant technologies for experimentation or fielding. This is done through analysis of emerging trends in technology and through tracking both public and private research investments and continuous scouting of academic, commercial and government performers. FTO reviews performers by site visits and through the submission of "White Papers" in response to the Office of Naval Research Broad Agency Announcement (see BAA tab). The FTO frequently participates and attends industry trade shows and demonstrations of technologies relevant to Marine Corps missions. 

FTO provides a planned and/or, on-call analytic resource that conducts deep market research in specific topic areas (as identified and requested by the Futures Directorate) to identify solutions from non-traditional sources and markets.

Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory