Contracting Cone

Defense Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) Pilot Program

The Defense Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) Pilot is a competitive program authorized by Section 879 of the FY17 NDAA to obtain solutions or new capabilities that fulfill requirements, close capability gaps, or provide potential technological advances. CSO procedures are similar to those for Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs), with the exception that a CSO can be used to acquire innovative commercial items, technologies, or services that directly meet program requirements, whereas BAAs are restricted to basic and applied research. The CSO program may also be used to acquire R&D solutions from component development through operational systems development.

For CSO purposes, innovation is defined as any technology, process, or method, including research and development that is new as of the date of proposal submission or any application of a technology, process, or method that is new as of proposal submission.



Non-FAR Based Applications

CSO procedures are also used to award non-FAR based agreements. Specific limitations and requirements apply when using the CSO evaluation procedures and is dependent upon the non-FAR based strategy selected.



Common Applications

  • Commercial products and services
  • Information Technology (IT) product and services
  • R&D studies for commercial technology
  • Commercial Technology maturation





Enables the rapid selection of innovative commercial solutions


Data rights and licenses of commercial technology increases burden on government to ensure specialized rights are well understood within the context of the commercial product life cycle

Ability to use streamlined procedures for commercial technologies provides opportunity for acquisition programs to deliver capability quickly  
Shorter evaluation timelines for solution briefs significantly reduce procurement lead times  




  • Limited to fixed-price or fixed-price incentive contract arrangements
  • Awards exceeding $100 million require approval from USD A&S or military service acquisition executive
  • Requirement to promote competition in accordance with DFARS Part 215.371-2 does not apply
  • Authority expires on September 30, 2022