Contracting Cone

Commercial Solutions Opening

***Section 803 of the FY22NDAA provided the DoD with permanent CSO authority, codified in 10 U.S.C. §3458 – Authority to Acquire Innovative Commercial Products and Commercial Services using General Solicitation Competitive Procedures ***

Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) is a competitive process 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.

Notwithstanding the limitation in DFARS 235.006-71, a CSO may also be used to fulfill requirements for R&D solutions ranging from advanced 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.

The requirements of DFARS 215.371-2 do not apply to acquisition of innovative items, technologies, or services under a CSO.

Statutory (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