ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command presented contracting opportunities Dec. 5 as part of APG's first installation-wide Advanced Planning Briefing for Industry, or APBI, conference.

Jill Smith, RDECOM acting deputy director, provided an overview of the command and discussed how the Army's research and development community partners with industry during her opening remarks at the Post Theater.

"Across the command, we leverage industry for about 40 percent of applied research funding," Smith said. "RDECOM partners with industry for about 60 percent of RDECOM's advanced technology development budget because that process involves integration, and we want industry to be prepared if we proceed to production in quantity."

Smith also emphasized that technological solutions usually require collaboration between at least two of the command's seven research organizations. She gave the example of the Objective Gunner Protection Kit in which RDECOM's tank-automotive and armament centers joined to deliver a product.

"When we look at the capabilities that we are being asked to deliver by the [Training and Doctrine Command], 86 percent of them cross our RDECs. We need to work together, whether it's a rapid-equipping program or a long-term program. We look across the RDECs," she said.

Representatives from the command's three organizations at APG -- Army Research Laboratory; Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center; and Edgewood Chemical Biological Center -- then discussed forecasted business opportunities and explained their acquisition priorities.

APBI is taking place Dec. 4-6. The command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, commonly known as C4ISR, presented first; followed by research, development, test and evaluation on the second day; and chemical and biological defense on the final day.

Army representatives will present more than 180 potential contracts worth an estimated $19.5 billion.