The Operational Energy Capability Improvement Fund (OECIF) is DoD’s premier, joint operational energy investment program. Its’ mission is to guide operational energy innovation via highly targeted science and technology investments. As an Advanced Technology Development fund, OECIF focuses on technology integration and demonstrations for novel, first-of-a-kind innovations.
Congress began funding OECIF in 2012 when supply lines were highly contested in Afghanistan. It has proven highly successful since. The warfighter’s voice is critically embedded in investment decisions, but it is not the only driver. Department-wide strategies, such as the National Defense Authorization Act, the National Defense Strategy, the DoD Science and Technology Energy Strategy, and Energy and Power Community of Interest (E&PCoI) input all help inform OECIF investments.
The mission of the Operational Energy Prototyping Fund (OEPF) is to further demonstrate, validate and prototype innovative, joint concepts, created within the OE-I Directorate’s Operational Energy Capability Improvement Fund (OECIF); other programs, such as the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP); and industry into warfighting capabilities that transition to Department of Defense (DOD) programs of record.
Congress mandated OEPF in 2021 to ensure successful operational energy technologies maintain momentum. OEPF bridges the transition gap many projects experience when moving from first-of-a-kind capabilities to widely usable, procured solutions. By funding testing and demonstration efforts to inform requirements, acquisition documentation, warfighter familiarity, and analytics for decision making, OEPF substantially reduces the time it takes to mature and transition cutting-edge, operational energy technologies to the warfighter.
The Operational Energy – Innovation Directorate operates in collaboration with the Services and Combatant Commands and is structured to leverage – not replicate – the existing infrastructure and organization to develop joint and interoperable technologies. Each Agency’s operational energy lead works collectively with the OECIF and OEPF programs to develop, select, and oversee investments and transitions.