Baltimore-based Fearless was awarded new federal funding that aims to better enable government workers to use mobile technology.
The downtown dev agency said Monday that it received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award for a yearlong contract worth $1.8 million. Working with Columbia-based Clarity Innovations and Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Akamai, it will provide funding to develop technology specifically for the U.S. Air Force’s Business Enterprise Systems Programming Innovation (BESPIN).
While mobile devices are common across many businesses, workers in the federal government don’t always have the same kind of access. Fearless CEO Delali Dzirasa said there are three issues preventing the government from using mobile technology more widely: “security, delivery, and building the right thing at the right time.”
With the platform for the BESPIN program, called Mobile Delivery as a Service (MDaaS), Fearless and the partnering companies are looking to address these issues by designing features that are designed for government needs.
The project is part of a partnership between Fearless and the U.S. Air Force that was announced earlier this year and included the launch of BESPIN. Coming complete with an apparent Star Wars reference to the name of the planet where Cloud City is based, the Montgomery, Alabama-based BESPIN initiative is designed to bring new tech capabilities that improve business processes for the Air Force. It pairs in-house developers alongside devs from private companies, and seeks to bring in agile methodology and collaborative approaches found on private sector tech teams.
Fearless’s contract to work on the BESPIN initiative represents a geographic expansion for the company, which continues to grow at Spark Baltimore, as well: With the SBIR award, Fearless senior software developers will be rotating between Montgomery and Baltimore. A total of nine people, with five from Fearless and four from the other teams, will be involved in the project.
Along with overseeing hundreds of applications, BESPIN is also leading mobile development for the Air Force. As it develops the new platform to assist on that effort, Fearless is looking to bring its tools to other areas of the government.
“Our team plans to start with BESPIN, which is the mobile center of excellence for the Air Force, then extend to the rest of the Air Force and the federal government at-large in the future,” said CEO Delali Dzirasa, in a statement.