NASA's announced an institutional willingness to shake millions of dollars at the private sector to find out what they know. Which is what it'll take, because these guys don't do it on the public dime.
But that's OK, I guess. Me, I think NASA should farm out most of their manned stuff, the way the feds did with mail back the inter-war years for the airline industry. Except, you know, with astronauts. I think the rest of their time should be spent shoulder-to-shoulder with their aero buddies... figuring out how to try something nobody else's ever thought of on a shoestring, and then handing over the results to whoever wants them.
Giving the big stuff over to other people won't be easy. It never is, but I know of at least one person "on the inside" who thinks exactly this way. Could this initiative be the thin wedge of his generation wrestling control away? We can only hope.