NASA SBIR/STTR 2012 Program Solicitation Details | 1. Program Description

1. Program Description

1.1 Introduction

This document includes two NASA program solicitations with separate research areas under which small business concerns (SBCs) are invited to submit proposals: the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. Program background information, eligibility requirements for participants, information on the three program phases, and information for submitting responsive proposals are contained herein. The 2012 Solicitation period for Phase I proposals begins September 17, 2012 and ends November 29, 2012.

The purposes of the SBIR/STTR programs, as established by law, are to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector; to strengthen the role of SBCs in meeting Federal research and development needs; to increase the commercial application of these research results; and to encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged persons and women-owned small businesses.

Technological innovation is vital to the performance of the NASA mission and to the Nation's prosperity and security. To be eligible for selection, a proposal must present an innovation that meets the technology needs of NASA programs and projects as described herein and has significant potential for successful commercialization. Commercialization encompasses the transition of technology into products and services for NASA mission programs, other U.S. Government agencies, and non-Government markets.

NASA considers every technology development investment dollar critical to the ultimate success of NASA's mission and strives to ensure that the research topic areas described in this solicitation are in alignment with its Mission Directorate high priorities and technology needs. In addition, the Solicitation is structured such that SBIR/STTR investments are complementary to other NASA technology investments. NASA's ultimate objective is to achieve infusion of the technological innovations developed in the SBIR/STTR programs into its Mission Directorates programs and projects.

The NASA SBIR/STTR programs do not accept proposals solely directed towards system studies, market research, routine engineering development of existing product(s), proven concepts, or modifications of existing products without substantive innovation.

It is anticipated that SBIR and STTR Phase I proposals will be selected for negotiation of firm-fixed-price contracts around the February 2013 timeframe. Historically, the percentage of Phase I proposals to awards is approximately 13-15% for SBIR and STTR, and approximately 35-40% of the selected Phase I contracts are competitively selected for Phase II follow-on efforts.


Under this Solicitation NASA will not accept more than 10 proposals to either program from any one firm in order to ensure the broadest participation of the small business community. NASA does not plan to award more than 5 SBIR contracts and 2 STTR contracts to any offeror.

Proposals must be submitted online via the Proposal Submissions Electronic Handbook at http://sbir.nasa.gov and include all relevant documentation. Unsolicited proposals will not be accepted.

1.2 Program Authority and Executive Order

SBIR and STTR opportunities are solicited annually pursuant to the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982, P.L. 97-219 (codified at 15 U.S.C. 638) as amended by the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, Extension, P.L. 99-443 which extended the program through September 30, 1993. On October 28, 1992, through the Small Business Innovation Research and Development Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-564), Congress reauthorized and extended the SBIR Program for another seven years (2000). Subsequently, on December 21, 2000, through the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-554) Congress again reauthorized the SBIR Program. With the approval of H.R. 2608, Continuing Appropriations Act 2012, the SBIR Program was authorized through December 31, 2011. On December 31, 2011, the President signed into law the National Defense Reauthorization Act of 2012 (Defense Reauthorization Act), P. L. 112-81, Section 5001, Division E of the Defense Reauthorization Act contains the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act), which extends both the SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs through September 30, 2017.

Executive Order
This solicitation complies with Executive Order 13329 (issued February 26, 2004) directing Federal agencies that administer the SBIR and STTR programs to encourage innovation in manufacturing related research and development consistent with the objectives of each agency and to the extent permitted by law.

On February 26, 2004, the President issued Executive Order 13329 (69 FR 9181) entitled "Encouraging Innovation in Manufacturing." In response to this Executive Order, NASA encourages the submission of applications that deal with some aspect of innovative manufacturing technology. If a proposal has a connection to manufacturing this should be indicated in the Part 5 (Related R/R&D) of the proposal and a brief explanation of how it is related to manufacturing should be provided.

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, section 1203, stated that federal agencies shall give high priority to small business concerns that participate in or conduct energy efficiency or renewable energy system research and development projects. If a proposal has a connection to energy efficiency or alternative and renewable energy this should be indicated in Part 5 (Related R/R&D) of the proposal. Provide a brief explanation of how it is related to energy efficiency and alternative and renewable energy.

1.3 Program Management

The Office of the Chief Technologist under the Office of the NASA Associate Administrator provides overall policy direction for implementation of the NASA SBIR/STTR programs. The NASA SBIR/STTR Program Management Office, which operates the programs in conjunction with NASA Mission Directorates and Centers, is hosted at the NASA Ames Research Center. NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) provides the overall procurement management for the programs. All of the NASA Centers actively participate in the SBIR/STTR programs; and to reinforce NASA's objective of infusion of SBIR/STTR developed technologies into its programs and projects, each Center has personnel focused on that activity.

NASA research and technology areas to be solicited are identified annually by Mission Directorates. The Directorates identify high priority research and technology needs for their respective programs and projects. The needs are explicitly described in the topics and subtopics descriptions developed by technical experts at NASA's Centers. The range of technologies is broad, and the list of topics and subtopics may vary in content from year to year. See section 9.1 for details on the Mission Directorate research topic descriptions for the SBIR Program.

The STTR Program is aligned with the priorities of NASA's Space Technology Roadmaps, as well as the associated core competencies of the NASA Centers as described in section 9.2.

Information regarding the Mission Directorates and the NASA Centers can be obtained at the following web sites:


NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT)
Space Technology Roadmaps
http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/home/roadmaps/index.html

 


NASA Mission Directorates
Aeronautics Research
http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov/
Human Exploration and Operations
http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/home/
Science
http://nasascience.nasa.gov

 

NASA Centers
Ames Research Center (ARC)
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/home/index.html
Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC)
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/home/index.html
Glenn Research Center (GRC)
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/home/index.html
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/jpl/home/index.html
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/home/index.html
Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/home/index.html
Langley Research Center (LaRC)
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/home/index.html
Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/home/index.html
Stennis Space Center (SSC)
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/home/index.html

1.4 Three-Phase Program

Both the SBIR and STTR programs are divided into three funding and development stages.

Maximum value and period of performance for Phase I and Phase II contracts:


Phase I Contracts
SBIR
STTR
Maximum Contract Value
$125,000
$125,000
Period of Performance
6 months
12 months
Phase II Contracts
SBIR
STTR
Maximum Contract Value
$750,000
$750,000
Period of Performance
24 months
24 months

Phase I
The purpose of Phase I is to determine the scientific, technical, commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation, and the quality of the SBC's performance. Phase I work and results should provide a sound basis for the continued development, demonstration and delivery of the proposed innovation in Phase II and follow-on efforts. Successful completion of Phase I objectives is a prerequisite to consideration for a Phase II award.

Phase II
The purpose of Phase II is the development, demonstration and delivery of the innovation. Only SBCs awarded a Phase I contract are eligible to submit a proposal for a Phase II funding agreement. Phase II projects are chosen as a result of competitive evaluations and based on selection criteria provided in the Phase II Proposal Instructions and Evaluation Criteria.

Phase II Enhancement (Phase II-E)
The purpose of the Phase II-E Option is to further encourage the advancement of innovations developed under Phase II contracts via an extension of R/R&D efforts to the current Phase II contract. Eligible firms must secure a third-party investor to partner and invest in enhancing their technology for further research, infusion, and commercialization. Under this option, the NASA SBIR/STTR Program will match, on a dollar-to-dollar basis, up to $125,000 of non-NASA-SBIR/non-NASA-STTR investments to extend a project from 6-to-12 months. There is a minimum funding requirement for Phase II-E, as eligible firms must secure at least $25,000 in third party investments. These non-NASA-SBIR/non-NASA-STTR third party investments can come from a NASA project, NASA contractor, or any commercial investor. The total cumulative award for the Phase II contract plus the Phase II-E match is not expected to exceed $875,000 of SBIR/STTR funding. The non-SBIR/non-STTR contribution is not limited since it is regulated under the guidelines for Phase III awards.

The Phase II-E application may be submitted anytime during the 4th month before the end of the contract period of performance (for example, a 24 month period of performance, the application would be due any time during the 20th month of the period of performance; a 18 month period of performance, the application would be due any time during the 14th month of the period of performance). Also, any additional information regarding the submission of a Phase II-E proposal will be included in the Phase II contracts. Firms interested in executing a Phase II-E option are requested to notify the NASA SBIR/STTR Program of its intent to propose in writing to ARC-SBIR-PMO@mail.nasa.gov, by the end of the 13th month of performance of the Phase II contract. This written notification will be non-binding.

Maximum value and period of performance for the Phase II-E contract option:


Phase II Enhancement

Minimum non-SBIR/STTR Funding Required for Eligibility for Matching in Phase II-E

Corresponding SBIR/STTR Program Contribution

Anticipated Period of Additional Performance

$25,000

$25,000

6-12 Months

Maximum non-SBIR/STTR Funding to be Matched by SBIR/STTR Program in Phase II-E

Corresponding SBIR/STTR Program Contribution

Anticipated Period of Additional Performance

$125,000

$125,000

6-12 Months

Phase II contracts with a period of performance less than 18 months, will NOT be eligible for a Phase II-E. In addition, to be eligible for this option, the contractor's performance must be on time in accordance with the contract work plan. The number of Phase II- E options to be exercised is subject to the availability of funds and will be selected based on criteria provided in the Phase II contract.

Phase II eXpanded (Phase II-X)
The purpose of the Phase II-X Option is to establish a strong and direct partnership between the NASA SBIR/STTR Program and other NASA projects undertaking the development of new technologies of innovations for future use. Under a Phase II-X option, innovations developed in Phase II are to be advanced via an extension of R/R&D efforts to the current Phase II contract. There are two specific requirements to be met for firms to be eligible for a Phase II-X option. First, eligible firms must secure a NASA program or project (other than the NASA SBIR/STTR Program) as a partner to invest in enhancing their technology for further research or infusion. Second, there is a minimum funding requirement for Phase II-X, as eligible firms must secure at least $75,000 in NASA program or project funding. Under this option, the NASA SBIR/STTR Program will match, on a 2-for-1 basis, up to $250,000 of NASA program or project funding, thus enabling a maximum of $500,000 of SBIR/STTR award funds to be added from the NASA SBIR/STTR Program. Note: A firm may acquire additional, non-NASA, third-party investments as part of a Phase II-X option, but those funds will not be counted in the NASA SBIR/STTR Program's matching calculation. Executing a Phase II-X option is anticipated to extend a Phase II from 12-to-24 months after the completion of Phase II. The total cumulative award for the Phase II contract plus the Phase II-X match is not expected to exceed $1,250,000 of SBIR/STTR funding. The NASA contribution is not limited since it is regulated under the guidelines for Phase III awards.

The Phase II-X application may be submitted anytime during the 4th month before the end of the contract period of performance (for example, a 24 month period of performance, the application would be due any time during the 20th month of the period of performance; a 18 month period of performance, the application would be due any time during the 14th month of the period of performance). Also, any additional information regarding the submission of a Phase II-X proposal will be included in the Phase II contracts. Firms interested in executing a Phase II-X option are requested to notify the NASA SBIR/STTR Program of its intent to propose in writing to ARC-SBIR-PMO@mail.nasa.gov, by the end of the 13th month of performance of the Phase II contract. This written notification will be non-binding.

Maximum value and period of performance for Phase II- X contract options:


Phase II eXpanded

Minimum Funding Required from non-SBIR/STTR NASA Source for Eligibility for Matching in Phase II-X

Corresponding SBIR/STTR Program Contribution

Anticipated Period of Additional Performance

$75,000

$150,000

12-24 Months

Maximum Funding Amount from non-SBIR/STTR NASA Source to be Matched in Phase II-X

Corresponding SBIR/STTR Program Contribution

Anticipated Period of Additional Performance

$250,000

$500,000

12-24 Months

Phase II contracts with a period of performance less than 18 months, will NOT be eligible for a Phase II-X. The number of Phase II-X options to be exercised is subject to the availability of funds and will be selected based on criteria provided in the Phase II contract.

Proposing to the Phase II-E or Phase II-X Option
Note: The SBIR/STTR Program will allow firms with a Phase II contract that follows a Phase I contract from this solicitation to submit a proposal for either a Phase II-E contract option, or a Phase II-X contract option. Firms are not permitted to submit a proposal for both options. The number of Phase II- E and Phase II-X options to be exercised may be limited by availability of funds and will be selected based on the evaluation criteria.

Phase III
NASA may award Phase III contracts for products or services with non-SBIR/STTR funds. The competition for SBIR/STTR Phase I and Phase II awards satisfies any competition requirement of the Armed Services Procurement Act, the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, and the Competition in Contracting Act. Therefore, an agency that wishes to fund a Phase III project is not required to conduct another competition in order to satisfy those statutory provisions. Phase III work may be for products, production, services, R/R&D, or any combination thereof that is derived from, extends, or concludes efforts performed under prior SBIR/STTR funding agreements. A Federal agency may enter into a Phase III agreement at any time with a Phase I or Phase II awardee.

There is no limit on the number, duration, type, or dollar value of Phase III awards made to a business concern. There is no limit on the time that may elapse between a Phase I or Phase II and a Phase III award. The small business size limits for Phase I and Phase II awards do not apply to Phase III awards.

1.5 Eligibility Requirements

1.5.1 Small Business Concern

Only firms qualifying as SBCs, as defined in section 2.22, are eligible to participate in these programs. Socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned SBCs are particularly encouraged to propose.

1.5.2 Place of Performance

R/R&D must be performed in the United States (section 2.27). However, based on a rare and unique circumstance (for example, if a supply or material or other item or project requirement is not available in the United States), NASA may allow a particular portion of the research or R&D work to be performed or obtained in a country outside of the United States. Proposals must clearly indicate if any work will be performed outside the United States. Prior to award, approval by the Contracting Officer for such specific condition(s) must be in writing.

Note: Offerors are responsible for ensuring that all employees who will work on this contract are eligible under export control and International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulations. Any employee who is not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident may be restricted from working on this contract if the technology is restricted under export control and ITAR regulations unless the prior approval of the Department of State or the Department of Commerce is obtained via a technical assistance agreement or an export license. Violations of these regulations can result in criminal or civil penalties.

1.5.3 Principal Investigator (PI) Employment Requirement

The primary employment of the Principal Investigator (PI) shall be with the SBC under the SBIR Program, while under the STTR Program, either the SBC or RI shall employ the PI. Primary employment means that more than 50% of the PI's total employed time (including all concurrent employers, consulting, and self-employed time) is spent with the SBC or RI at time of award and during the entire period of performance. Primary employment with a small business concern precludes full-time employment at another organization. If the PI does not currently meet these primary employment requirements, then the offeror must explain how these requirements will be met if the proposal is selected for contract negotiations that may lead to an award. Co-Principle Investigators are not allowed.

Note: NASA considers a fulltime workweek to be nominally 40 hours and we consider 19.9-hour or more workweek elsewhere to be in conflict with this rule. In rare occasions, minor deviations from this requirement may be necessary; however, any minor deviation must be approved in writing by the contracting officer after consultation with the NASA SBIR/STTR Program Manager/Business Manager.


Requirements
SBIR
STTR
Primary Employment
PI must be with the SBC
PI must be employed with the RI or SBC
Employment
Certification
The offeror must certify in the proposal that the primary employment of the PI will be with the SBC at the time of award and during the conduct of the project.
The offeror must certify in the proposal that the primary employment of the PI will be with the SBC or the RI at the time of award and during the conduct of the project.
Co-PIs
Not Allowed
Not Allowed
Misrepresentation of Qualifications
Shall result in rejection of the proposal or termination of the contract
Shall result in rejection of the proposal or termination of the contract
Substitution of PIs
Shall receive advanced written approval from NASA
Shall receive advanced written approval from NASA

1.5.4 Restrictions on Funding Activity with the Peoples Republic of China

NASA is restricted by specific applications of Section 1340(a) of The Department of Defense and Full-Year Appropriations Act, Public Law 112-10 and Section 539 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriation Act of 2012, PL 112-55, from using funding appropriated in the Acts to contract to participate, collaborate or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned firm, at the prime contract or any tier subcontract level.

1.6 NASA SBIR/STTR Technology Available (TAV)

All subtopics have the option of using Technology Available (TAV) with NASA IP (defined below), which may also include NASA non-patented software technology requiring a Software Usage Agreement (SUA) or similar permission for use by others. All subtopics address the objective of increasing the commercial application of innovations derived from Federal R&D. While NASA scientists and engineers conduct breakthrough research that leads to innovations, the range of NASA's effort does not extend to commercial product development in any of its intramural research areas. Additional work is often necessary to exploit these NASA technologies for either infusion or commercial viability and likely requires innovation on behalf of the private sector. NASA provides these technologies "as is" and makes no representation or guarantee that additional effort will result in infusion or commercial viability.

The NASA technologies identified in a subtopic or via the IP search tool (http://technology.nasa.gov): (1) are protected by NASA-owned patents (NASA Patents), (2) are non-patented NASA-owned or controlled software (NASA software), or (3) are otherwise available for use by the public. In the event offeror requests to use NASA owned or controlled technologies, which are not NASA patents or NASA software, NASA shall consider such request and permit such uses as NASA, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate and permissible. If a proposer elects to use a NASA patent, a non-exclusive, royalty-free research license will be required to use the NASA IP during the SBIR/STTR performance period.

Similarly, if a proposer wishes to use NASA software, the parties will be required to enter into a Software Usage Agreement on a non-exclusive, royalty-free basis in order to use such NASA software for government purposes and "Government-Furnished Computer Software and Related Technical Data" will apply to the contract. As used herein, "NASA IP" refers collectively to NASA patents and NASA software disclaimer: All subtopics include an opportunity to license or otherwise use NASA IP on a non-exclusive, royalty-free basis, for research use under the contract. Use of the NASA IP is strictly voluntary. Whether or not a firm uses NASA IP within their proposed effort will not in any way be a factor in the selection for award. NASA software release is governed by NPR 2210.1C.

Use of NASA Patent
All offerors submitting proposals citing a NASA patent must submit a non-exclusive, royalty-free license application if the use of a NASA patent is desired. The NASA license application is available on the NASA SBIR/STTR website: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/research_license_app.doc. NASA only will grant research licenses to those SBIR/STTR offerors who submitted a license application and whose proposal resulted in an SBIR/STTR award under this solicitation. Such grant of non-exclusive research license will be set forth in the successful offeror's SBIR/STTR contract. License applications will be treated in accordance with Federal patent licensing regulations as provided in 37 CFR Part 404.

SBIR/STTR offerors are notified that no exclusive or non-exclusive commercialization license to make, use or sell products or services incorporating the NASA patent will be granted unless an SBIR/STTR offeror applies for and receives such a license in accordance with the Federal patent licensing regulations at 37 CFR Part 404. Awardees with contracts that identify a specific NASA patent will be given the opportunity to negotiate a non-exclusive commercialization license or, if available, an exclusive commercialization license to the NASA patent.

An SBIR/STTR awardee that has been granted a non-exclusive, royalty-free research license to use a NASA patent under the SBIR/STTR award may, if available and on a non-interference basis, also have access to NASA personnel knowledgeable about the NASA patent. The NASA Intellectual Property Manager (IPM) located at the appropriate NASA Center will be available to assist awardees requesting information about a patent that was identified in the SBIR/STTR contract and, if available and on a non-interference basis, provide access to the inventor or surrogate for the purpose of knowledge transfer.

Note: Access to the inventor for the purpose of knowledge transfer, will require the requestor to enter into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), the awardee "may" be required to reimburse NASA for knowledge transfer activities.

Use of NASA Software
Software identified and requested under a SBIR/STTR contract shall be treated as Government Purpose Rights. Government purpose releases includes releases to other NASA Centers, Federal government agencies, and recipients who have a government contract. The software may be used for "government purposes" only. The recipients of such software releases are typically U.S. citizens. Non U.S. citizens will not be allowed access to NASA software under the SBIR/STTR contract.

A Software Usage Agreement (SUA) shall be requested after contract award from the appropriate NASA Center Software Release Authority (SRA). The SUA request shall include the NASA software title, version number, requesting firm contract info including recipient name, and SBIR/STTR contract award info. The SUA will expire when the contract ends.

1.7 General Information

1.7.1 Solicitation Distribution

This 2012 SBIR/STTR Program Solicitation is available via the NASA SBIR/STTR website (http://sbir.nasa.gov), SBCs are encouraged to check the website for program updates and information. Any amendment to the Solicitation will be posted there. If the SBC has difficulty accessing the Solicitation, please contact the Help Desk (section 1.7.2).

1.7.2 Means of Contacting NASA SBIR/STTR Program

(1) NASA SBIR/STTR Website: http://sbir.nasa.gov

(2) Help Desk: The NASA SBIR/STTR Help Desk can answer any questions regarding clarification of proposal instructions and any administrative matters. The Help Desk may be contacted by:

E-mail: sbir@reisystems.com
Telephone: 301-937-0888 between 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Mon.-Fri., Eastern Time)
Facsimile: 301-937-0204

The requestor must provide the name and telephone number of the person to contact, the organization name and address, and the specific questions or requests.

(3) NASA SBIR/STTR Program Manager: Specific information requests that could not be answered by the Help Desk should be mailed or e-mailed to:

Dr. Gary C. Jahns, Program Manager
NASA SBIR/STTR Program Management Office
MS 202A-3, Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000
Gary.C.Jahns@nasa.gov

1.7.3 Questions About This Solicitation

To ensure fairness, questions relating to the intent and/or content of research topics in this Solicitation cannot be addressed during the Phase I solicitation period. Only questions requesting clarification of proposal instructions and administrative matters will be addressed.