NASA SBIR/STTR 2016 Program Solicitation Details | 5. Considerations

5. Considerations

5.1 Awards

5.1.1 Availability of Funds 

All Phase I and Phase II awards are subject to availability of funds. NASA has no obligation to make any specific number of awards based on this solicitation, and may elect to make several or no awards in any specific technical topic or subtopic.                            

5.1.2 Requirement for Contracting 

To simplify making contract awards and to reduce processing time, all contractors selected for Phase I and Phase II contracts shall ensure that:

(1)   All information in your proposal is current, e.g., your address has not changed, the proposed PI is the same, etc. If changes have occurred since submittal of your proposal, notify contracting officer immediately.

(2)   Your firm is registered with System for Award Management (SAM).

(3)   Your firm is in compliance with the VETS 100 requirement.  Confirmation of that the report has been submitted to the Department of Labor is current shall be provided to the contracting officer within 10 business days of the notification of selection for negotiation.

(4)   Your firm HAS NOT proposed a Co-Principal Investigator.

(5)   STTR selectees should provide a copy of their executed Allocation of Rights Agreement to the contracting officer within 10 business days of receiving notification of selection for negotiation.

(6)   Your firm is required to provide timely responses to all communications from the NSSC Contracting Officer.

(7)   All proposed cost is supported with documentation such as a quote, previous purchase order, published price lists, etc.  All letters of commitment are dated and signed by the appropriate person.  If a University is proposed as a subcontractor or a RI, the signed letter shall be on the University letterhead from the Office of Sponsored Programs.  If an independent consultant is proposed, the signed letter should not be on a University letterhead.  If the use of Government facility or equipment is proposed, your firm shall submitted a signed letter from the Government facility stating the availability, cost if any, and authorizing the use of it, and a signed letter from your firm justifying the need to use the facility.

From the time of proposal notification of selection for negotiation, until the award of a contract, all communications shall be submitted electronically to NSSC-SBIR-STTR@nasa.gov.

Note: Costs incurred prior to and in anticipation of award of a contract are entirely the risk of the contractor in the event that a contract is not subsequently awarded. A notification of selection for negotiation is not to be misconstrued as an award notification to commence work.

Model Contracts

An example of the Phase I and II contracts can be found in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: https://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. Note: Model contracts are subject to change.

5.2 Reporting

All contracts shall require the delivery of reports that present: (1) the work and results accomplished; (2) the scientific, technical and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation, and project results; (3) its relevance and significance to one or more NASA needs (section 9); and (4) the strategy for development, transition of the proposed innovation, and project results into products and services for NASA mission programs and other potential customers. Deliverables may also include the demonstration of the proposed innovation and/or the delivery of a prototype or test unit, product or service for NASA testing and utilization. A final NTSR is due at the end of the contract, and an NTR is required if technology is developed, prior to submission of the final invoice.

The technical reports and other deliverables are required as described in the contract and are to be provided to NASA. These reports shall document progress made on the project and activities required for completion. Periodic certification for payment will be required as stated in the contract. A final report must be submitted to NASA upon completion of the Phase I or Phase II R/R&D effort in accordance with applicable contract provisions.

Report deliverables shall be submitted electronically via the Electronic Handbook (EHB) and NASA requests the submission of report deliverables in PDF or MS Word format. To Access the EHB the NASA network must be accessed. Everyone with access to the NASA network will be required to use the NASA Account Management System (NAMS). This is the Agency’s centralized system for requesting and maintaining accounts for NASA IT systems and applications. The system contains user account information, access requests, and account maintenance processes for NASA employees, contractors, and remote users such as educators and foreign users. A basic background check is required for this account.

5.3 Payment Schedule

All NASA SBIR and STTR contracts are firm-fixed-price contracts. The exact payment terms will be included in the contract.

Invoices: All invoices are required to be submitted electronically via the SBIR/STTR website in the EHB.

5.4 Release of Proposal Information

In submitting a proposal, the offeror agrees to permit the Government to disclose publicly the information contained on the Proposal Summary (Form B). Other proposal data is considered to be the property of the offeror, and NASA will protect it from public disclosure to the extent permitted by law including the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

5.5 Access to Proprietary Data by Non-NASA Personnel

5.5.1 Non-NASA Reviewers 

In addition to Government personnel, NASA, at its discretion and in accordance with 1815.207-71 of the NASA FAR Supplement, may utilize individuals from outside the Government with highly specialized expertise not found in the Government in the proposal review process. Any decision to obtain an outside evaluation shall take into consideration requirements for the avoidance of organizational or personal conflicts of interest and the competitive relationship, if any, between the prospective contractor or subcontractor(s) and the prospective outside evaluator. Any such evaluation will be under agreement with the evaluator that the information (data) contained in the proposal will be used only for evaluation purposes and will not be further disclosed. Such requests for non-NASA Reviewers must be approved by the NASA SBIR/STTR Program Manager.

5.5.2 Non-NASA Access to Confidential Business Information

In the conduct of proposal processing and potential contract administration, the Agency may find it necessary to provide proposal access to other NASA contractor and subcontractor personnel. NASA will provide access to such data only under contracts that contain an appropriate NFS 1852.237-72 Access to Sensitive Information clause that requires the contractors to fully protect the information from unauthorized use or disclosure.

5.6 Proprietary Information in the Proposal Submission

If proprietary information is provided by an applicant in a proposal, which constitutes a trade secret, proprietary commercial or financial information, confidential personal information or data affecting the national security, it will be treated in confidence to the extent permitted by law. This information must be clearly marked by the applicant as confidential proprietary information. NASA will treat in confidence pages listed as proprietary in the following legend that appears on the Cover Sheet (Form A) of the proposal:

"This data shall not be disclosed outside the Government and shall not be duplicated, used, or disclosed in whole or in part for any purpose other than evaluation of this proposal, provided that a funding agreement is awarded to the offeror as a result of or in connection with the submission of this data, the Government shall have the right to duplicate, use or disclose the data to the extent provided in the funding agreement and pursuant to applicable law. This restriction does not limit the Government's right to use information contained in the data if it is obtained from another source without restriction. The data subject to this restriction are contained in pages ____ of this proposal."

Note: Do not label the entire proposal proprietary. The Proposal Summary (Form B), and the Briefing Chart should not contain proprietary information; and any page numbers that would correspond to these must not be designated proprietary in Form B.

Information contained in unsuccessful proposals will remain the property of the applicant. The Government will, however, retain copies of all proposals.

5.7 Rights in Data Developed Under SBIR Funding Agreements

The clause at FAR 52.227-20, Rights in Data—SBIR/STTR Program, governs rights to data used in, or first produced under, any Phase I, Phase II, or Federally funded SBIR Phase III contract.

Rights in technical data, including software developed under the terms of any funding agreement resulting from applications submitted in response to this solicitation, shall remain with the contractor, except that the government shall have the limited right to use such data for government purposes and shall not release such SBIR/STTR data outside the government without permission of the recipient for a period of not less than 4 years from delivery of the last deliverable under that agreement (either Phase I, Phase II, or Federally funded SBIR Phase III). Agencies are released from obligation to protect SBIR data upon expiration of the protection period except that any such data that is also protected and referenced under a subsequent SBIR grant must remain protected through the protection period of that subsequent SBIR grant. However, effective at the conclusion of the 4-year period, the government shall have unlimited rights in any data delivered under the grant.

5.8 Copyrights

The contractor may copyright and publish (consistent with appropriate national security considerations, if any) material developed with NASA support. NASA receives a royalty-free license for the Federal government and requires that each publication contain an appropriate acknowledgment and disclaimer statement.

5.9 Patents, Invention Reporting, Election of Title and Patent Application Filing

Small business concerns normally may retain the principal worldwide patent rights to any invention developed with Government support. In such circumstances, the Government receives a royalty-free license for Federal Government use, reserves the right to require the patent holder to license others in certain circumstances, and may require that anyone exclusively licensed to sell the invention in the United States must normally manufacture it domestically. To the extent authorized by 35 U.S.C. 205, the Government will not make public any information disclosing a Government-supported invention for a minimum 4-year period (that may be extended by subsequent SBIR funding agreements) to allow the contractor a reasonable time to pursue a patent.

NASA SBIR and STTR contracts will include FAR 52.227-11 Patent Rights – Ownership by the Contractor, which requires SBIR/STTR contractors to disclose all subject inventions to NASA within two (2) months of the inventor’s report to the contractor. A subject invention is any invention or discovery which is or may be patentable, and is conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the performance of the contract. Once the contractor discloses a subject invention, the contractor has up to 2 years to notify the Government whether it elects to retain title to the subject invention. If the contractor elects to retain title, a patent application covering the subject invention must be filed within 1 year. If the contractor fails to do any of these within time specified periods, the Government has the right to obtain title.  

The awardee may use whatever format is convenient to report inventions. NASA prefers that the awardee use either the electronic or paper version of NASA Form 1679, Disclosure of Invention and New Technology (Including Software), to report inventions. Both the electronic and paper versions of NASA Form 1679 may be accessed at the electronic New Technology Reporting Web site http://ntr.ndc.nasa.gov/.

A New Technology Summary Report (NTSR) listing all inventions developed under the contract or certifying that no inventions were developed must be also be submitted. Both NASA Form 1679 and the NTSR shall also be uploaded to the SBIR/STTR EHB at https://ehb8.gsfc.nasa.gov/contracts/public/firmHome.do.

5.10 Profit or Fee

Contracts may include a reasonable profit. The reasonableness of proposed profit is determined by the Contracting Officer during contract negotiations. Reference FAR 15.404-4.

5.11 Joint Ventures and Limited Partnerships

Both joint ventures and limited partnerships are permitted, provided the entity created qualifies as an SBC in accordance with the definition of an SBC here: (http://sbir.nasa.gov/content/nasa-sbirsttr-program-definitions).  A statement of how the workload will be distributed, managed, and charged should be included in the proposal. A copy or comprehensive summary of the joint venture agreement or partnership agreement should be appended to the proposal. This will not count as part of the 23-page limit for the Phase I proposal.

5.12 Essentially Equivalent Awards and Prior Work

If an award is made pursuant to a proposal submitted under either SBIR or STTR Solicitations, the firm will be required to certify with every invoice that it has not previously been paid nor is currently being paid for essentially equivalent work by any agency of the Federal Government. Failure to report essentially equivalent or duplicate efforts can lead to the termination of contracts or civil or criminal penalties.

5.13 Additional Information

5.13.1 Precedence of Contract Over Solicitation 

This Program Solicitation reflects current planning. If there is any inconsistency between the information contained herein and the terms of any resulting SBIR/STTR contract, the terms of the contract take precedence over the solicitation.

5.13.2 Evidence of Contractor Responsibility 

In addition to the information required to be submitted in section 3.3.12, before award of an SBIR or STTR contract, the Government may request the offeror to submit certain organizational, management, personnel, and financial information to establish responsibility of the offeror. Contractor responsibility includes all resources required for contractor performance, i.e., financial capability, work force, and facilities.

5.13.3 1852.225-70 Export Licenses

The contractor shall comply with all U.S. export control laws including Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  Offerors are responsible for ensuring that all employees who will work on this contract are eligible under export control laws, EAR, and ITAR. 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 laws, ITAR, or EAR 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.

For further information on ITAR visit (http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/regulations_laws/itar.html). For further information on EAR visit (https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/regulations/export-administration-regulations-ear). For additional assistance, refer to (http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/content/training-resources) or contact the NASA SBIR helpdesk at sbir@reisystems.com.

5.13.4 Government Furnished and Contractor Acquired Property

Title to property furnished by the Government or acquired with Government funds will be vested with the NASA, unless it is determined that transfer of title to the contractor would be more cost effective than recovery of the equipment by NASA.

5.14 Required Registrations and Submissions

5.14.1 Firm SBA Firm Registry

SBA maintains and manages a Company Registry at (http://www.SBIR.gov) to track ownership and affiliation requirements for all companies applying to the SBIR Program.  The SBIR policy directive requires each small business concern (SBC) applying for a Phase I or Phase II award to register in the Company Registry prior to submitting an application. A PDF document with the SBC registration information is available for download by the SBC upon successful registration. This PDF document must be saved by the SBC for inclusion in applications submitted to SBIR agencies.  All SBCs must report and/or update ownership information to SBA prior to each SBIR application submission or if any information changes prior to award. 

From the NASA SBIR/STTR Proposal Submission Electronic Handbook (EHB), the SBC must provide their unique SBC Control ID that gets assigned by SBA upon completion of the Company Registry registration, as well as upload the PDF document validating their registration.  This information is submitted to NASA via a Firm level form in the Activity Worksheet and is applicable across all proposals submitted by the SBC for that specific solicitation. 

5.14.2 System for Award Management (SAM) Registration

Offerors should be aware of the requirement to register in SAM prior to contract award. To avoid a potential delay in contract award, offerors are required to register prior to submitting a proposal. Additionally, firms shall be registered under the NAICS code of 541712.

SAM is the primary repository for contractor information required for the conduct of business with NASA. It is maintained by the Department of Defense. To be registered in SAM, all mandatory information, which includes the DUNS or DUNS+4 number, and a CAGE code, must be validated in SAM. The DUNS number or Data Universal Number System is a 9-digit number assigned by Dun and Bradstreet Information Services (http://www.dnb.com) to identify unique business entities. The DUNS+4 is similar, but includes a 4-digit suffix that may be assigned by a parent (controlling) business concern. The CAGE code or Commercial Government and Entity Code is assigned by the Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS) to identify a commercial or Government entity. If an SBC does not have a CAGE code, one will be assigned during the SAM registration process.

The DoD has established a goal of registering an applicant in SAM within 48 hours after receipt of a complete and accurate application via the Internet. Offerors that are not registered should consider applying for registration immediately upon receipt of this solicitation.  Offerors and contractors may obtain information on SAM registration and annual confirmation requirements via the Internet at (https://www.sam.gov/) or by calling (866) 606-8220. 

5.14.3 52.204-8 Annual Representations and Certifications

Offerors should be aware of the requirement that the Representation and Certifications required from Government contractors must be completed through SAM website (https://www.sam.gov/). FAC 01-26 implements the final rule for this directive and requires that all offerors provide representations and certifications electronically via the BPN website; to update the representations and certifications as necessary, but at least annually, to keep them current, accurate and complete. NASA will not enter into any contract wherein the Contractor is not compliant with the requirements stipulated herein.

5.14.4 52.222-37 Employment Reports on Special Disabled Veterans, Veterans of the Vietnam-Era, and Other Eligible Veterans

In accordance with Title 38, United States Code, Section 4212(d), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) collects and compiles data on the Federal Contractor Program Veterans' Employment Report (VETS-100 Report) from Federal contractors and subcontractors who receive Federal contracts that meet the threshold amount of $100,000. The VETS-100 reporting cycle begins annually on August 1 and ends September 30. Any federal contractor or prospective contractor that has been awarded or will be awarded a federal contract with a value of $100,000 or greater must have a current VETS 100 report on file. Please visit the DOL VETS 100 website at http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/fcp/main.htm. NASA will not enter into any contract wherein the firm is not compliant with the requirements stipulated herein.

5.14.5 1852.203-17 Contractor Employee Whistleblower Rights

(a)    This contract and employees working on this contract will be subject to the whistleblower rights and remedies in the pilot program on Contractor employee whistleblower protections established at 41 U.S.C. 4712 by section 828 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239) and FAR 3.908.

(b)   The Contractor shall inform its employees in writing, in the predominant language of the workforce, of employee whistleblower rights and protections under 41 U.S.C. 4712, as described in section 3.908 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

(c)    The Contractor shall insert the substance of this clause, including this paragraph (c), in all subcontracts over the simplified acquisition threshold.

5.14.6 1852.209-75 Representation by Corporations Regarding an Unpaid Delinquent Tax Liability or a Felony Conviction under any Federal Law. (DEVIATION APRIL 2015)

(a)    In accordance with sections 543 and 544 of The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-55), sections 540 and 541 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 (Pub. L. 113-6), sections 536 and 537 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-76), and sections 744 and 745 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, (Pub. L. 113-235), none of the funds made available by that Act may be used to enter into a contract with any corporation that –

(1)   Has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, where the awarding agency is aware of the unpaid tax liability, unless a Federal agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or

(2)   Was convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the preceding 24 months, where the awarding agency is aware of the conviction, unless a Federal agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government.

(b)   The offeror represents that –

(1)   It is [ ] is not [ ] a corporation that has had any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability; and

(2)   It is [ ] is not [ ] a corporation that was convicted of a felony criminal violation under a Federal law within the preceding 24 months.

5.14.7 1852.225-72 Restriction on funding Activity with China – Representation

(a)    Definition - “China” or “Chinese-owned” means the People’s Republic of China, any firm owned by the People’s Republic of China or any firm incorporated under the laws of the People’s Republic of China.

(b)   Public Laws 112-10, Section 1340(a) 112-55, Section 536, and Section 535, PL 113-6 restrict NASA from contracting to participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or a Chinese-owned firm with funds appropriated on or after April 25, 2011. NASA anticipates this restriction will be in future appropriation acts. Contracts for commercial and non-developmental items are excepted from the prohibition as they constitute purchase of goods or services that would not involve participation, collaboration, or coordination between the parties.

(c)    Representation. By submission of its offer, the offeror represents that the offeror is not China or a Chinese-owned firm.

5.14.8 Software Development Standards

Offerors proposing projects involving the development of software may be required to comply with the requirements of NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 7150.2A, “NASA Software Engineering Requirements” which are available online at http://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/displayDir.cfm?t=NPR&c=7150&s=2.

5.14.9 Human and/or Animal Subject

Due to the complexity of the approval process, use of human and/or animal subjects is not allowed for Phase I contracts.            

5.14.10 HSPD-12

Firms that require access to federally controlled facilities for six consecutive months or more must adhere to the following:

PIV Card Issuance Procedures in accordance with FAR clause 52.204-9 Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel.

Purpose: To establish procedures to ensure that recipients of contracts are subject to essentially the same credentialing requirements as Federal Employees when performance requires physical access to a federally-controlled facility or access to a Federal information system for six consecutive months or more.  (Federally -controlled facilities and Federal information system are defined in FAR 2.101(b)(2)). 

Background: Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), “Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors”, and Federal Information Processing Standards Publication (FIPS PUB) Number 201, “Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors” require agencies to establish and implement procedures to create and use a Government-wide secure and reliable form of identification NLT October 27, 2005. See: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/fips/fips201-1/FIPS-201-1-chng1.pdf. In accordance with the FAR clause 52.204-9 Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel which states in parts contractor shall comply with the requirements of this clause and shall ensure that individuals needing such access shall provide the personal background and biographical information requested by NASA.

If applicable, detailed procedures for the issuance of a PIV credential can be found at the following URL:

http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/SNS/piv/.

5.15 False Statements

Knowingly and willfully making any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations may be a felony under the Federal Criminal False Statement Act (18 U.S.C. Sec 1001), punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both. The Office of the Inspector General has full access to all proposals submitted to NASA.