NASA SBIR/STTR 2021 Program Solicitation Details | 3. Proposal Preparation Instructions and Requirements

3. Proposal Preparation Instructions and Requirements

3.1 Fundamental Considerations

3.1.1 Multiple Proposal Submissions

Each proposal submitted must be based on a unique innovation, must be limited in scope to just one subtopic, and shall be submitted only under that one subtopic within each program. An offeror shall not submit more than 10 proposals to each of the SBIR or STTR programs (20 total). An offeror may submit more than one unique proposal to the same subtopic; however, an offeror shall not submit the same (or substantially equivalent) proposal to more than one subtopic. Submitting substantially equivalent proposals to several subtopics may result in the rejection of all such proposals. In order to enhance SBC participation, NASA does not plan to select more than 5 SBIR proposals and 2 STTR proposals from any one offeror under this solicitation (7 total).

Note: Offerors are advised to be thoughtful in selecting a subtopic to ensure the proposal is responsive to the NASA need as defined by the subtopic. The NASA SBIR/STTR program will NOT move a proposal between subtopics.

3.1.2 Understanding the Patent Landscape

Offerors should indicate in the proposal that a comprehensive patent review has been completed to ensure that there is no existing patent or perceived patent infringement based on the innovation proposed. The U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) has an online patent search tool that can found at https://www.uspto.gov/patents-application-process/search-patents.

3.2 Proprietary Information in the Proposal Submission

Information contained in unsuccessful proposals will remain the property of the applicant. The Federal Government may, however, retain copies of all proposals. Public release of information in any proposal submitted will be subject to existing statutory and regulatory requirements. If proprietary information is provided by an applicant in a proposal, which constitutes a trade secret, commercial or financial information, it will be treated in confidence, to the extent permitted by law, provided that the proposal is clearly marked by the applicant as follows:

(A)   The following “italicized” legend must appear on the title page of the proposal:

This proposal contains information that shall not be disclosed outside the Federal Government and shall not be duplicated, used, or disclosed in whole or in part for any purpose other than evaluation of this proposal, unless authorized by law. The Government shall have the right to duplicate, use, or disclose the data to the extent provided in the resulting contract if award is made as a result of the submission of this proposal. The information subject to these restrictions is contained on all pages of the proposal except for pages [insert page numbers or other identification of pages that contain no restricted information]. (End of Legend); and

(B)   The following legend must appear on each page of the proposal that contains information the applicant wishes to protect:

Use or disclosure of information contained on this sheet is subject to the restriction on the title page of this proposal.

Information contained in unsuccessful proposals will remain the property of the applicant. However, the Government will retain copies of all proposals in accordance with its records retention schedule.

3.2.1 Release of Certain Proposal Information

In submitting a proposal, the offeror agrees to permit the Government to disclose publicly the information contained in the Contact Information form and Proposal Summary form, which includes the Technical Abstract and Briefing Chart. 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 requests submitted under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

3.3 Phase I Proposal Requirements

3.3.1 General Requirements

A competitive proposal will clearly and concisely (1) describe the proposed innovation relative to the current state of the art; (2) address the scientific, technical, and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation as well as its relevance and significance to NASA interests as described in section 9 of this solicitation; and (3) provide a preliminary strategy that addresses key technical, market, and business factors pertinent to the successful development and demonstration of the proposed innovation and its transition into products and services for NASA mission programs, the commercial aerospace industry, and other potential markets and customers.

3.3.2 Format Requirements 

Note: The Government administratively screens all proposals and reserves the right to reject any proposal that does not conform to the following formatting requirements. Offerors who repeatedly violate solicitation formatting instructions are at higher risk of rejection for nonconformance on subsequent SBIR/STTR proposals.

Page Limitations and Margins

Note: Technical proposal uploads with any page(s) going over the required page limit will not be accepted.

A Phase I technical proposal shall not exceed a total of 19 standard 8.5- by 11-inch (21.6- by 27.9-cm) pages. Proposals uploaded with more than 19 pages will prompt a warning that will prevent the completed proposal from being submitted. Each page shall be numbered consecutively at the bottom. Margins shall be 1.0 inch (2.5 cm). The additional forms required for proposal submission will not count against the 19-page limit. 

Suggested Page Limits

Section 3.3.4 gives suggested page limits for each part of the technical proposal. These are guidelines and are not strict requirements. Offerors are still required to meet the total page limit requirements as described above.

Type Size 

No type size smaller than 10 point shall be used for text or tables, except as legends on reduced drawings. Proposals prepared with smaller font sizes may be rejected without consideration.

Header/Footer Requirements  

Headers must include firm name, proposal number, and project title. Footers must include the page number and proprietary markings if applicable. Margins can be used for header/footer information. 

Classified Information 

NASA does not accept proposals that contain classified information.

Project Title

The proposal project title shall be concise and descriptive of the proposed effort. The title should not use acronyms or words like "development of" or "study of." The NASA research subtopic title must not be used as the proposal title.

Proposal Package

Each complete proposal package submitted shall contain the following items:

  1. Proposal Contact Information (3.3.3.1).
  2. Proposal Certifications, electronically endorsed (3.3.3.2).
  3. Proposal Summary (must not contain proprietary data) (3.3.3.3).
  4. Proposal Budget (including letters of commitment for Government resources and subcontractors/consultants, if applicable) (3.3.3.4).
  5. Technical Proposal—10 parts in the order specified in section 3.3.4, not to exceed 19 pages (both SBIR and STTR), including all graphics, with a table of contents (3.3.4).
  6. Research Agreement between the SBC and RI (STTR only) (3.3.5).
  7. Briefing Chart (must not contain proprietary data) (3.3.7).
  8. NASA Evaluation License Application, only if TAV is being proposed (1.6).
  9. I-Corps Interest Form (3.3.6).
  10. Technical and Business Assistance (TABA) request (optional) (3.3.13).
  11. Firm-Level Forms (completed once for all proposals submitted to a single solicitation)
    1. Firm Certifications 
    2. Audit Information 
    3. Prior Awards Addendum 
    4. Commercial Metrics Survey (CMS)
  12. Electronic Endorsement by the Small Business Official and Principle Investigator (PI)
  13. For STTR submissions, it also includes the Research Agreement and endorsement of this agreement by the Research Institution (RI) official.

Note: Letters expressing general technical interest or letters of funding support commitments (for Phase I) are not required or desired and will not be considered during the review process. However, if submitted, such letter(s) will count against the page limit.

Note: The EHB will not allow the upload of relevant technical papers, product samples, videotapes, slides, or other ancillary items, and they will not be considered during the review process.

Firm-Level Forms

In addition to the above items, each offeror must submit the following firm-level forms, which must be filled out once during each submission period and are applicable to all firm proposal submissions:

    1. Firm Certifications, electronically endorsed (3.3.8)
    2. Audit Information (3.3.9)
    3. Prior Awards Addendum (3.3.10)
    4. Commercial Metrics Survey (3.3.11)

Previews of all forms and certifications are available via the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library, located at http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html.

3.3.3 Forms

All form submissions shall be completed electronically and do not count toward the 19-page limit for the technical proposal.

3.3.3.1 Proposal Contact Information 

A sample Contact Information form is provided in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. The offeror shall provide complete information for each contact person and submit the form as required in section 6.

Note: Contact Information is public information and may be disclosed.

3.3.3.2 Proposal Certifications

A sample Proposal Certifications form is provided in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. The offeror shall provide complete information for each item and submit the form as required in section 6.

3.3.3.3 Proposal Summary

A sample Proposal Summary form is provided in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. The offeror shall provide complete information for each item and submit the form as required in section 6.

Note: The Proposal Summary, including the Technical Abstract, is public information and may be disclosed. Do not include proprietary information in this form. 

3.3.3.4 Proposal Budget 

A sample of the Proposal Budget form is provided in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. The offeror must complete the Proposal Budget following the instructions provided with the sample form. The total requested funding for the Phase I effort shall not exceed $125,000. Contextual help is provided on the electronic budget form for additional explanation. Information shall be submitted to explain the offeror’s plans for use of the requested funds to enable NASA to determine whether the proposed price is fair and reasonable.

Note: The Government is not responsible for any monies expended by the firm before award of any contract.

In addition, the following uploads must be submitted in the Proposal Budget form, as applicable:

Proposal Requirements for Use of Government Resources

In cases where an offeror seeks to use Government resources as described in Part 8 of the technical proposal instructions, the offeror shall provide the following: 

  1. Statement, signed by the appropriate Government official at the affected Federal department or agency, verifying that the resources should be available during proposed period of performance. 
  2. Signed letter on company letterhead from the contractor’s Small Business Official explaining why the SBIR/STTR research project requires the use of Government resources (such as, but not limited to, Federal services, equipment, or facilities, etc.) including data that verifies the absence of non-Federal facilities or personnel capable of supporting the research effort, a statement confirming that the facility proposed is not a Federal laboratory, if applicable, and the associated cost estimate.

Note: Use of Federal laboratories/facilities for Phase I contracts is highly discouraged. Approval for use of Federal facilities and laboratories for a Phase I proposal requires Program Executive approval during negotiations if selected for award. 

See Part 8 of the Technical Proposal instructions for additional information on use of Government resources.

Use of Subcontractors and Consultants

Subject to the restrictions set forth below, the SBC may establish business arrangements with other entities or individuals to participate in performance of the proposed R/R&D effort. Subcontractors' and consultants' work has the same place-of-performance restrictions as stated in section 1.5.2.

Note:

  1. Offerors should list consultants by name and specify, for each, the number of hours and hourly costs.
  2. Breakdown of subcontractor budget should mirror the SBC’s own breakdown in the Proposal Budget form and include breakdowns of direct labor, other direct costs, and profit, as well as indirect rate agreements.
  3. A signed letter of commitment is required for each subcontractor and/or consultant.  For educational institutions, the letter must be from the institution’s Office of Sponsored Programs.

STTR: The RI’s budget must be submitted at the time of proposal submission, and if the RI is an educational institution, the RI must submit a letter from the institution’s Office of Sponsored Programs.

The following restrictions apply to the use of subcontractors/consultants, and the formula below must be used in preparing budgets with subcontractors/consultants:

SBIR Phase I Subcontractors/Consultants

STTR Phase I Subcontractors/Consultants

The proposed subcontracted business arrangements, including consultants, must not exceed 33 percent of the research and/or analytical work [as determined by the total cost of the proposed subcontracting effort (to include the appropriate overhead (OH) and general and administrative expenses (G&A) in comparison to the total effort (total contract price including cost sharing, if any, less profit, if any)].          

Occasionally, deviations from these SBIR requirements may occur, and must be approved in writing by the Funding Agreement officer after consultation with the Agency SBIR/STTR Program Manager.

A minimum of 40 percent of the research or analytical work must be performed by the proposing SBC, and a minimum of 30 percent must be performed by the RI. Any subcontracted business effort other than that performed by the RI shall not exceed 30 percent of the research and/or analytical work [as determined by the total cost of the subcontracting effort (to include the appropriate overhead (OH) and general and administrative expenses (G&A)) in comparison to the total effort (total contract price including cost sharing, if any, less profit, if any)].

Deviations from these STTR requirements are not allowed, as the performance of work requirements are specified in statute at 15 U.S.C. 638(e).

             

Example:        Total price to include profit                      $99, 500

Profit                                                     $3,000

Total price less profit                              $99,500 - $3,000 = $96,500

Subcontractor cost                                 $29,500

G&A                                                      5%

G&A on subcontractor cost                    $29,500 x 5% = $1,475

Subcontractor cost plus G&A                  $29,500 + $1,475 = $30,975

Percentage of subcontracting effort*     $30,975 / $96,500 = 32.1%

*Subcontractor cost plus G&A / total price less profit

  • For an SBIR Phase I, this is acceptable because it is below the limitation of 33 percent.
  • For an STTR Phase I, where there is a subcontract with a company other than the RI, this is unacceptable because it is above the 30 percent limitation.

See Part 9 of the Technical Proposal for additional information on the use of subcontractors and consultants. 

Travel in Phase I

Due to the intent and short period of performance of the Phase I contracts, along with their limited budget, travel during the Phase I contract is highly discouraged unless it is required to successfully complete the proposed effort. If the purpose of the meeting cannot be accomplished via videoconference or teleconference, the offeror must provide rationale for the trip in the proposal budget form. All travel must be approved by the Contracting Officer and concurred by the Technical Monitor.

3.3.4 Technical Proposal

This part of the submission should not contain any budget data and must consist of all 10 parts listed below in the given order. All 10 parts of the technical proposal must be numbered and titled. Parts that are not applicable must be included and marked “Not applicable.” A proposal omitting any part will be considered nonresponsive to this solicitation and may be rejected during administrative screening. The required table of contents is provided below:

Phase I Table of Contents

Part 1:            Table of Contents………………………………………………………………..……………….………Page X

Part 2:            Identification and Significance of the Innovation……………..…………..……………….………Page X

Part 3:            Technical Objectives……………............................................…………..……………….………Page X

Part 4:            Work Plan………............................................................………………..……………….………Page X

Part 5:            Related R/R&D............................................................………………..…………..…….………Page X

Part 6:            Key Personnel and Bibliography of Directly Related Work………………………...…….………Page X

Part 7:            The Market Opportunity............................................................………………..…….………Page X

Part 8:            Facilities/Equipment............................................................………………..…………………Page X

Part 9:            Subcontractors and Consultants............................................................…………...………Page X

Part 10:         Related, Essentially Equivalent, and Duplicate Proposals and Awards....……………..………Page X

Part 1: Table of Contents (Suggested page limit – 0.5 page) 

The technical proposal shall begin with a brief table of contents indicating the page numbers of each of the parts of the proposal (see above).

Part 2: Identification and Significance of the Innovation (Suggested page limit – 5 pages)

Succinctly describe:

  • The proposed innovation.
  • The relevance and significance of the proposed innovation to an interest, need, or needs, within a subtopic described in section 9.
  • The proposed innovation relative to the current state of the art.

Part 3: Technical Objectives (Suggested page limit – 1 page)

State the specific objectives of the Phase I R/R&D effort as it relates to the problem statement(s) posed in the subtopic description and the types of innovations being requested by the subtopic manager(s). 

Proposed Deliverables: Indicate the proposed deliverables at the end of the Phase I effort and how these align with the proposed subtopic deliverables described within a subtopic found in section 9.

Note: All offerors submitting proposals who are planning to use NASA Intellectual Property (IP) must describe their planned developments with the IP. The NASA Evaluation License Application should be added as an attachment in the Proposal Certifications form (see section 1.6).

Part 4: Work Plan (Suggested page limit – 5 pages) 

Include a detailed description of the Phase I R/R&D plan to meet the technical objectives. The plan should indicate what will be done, where it will be done, and how the R/R&D will be carried out. Discuss in detail the methods planned to achieve each task or objective. Task descriptions, schedules, resource allocations, estimated task hours for each key personnel, and planned accomplishments, including project milestones, and shall be included. Offerors should ensure that the estimated task hours provided in the work plan for key personnel are consistent with the hours reported in the Proposal Budget form. If the offeror is a joint venture or limited partnership, a statement of how the workload will be distributed, managed, and charged should be included here. 

 

STTR: In addition, the work plan will specifically address the percentage and type of work to be performed by the SBC and the RI. The plan will provide evidence that the SBC will exercise management direction and control of the performance of the STTR effort, including situations in which the PI may be an employee of the RI.

 

Part 5: Related R/R&D (Suggested page limit – 1 page) 

Describe significant current and/or previous R/R&D that is directly related to the proposal including any conducted by the PI or by the offeror. Describe how it relates to the proposed effort and any planned coordination with outside sources. The offeror must persuade reviewers of his or her awareness of key recent R/R&D conducted by others in the specific subject area.

Part 6: Key Personnel and Bibliography of Directly Related Work (Suggested page limit – 2.5 pages) 

Identify all key personnel involved in Phase I activities whose expertise and functions are essential to the success of the project. Provide biographical information, including directly related education and experience. Where the resume/vitae is extensive, summaries that focus on the most relevant experience or publications are desired and may be necessary to meet proposal size limitation.                                                                                                                                                  

The PI is considered key to the success of the effort and must make a substantial commitment to the project. The following requirements are applicable: 

Functions: The functions of the PI are planning and directing the project, leading it technically and making substantial personal contributions during its implementation, serving as the primary contact with NASA on the project, and ensuring that the work proceeds according to contract agreements. Competent management of PI functions is essential to project success. The Phase I proposal shall describe the nature of the PI's activities and the amount of time that the PI will personally apply to the project. The amount of time the PI proposes to spend on the project must be acceptable to the Contracting Officer.

Qualifications: The qualifications and capabilities of the proposed PI and the basis for PI selection are to be clearly presented in the proposal. NASA has the sole right to accept or reject a PI based on factors such as education, experience, demonstrated ability and competence, and any other evidence related to the specific assignment. 

Eligibility: This part shall also establish and confirm the eligibility of the PI and shall indicate the extent to which existing projects and other proposals recently submitted or planned for submission in fiscal year 2021 commit the time of the PI concurrently with this proposed activity. Any attempt to circumvent the restriction on PIs working more than half time for an academic or a nonprofit organization by substituting an ineligible PI will result in rejection of the proposal. However, for an STTR the PI can be primarily employed by either the SBC or the RI. Please see section 1.5.3 for further explanation.

Part 7: The Market Opportunity (Suggested page limit – 1 page)

Phase I applicants should describe both NASA and non-NASA markets and addressable markets for the innovation. Discuss the business economics and market drivers in the target industry. How has the market opportunity been validated? Describe your customers and your basic go-to-market strategy to achieve the market opportunity. Describe the competition. How do you expect the competitive landscape may change by the time your innovation enters the market? What are the key risks in bringing your innovation to market? Describe your commercialization approach. Discuss the potential economic benefits associated with your innovation and provide estimates of the revenue potential, detailing your underlying assumptions. Describe the resources you expect will be needed to implement your commercialization approach.

Note: Companies with no SBIR/STTR awards or fairly recent awards will not be penalized under past performance for the lack of past SBIR/STTR commercialization.   

Part 8: Facilities/Equipment (Suggested page limit – 1 page)

If an offeror requests to use Government-furnished laboratory equipment, facilities, or services (collectively, “Government resources”) the offeror shall describe in this part why the use of such Government resources is necessary and not reasonably available from the private sector. See sections 3.3.3.4and 5.14for additional requirements when proposing use of such Government resources. The narrative description of resources should support the proposed approach and documentation in the Proposal Budget form.

Note: Use of Federal laboratories/facilities for Phase I contracts is highly discouraged. Approval for use of Federal facilities and laboratories for a Phase I proposal requires Program Executive approval during negotiations if selected for award. 

Part 9: Subcontractors and Consultants (Suggested page limit – 1 page) 

The offeror must describe all subcontracting or other business arrangements and identify the relevant organizations and/or individuals with whom arrangements are planned. The expertise to be provided by the entities must be described in detail, as well as the functions, services, and number of hours. Offerors are responsible for ensuring that all organizations and individuals proposed to be utilized are actually available for the time periods proposed. Subcontract costs shall be documented in the Subcontractors/Consultants section of the Proposal Budget form, and supporting documentation should be uploaded for each (appropriate documentation is specified in the form). The narrative description of subcontractors and consultants in the technical proposal should support the proposed approach and documentation in the Proposal Budget form.  

Part 10: Related, Essentially Equivalent, and Duplicate Proposals and Awards (Suggested page limit – 1 page)

WARNING: While it is permissible with proper notification to submit identical proposals or proposals containing a significant amount of essentially equivalent work for consideration under numerous Federal program solicitations, it is unlawful to enter into funding agreements requiring essentially equivalent work. 

If an applicant elects to submit identical proposals or proposals containing a significant amount of essentially equivalent work under other Federal program solicitations, a statement must be included in each such proposal indicating the following:

    1. The name and address of the agencies to which proposals were submitted or from which awards were received.
    2. Date of proposal submission or date of award.
    3. Title, number, and date of solicitations under which proposals were submitted or awards received.
    4. The specific applicable research topics for each proposal submitted or award received.
    5. Titles of research projects.
    6. Name and title of principal investigator or project manager for each proposal submitted or award received.

Offerors are at risk for submitting essentially equivalent proposals and therefore are strongly encouraged to disclose these issues to the soliciting agency to resolve the matter prior to award.

A summary of essentially equivalent work information, as well as related research and development on proposals and awards, is also required on the Proposal Certifications form (if applicable). 

3.3.5 Research Agreement (Applicable for STTR proposals only) 

 

STTR: The Research Agreement (different from the Allocation of Rights Agreement; see: http://sbir.nasa.gov/content/nasa-sbirsttr-program-definitions) is a single-page document electronically submitted and endorsed by the SBC and RI. A model agreement is provided, or firms can create their own custom agreement. The Research Agreement shall be submitted as required in section 6. 

All STTR Phase I proposals must provide sufficient information to convince NASA that the proposed SBC/RI cooperative effort represents a sound approach for converting technical information resident at the RI into a product or service that meets a need described in a solicitation research topic.

 
3.3.6 Process to Participate in the NASA I-Corps Program

Phase I SBIR/STTR offerors must complete a short I-Corps interest Form (see section 1.7 for additional information on the I-Corps program) as part of their Phase I proposal submission. NASA uses this form to determine the level of interest from Phase I offerors to participate in the NASA I-Corps program. Offerors are encouraged to complete the form in its entirety. In the event a large number of offerors express interest, the Government reserves the right to limit the number of offerors invited to submit I-Corps proposals based upon the Government’s assessment of the initial summary statements.

Offerors that are selected for Phase I contract negotiations will receive information from the SBIR/STTR PMO describing the process to provide a 5-page proposal to participate in the I-Corps program. Directions for completing the proposal including due dates, training dates, and available training grant funding will be provided via email. Additional details on the program can be found at http://sbir.nasa.gov/content/I-Corps.

3.3.7 Briefing Chart 

The 1-page briefing chart is required to assist in the ranking and advocacy of proposals prior to selection and contains the following sections with summary information:

    • Identification and Significance of Innovation
    • Technical Objectives
    • Proposed Deliverables
    • NASA Applications
    • Non-NASA Applications
    • Graphic

It shall not contain any proprietary data or ITAR-restricted data. An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

Note: The briefing chart is public information and may be disclosed. Do not include proprietary information in this form.  

3.3.8 Firm Certifications

Firm certifications that are applicable across all proposal submissions submitted to this solicitation must be completed via the Firm Certifications section of the Proposal Submissions Electronic Handbook (EHB). The offeror shall answer “Yes” or “No” as applicable. An example of the certifications can be found in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

Note: The designated firm administrator, typically the first person to register your firm, is the only individual authorized to update the certifications.

3.3.9 Audit Information

Although firms are not required to have an approved accounting system, knowledge that a firm has an approved accounting system facilitates NASA’s determination that rates are fair and reasonable. To assist NASA, the SBC shall complete the questions in the Audit Information form regarding the firm’s rates and upload the Federal agency audit report or related information that is available from the last audit. There is a separate Audit Information section in the Proposal Budget form that shall also be completed. If your firm has never been audited by a Federal agency, then answer "No" to the first question and you do not need to complete the remainder of the form. An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

The Contracting Officer will use this Audit Information to assist with negotiations if the proposal is selected for award. The Contracting Officer will advise offerors what is required to determine reasonable cost and/or rates in the event the Audit Information is not adequate to support the necessary determination on rates.

Note: The designated firm administrator, typically the first person to register your firm, is the only individual authorized to update the audit information.

3.3.10 Prior Awards Addendum

If the SBC has received more than 15 Phase II awards in the prior 5 fiscal years, submit the name of the awarding agency, solicitation year, phase, date of award, Funding Agreement/contract number, and topic or subtopic title for each Phase II. If your firm has received any SBIR or STTR Phase II awards, even if it has received fewer than 15 in the last 5 years, it is still recommended that you complete this form for those Phase II awards your firm did receive. This information will be useful when completing the Commercialization Metrics Survey (CMS) and in tracking the overall success of the SBIR and STTR programs. Any NASA Phase II awards your firm has received will be automatically populated in the electronic form, as well as any Phase II awards previously entered by the SBC during prior submissions (you may update the information for these awards). An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

Note: The designated firm administrator, typically the first person to register your firm, is the only individual authorized to update the addendum information.

3.3.11 Commercial Metrics Survey (CMS)

NASA has instituted a comprehensive commercialization survey/data-gathering process for firms with prior NASA SBIR/STTR awards. If the SBC has received any Phase III awards resulting from work on any NASA SBIR or STTR awards, provide the related Phase I or Phase II contract number, name of Phase III awarding agency, date of award, Funding Agreement number, amount, project title, and period of performance. The survey will also ask for firm financial, sales, and ownership information, as well as any commercialization success the firm has had as a result of SBIR or STTR awards. This information must be updated annually during proposal submission via the EHB. This information allows firms to demonstrate their ability to carry SBIR/STTR research through to achieve commercial success and allows agencies to track the overall commercialization success of their SBIR and STTR programs. The survey should be limited to information requested above. An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

Note: Information received from SBIR/STTR awardees completing the survey is kept confidential and will not be made public except in broad aggregate, with no firm-specific attribution. 

The Commercialization Metrics Survey is a required part of the proposal submissions process and must be completed via the Proposal Submissions EHB. Companies with no SBIR/STTR awards or only fairly recent awards will not be penalized under past performance for the lack of past SBIR/STTR commercialization.

3.3.12 Allocation of Rights Agreement (STTR awards only)

 

An SBC, before receiving an STTR award, must negotiate a written agreement between the SBC and the partnering Research Institution, allocating intellectual property rights, if any, to carry out follow-on research, development, or commercialization. This written agreement must be signed by authorized representatives of the SBC, RI, and subcontractors and consultants, as applicable. A sample Allocation of Rights Agreement is available in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html.

The SBC must submit this agreement with the proposal by uploading it in the Proposal Budget form. This will help to expedite contract negotiations.

 

3.3.13 Request for Use of Technical and Business Assistance (TABA) Funds at Phase I

Offerors are not required to request TABA at Phase I, and there is no prerequisite that an offeror must use Phase I TABA funding in order to obtain a Phase II award or request TABA funding at Phase II.

If an offeror decides to request TABA at Phase I, the offeror must request TABA authority from NASA in the Phase I proposal submission. Requests for TABA funding are not reviewed under the technical evaluation of the proposal, and the request for TABA funds will not be part of the decision to make an award. All TABA requests will be reviewed after a proposal is selected for award and during the contract negotiation process.

Offerors selected for Phase I contract negotiations can receive up to $6,500 as a supplement to the Phase I award and can choose their own TABA vendor. Although an offeror can use TABA funding for services they choose per the FY19 NDAA, NASA is encouraging offerors to use the limited amount of $6,500 Phase I TABA funds for the following activities:

    1. Development of a Phase II TABA Needs Assessment – If a Phase I offeror plans to request TABA funding at Phase II, the offeror should secure a TABA vendor that can provide services to support the development of a Phase II TABA needs assessment. The goal of the TABA Needs Assessment is to determine and define the types of TABA services and costs the offeror would need if the project was selected for a future Phase II award. The offeror could request up to $50,000 for these Phase II services.
    2. Development of a Phase II Commercialization and Business Plan – Offerors that are planning to submit a future proposal for Phase II funding will be required to submit a commercialization and business plan that meets the requirements found in section 3.4.4, Part 7 of this solicitation. NASA is encouraging offerors to use Phase I TABA funding to secure a TABA vendor that can help develop the required elements of the commercialization and business plan so that NASA can evaluate a firm’s ability to commercialize the innovation and provide a level of confidence regarding the firm’s future and financial viability.

If an offeror chooses to request up to $6,500 for Technical and Business Assistance (TABA) at Phase I, the offeror will be required to provide TABA information by following the directions found in the submissions module of the EHB. Examples of information that will be required are as follows:

    • Name, contact information, and company information including DUNS number for TABA vendor(s) that will provide the services under Phase I.

       Note: All TABA vendors must be a legal business in the United States and NASA will review the U.S. Government-wide System for Award Management (SAM) excluded parties list to ensure the proposed TABA vendor can receive Federal funds. NASA will consider TABA requests that are missing any requested TABA information (e.g., DUNS number, etc.) as incomplete and will not review the TABA request or provide TABA approval under the award.

  • Description of vendor(s) expertise and knowledge of providing technical and business assistance services to develop and complete a TABA Needs Assessment for a future Phase II submission, to develop a Commercialization Plan for a future Phase II submission, or other TABA services.
  • Itemized list of services and costs to be provided to the TABA vendor.
  • Plan to submit a deliverable summarizing the outcome of the TABA services with expected supporting information.
  • TABA costs reflected in the budget forms.

NASA reserves the right to withhold funds requested for TABA until a formal review and approval of the requested vendor is completed. If the proposal is selected for a Phase I award and the offeror demonstrates this requirement sufficiently, as determined by the Government, NASA will permit the awardee to acquire the requested assistance, in an amount up to $6,500 for the Phase I project, as an allowable cost of the SBIR/STTR award. Approval or denial of TABA funding will be provided before award. The amount will be in addition to the Phase I award value, is not subject to any profit or fee by the requesting firm, and cannot be used in the calculation of indirect cost rates or general and administrative expenses (G&A). The amount and services will be based on the original Phase I period of performance. Requests for TABA funding outside of the Phase I period of performance or after proposal submission will not be considered.

Schedule of Deliverables and Payments for TABA—Offerors that are approved to receive TABA under a Phase I award will be reimbursed for TABA expenses. Reimbursement for TABA will be based on the awardee providing a TABA end-of-contract report at the end of the contract period of performance.

3.4 Phase II Proposal Requirements

3.4.1 General Requirements

The Phase I contract will serve as a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Phase II follow-on project. Phase II proposals are more comprehensive than those required for Phase I. Submission of a Phase II proposal is in accordance with Phase I contract requirements and is voluntary. NASA assumes no responsibility for any proposal preparation expenses. 

Note: Offerors may only submit one Phase II proposal per Phase I award and cannot submit under a future Phase II RFP.

A competitive Phase II proposal will clearly and concisely

  1. Describe the proposed innovation relative to the current state of the art and the current market.
  2. Address Phase I results relative to the scientific, technical merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation and its relevance and significance to NASA interests.
  3. Provide the planning for a focused project that builds upon Phase I results and encompasses technical, market, financial, and business factors relating to the development and demonstration of the proposed innovation and its transition into products and services for NASA mission programs, other Government agencies, and non-Government markets.
3.4.2 Format Requirements 

Note: The Government administratively screens all proposals and reserves the right to reject any proposal that does not conform to the following formatting requirements.

Page Limitations and Margins 

Note: Technical proposal uploads with any page(s) going over the required page limit will not be accepted. 

A Phase II technical proposal shall not exceed a total of 46 standard 8.5- by 11-inch (21.6- by 27.9-cm) pages. Proposals uploaded with more than 46 pages will prompt a warning that will prevent the completed proposal from being submitted. Each page shall be numbered consecutively at the bottom. Margins shall be 1.0 inch (2.5 cm). The additional forms required for proposal submission will not count against the 46-page limit. 

Suggested Page Limits

Section 3.4.4 gives suggested page limits for each part of the technical proposal. These are guidelines and are not strict requirements, with the exception of the minimum page requirement stated for Part 7: Commercialization Plan. Offerors are still required to meet the total page-limit requirements as described above.

Type Size 

No type size smaller than 10 point shall be used for text or tables, except as legends on reduced drawings. Proposals prepared with smaller font sizes may be rejected without consideration.

Header/Footer Requirements  

Headers must include firm name, proposal number, and project title. Footers must include the page number and proprietary markings if applicable. Margins can be used for header/footer information. 

Classified Information 

NASA does not accept proposals that contain classified information. 

Project Title

The proposal project title shall be concise and descriptive of the proposed effort. The title should not use acronyms or words like "development of" or "study of." The NASA research topic title must not be used as the proposal title.

Proposal Package

Each complete proposal package submitted shall contain the following items:

  1. Proposal Contact Information (3.4.3.1).
  2. Proposal Certifications, electronically endorsed (3.4.3.2).
  3. Proposal Summary (must not contain proprietary data) (3.4.3.3).
  4. Proposal Budget (including a letter of commitment from the appropriate Government official if the research or R&D effort requires the use of Government resources) (section 3.4.3.4).
  5. Technical Proposal—10 Parts in the order specified in section 3.4.4, not to exceed 46 pages (for SBIR AND STTR), including all graphics, and starting with a table of contents (3.4.4).
  6. Research Agreement between the SBC and RI (STTR only) (3.4.5).
  7. Briefing Chart (must not contain proprietary data) (3.4.7).
  8. NASA Evaluation License Application, only if TAV is being proposed (1.6).
  9. Capital Commitments Addendum Supporting Phase II and Phase III (optional) (3.4.6).
  10. Technical and Business Assistance (TABA) request (optional) (3.4.14).
  11. Firm-Level Forms (completed once for all proposals submitted to a single solicitation)
    1. Firm Certifications
    2. Audit Information
    3. Prior Awards Addendum
    4. Commercialization Metrics Survey (CMS)
  12. Electronic Endorsement by the Small Business Official and Principle Investigator (PI)
  13. For STTR submissions, it also includes the Research Agreement and endorsement of this agreement by the Research Institution (RI) official.

Note: Letters expressing general technical interest are not required or desired and will not be considered during the review process. However, if submitted, such letter(s) will count against the page limit. Letters of funding support commitments are allowable for Phase II proposals but will only be considered under Factor 4: Commercial Potential and Feasibility. Letters of funding support commitments should be submitted as part of the Capital Commitments Addendum.

Firm-Level Forms

In addition to the above items, each offeror must submit the following firm-level forms, which must be filled out once during each submission period and are applicable to all firm proposal submissions:

  1. Firm Certifications (3.4.8)
  2. Audit Information (3.4.9)
  3. Prior Awards Addendum (3.4.10)
  4. Commercial Metrics Survey (3.4.11)

Previews of all forms and certifications are available via the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library, located at http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html.

Note: The EHB will not allow the upload of relevant technical papers, product samples, videotapes, slides, or other ancillary items, and they will not be considered during the review process. 

3.4.3 Forms 

All form submissions shall be done electronically and do not count toward the 46-page limit.

3.4.3.1 Contact Information 

A sample Contact Information form is provided in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. The offeror shall provide complete information for each contact person and submit the form as required in section 6. 

Note: Contact Information is public information and may be disclosed.

3.4.3.2 Proposal Certifications

A sample Proposal Certifications form is provided in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. The offeror shall provide complete information for each item and submit the form as required in section 6.

3.4.3.3 Proposal Summary

A sample Proposal Summary form is provided in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. The offeror shall provide complete information for each item and submit the form as required in section 6. 

Note: The Proposal Summary, including the Technical Abstract, is public information and may be disclosed. Do not include proprietary information in this form. 

3.4.3.4 Proposal Budget

A sample of the Proposal Budget form is provided in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. The offeror must complete the Budget Summary following the instructions provided with the sample form. The total requested funding for the Phase II effort shall not exceed $750,000. Contextual help is provided on the electronic budget form for additional explanation. Information shall be submitted to explain the offeror’s plans for use of the requested funds to enable NASA to determine whether the proposed price is fair and reasonable.

Note: The Government is not responsible for any monies expended by the firm before award of any contract. Successful offerors are responsible for reimbursing NASA for resources utilized in performance of the effort, and the cost of such resources will be included in their contract values (not to exceed capped amounts).

In addition, the following uploads must be submitted in the Proposal Budget form, as applicable:

Proposal Requirements for Use of Government Resources

In cases where an offeror seeks to use NASA or another Federal department or agency laboratory services, equipment, or facilities (collectively, “resources”), the offeror shall provide the following:

  1. Statement, signed by the appropriate Government official at the affected Federal department or agency laboratory, verifying that the resources should be available during the proposed period of performance. Offerors must upload this letter in the Proposal Budget form.
  2. Signed letter on company letterhead from the contractor’s Small Business Official explaining why the SBIR/STTR research project requires the use of Government resources, including data that verifies the absence of non-Federal facilities or personnel capable of supporting the research effort, and the associated cost estimate. Offerors must upload this letter in the Proposal Budget form.

See Part 8 of the Technical Proposal instructions for additional information on use of Government Resources.

Use of Subcontractors and Consultants

Subject to the restrictions set forth below, the SBC may establish business arrangements with other entities or individuals to participate in performance of the proposed R/R&D effort.

Note:

  1. Offerors should list consultants by name and specify, for each, the number of hours and hourly costs.
  2. Breakdown of subcontractor budget should mirror the SBC’s own breakdown in the Proposal Budget form and include breakdowns of direct labor, other direct costs, and profit, as well as indirect rate agreements. 
  3. A signed letter of commitment is required for each subcontractor and/or consultant. For educational institutions, the letter must be from the institution’s office of sponsored programs.


STTR: The RI’s budget must be submitted at the time of proposal submission, and if the RI is an educational institution, the RI must submit a letter from the institution’s Office of Sponsored Programs.

 Subcontractors' and consultants' work has the same place-of-performance restrictions as stated in section 1.5.2.

The following restrictions apply to the use of subcontractors/consultants, and the formula below must be used in preparing budgets with subcontractors/consultants:

SBIR Phase II Subcontractors/Consultants

STTR Phase II Subcontractors/Consultants

The proposed subcontracted business arrangements, including consultants, must not exceed 50 percent of the research and/or analytical work [as determined by the total cost of the proposed subcontracting effort (to include the appropriate overhead (OH) and general and administrative expense (G&A) in comparison to the total effort (total contract price including cost sharing, if any, less profit, if any)].

Occasionally, deviations from these SBIR requirements may occur, and must be approved in writing by the Funding Agreement officer after consultation with the Agency SBIR/STTR Program Manager. 

A minimum of 40 percent of the research or analytical work must be performed by the proposing SBC, and a minimum of 30 percent must be performed by the RI. Any subcontracted business effort other than that performed by the RI shall not exceed 30 percent of the research and/or analytical work [(as determined by the total cost of the subcontracting effort (to include the appropriate overhead (OH) and general and administrative expense (G&A) in comparison to the total effort (total contract price including cost sharing, if any, less profit, if any)].

 

Deviations from these STTR requirements are not allowed, as the performance-of-work requirements are specified in statute at 15 U.S.C. 638(e).

                    

Example:        Total price to include profit                      $725,000

                      Profit                                                     $21,750

Total price less profit                              $725,000 - $21,750 = $703,250

Subcontractor cost                                 $250,000

G&A                                                      5%

                      G&A on subcontractor cost                     $250,000 x 5% = $12,500

                      Subcontractor cost plus G&A                  $250,000 + $12,500 = $262,500

Percentage of subcontracting effort*     $262,500 / $703,250 = 37.3%

*Subcontractor cost plus G&A/total price less profit                                

  • For an SBIR Phase II, this is acceptable because it is below the limitation of 50 percent.
  • For an STTR Phase II, where there is a subcontract with a company other than the RI, this is unacceptable because it is above 30 percent limitation.

See Part 9 of the Technical Proposal for additional information on the use of subcontractors and consultants. 

Milestone Plan

For Phase II, offerors shall submit a proposed quarterly milestone plan with the Proposal Budget form. The milestone plan shall be in accordance with the proposed work plan, outlining the work to be accomplished each quarter and the cost proposed associated with each of the quarterly milestones. The cost breakdown shall be similar to the Proposal Budget form for each of the proposed quarterly milestones (i.e., each milestone should include the labor, supplies, travel, and profit associated with those tasks to be accomplished that quarter). The proposed cost associated with each quarterly milestone must be realistic for the work to be accomplished but is not required to be equally distributed across each quarter. 

3.4.4 Technical Proposal 

This part of the submission shall not contain any budget data and must consist of all 10 parts listed below in the given order. All 10 parts of the technical proposal must be numbered and titled. Parts that are not applicable must be included and marked “Not applicable.” A proposal omitting any part will be considered nonresponsive to this solicitation and may be rejected during administrative screening. The required table of contents is provided below:

Phase II Table of Contents

Part 1:            Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………………….………...........…Page X

Part 2:            Identification and Significance of the Innovation and Results of the Phase I Award...................…Page X

Part 3:            Technical Objectives……………………………………………………………………………….……..........…Page X

Part 4:            Work Plan………………………………………………………............……………………….………...........…Page X

Part 5:            Related R/R&D………………………………………….....…………………………………….………...........…Page X

Part 6:            Key Personnel…………………………………………......…………………………………….………...........…Page X

Part 7:            Commercialization, and Business Planning……………….........................………….………...........…Page X

Part 8:            Facilities/Equipment……………………………………..…………………………………….………...........…Page X

Part 9:            Subcontractors and Consultants…………………………………………………………….………...........…Page X

Part 10:         Related, Essentially Equivalent, and Duplicate Proposals and Awards…………………….…...........…Page X

Part 1: Table of Contents (Suggested page limit – 0.5 page) 

The technical proposal shall begin with a brief table of contents indicating the page numbers of each of the parts of the proposal (see above).                         

Part 2: Identification and Significance of the Innovation and Results of the Phase I Award (Suggested page limit – 15 pages)

Please provide a summary of your Phase I results and, building on those results, succinctly describe the Phase II proposed work, including

    • The proposed innovation.
    • The relevance and significance of the proposed innovation to an interest, need, or needs within the subtopic.
    • The proposed innovation relative to the state of the market, the state of the art, and its feasibility.

Please be advised that the evaluators may review the Phase I final technical report to verify accuracy of this summary. However, proposers should not rely on this and should include relevant results in the Phase II proposal.

Part 3: Technical Objectives (Suggested page limit – 2 pages) 

State the specific objectives of the Phase I R/R&D effort as it relates to the problem statement(s) posed in the subtopic description and the types of innovations being requested by the subtopic manager(s).

Proposed Deliverables: Indicate the proposed deliverables at the end of the Phase II effort and how they match up to the subtopic. These may include, but are not limited to, required contract deliverables, test reports, and software or hardware. 

Note: All offerors submitting proposals who are planning to use NASA IP must describe their planned developments with the IP. The NASA Evaluation License Application should be added as an attachment under Proposal Certifications (see section 1.6).

Part 4: Work Plan (Suggested page limit – 10 pages)

Include a detailed description of the Phase II R/R&D plan to meet the technical objectives. The plan should indicate what will be done, where it will be done, and how the R/R&D will be carried out. Discuss in detail the methods planned to achieve each task or objective. Task descriptions, schedules, resource allocations, estimated task hours for each key personnel, and planned accomplishments, including project milestones, and shall be included. Offerors should ensure that the estimated task hours provided in the work plan for key personnel are consistent with the hours reported in the Proposal Budget form. If the offeror is a joint venture or limited partnership, a statement of how the workload will be distributed, managed, and charged should be included in the proposal.

STTR: In addition, the work plan will specifically address the percentage and type of work to be performed by the SBC and the RI. The plan will provide evidence that the SBC will exercise management direction and control of the performance of the STTR effort, including situations in which the PI may be an employee of the RI.

Part 5: Related R/R&D (Suggested page limit – 1 page)

Describe significant current and/or previous R/R&D that is directly related to the proposal, including any conducted by the PI or by the offeror. Describe how it relates to the proposed effort and any planned coordination with outside sources. The offeror must persuade reviewers of his or her awareness of key recent R/R&D conducted by others in the specific subject area.

Part 6: Key Personnel and Bibliography of Directly Related Work (Suggested page limit – 5 pages) 

Identify all key personnel involved in Phase II activities whose expertise and functions are essential to the success of the project. Provide biographical information, including directly related education and experience. Where resume/vitae are extensive, summaries that focus on the most relevant experience or publications are desired and may be necessary to meet proposal size limitation.

The PI is considered key to the success of the effort and must make a substantial commitment to the project. The following requirements are applicable:

Functions: The functions of the PI are planning and directing the project, leading it technically and making substantial personal contributions during its implementation, serving as the primary contact with NASA on the project, and ensuring that the work proceeds according to contract agreements. Competent management of PI functions is essential to project success. The Phase II proposal shall describe the nature of the PI's activities and the amount of time that the PI will personally apply to the project. The amount of time the PI proposes to spend on the project must be acceptable to the Contracting Officer. 

Qualifications: The qualifications and capabilities of the proposed PI and the basis for PI selection are to be clearly presented in the proposal. NASA has the sole right to accept or reject a PI based on factors such as education, experience, demonstrated ability and competence, and any other evidence related to the specific assignment.

Eligibility: This part shall also establish and confirm the eligibility of the PI and shall indicate the extent to which existing projects and other proposals recently submitted or planned for submission in the year commit the time of the PI concurrently with this proposed activity. Any attempt to circumvent the restriction on PIs working more than half time for an academic or a nonprofit organization by substituting an ineligible PI will result in rejection of the proposal. However, for an STTR the PI can be primarily employed by either the SBC or the RI. Please see section 1.5.3 for further explanation.

Note: If the Phase II PI is different than the PI proposed under Phase I, please provide rationale for the change.

Part 7: Commercialization and Business Planning (Required minimum of 2 pages; no more than 8 pages) 

NASA is requiring Phase II offerors to provide commercialization and business planning information in the proposal and is enforcing a requirement that firms provide a minimum and a maximum amount of information as required by page length. Firms that do not meet this requirement may be considered nonresponsive to this requirement and the proposal may not receive a score under Section 4.4.2: Factor 4: Commercialization and Business Planning, which could result in an overall lower score for the proposal

The Commercialization Plan should provide the following information to communicate and validate that the firm has the knowledge and ability to commercialize the innovation being proposed and to validate the company’s future viability and financial viability. 

Below are a minimum set of specific requests for information that firms should provide in the Commercialization Plan. The Commercialization Plan should validate that a quantitative market analysis has been completed and that the innovation has a convincing value proposition. The Commercialization Plan should demonstrate that pro forma financial projections for the firm have been developed and validated to confirm the stability of the company. The Commercialization Plan should also address how to protect intellectual property (IP) that results from the innovation and whether the firm plans to receive any assistance and mentoring. Lastly, if the firm has any financial letters of commitment, these can be uploaded in the Capital Commitments Addendum and will not count against your page limit.

Commercial Potential—Quantitative Market Analysis

  1. Describe the market segment and potential commercial total addressable market (TAM) that is appropriate to the proposed innovation.
    1. Indicate how the market was validated and what assumptions were used in the analysis.
    2. Indicate the market size by providing the scope in dollars if possible.
    3. Indicate market segmentation and/or TAM in dollars if possible.
    4. Indicate the projected percentage of the offeror’s market share in 2 to 3 years after entry into the identified market.
  2. Describe the proposed innovation in terms of target customers (e.g., NASA, other Federal agency, or commercial enterprise).
  3. Describe the competitive landscape, by identifying potential competitors.
    1. Indicate potential competitors by company name within the identified market.
    2. Discuss the barriers to entry and how many years it would take a competitor to enter this segment in terms of capitalization, technology, and people.
    3. Describe how the proposed innovation is different from current and future competitors.

Commercial Intent—Value Proposition

  1. Describe the commercial development.
    1. Include the development timeline to bring the innovation to market.
    2. Describe the applicable business model (spin-out, license, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), etc.) the offeror would use to bring the innovation to market.
    3. Indicate the channels of distribution (direct sales, distributors, etc.) that would be used in bringing the innovation into the identified market.
    4. Indicate the pro forma 2- to 3-year revenue dollar projections based on the proposed innovation’s penetration of the identified market.
    5. Describe any follow-on development (long term > 5 years) plans to expand your proposed innovation’s market presence.
  2. Describe the risks to the commercial development plan and what mitigations, if any, can be taken over a reasonable period of time to lessen the risks.

Commercial Capability—How Will the Innovation Enter into a Market?

  1. Describe the current and future company capitalization efforts.
    1. Provide a pro forma forecast based on income statements, balance sheet(s), and statement of cash flows. These forecasts should indicate current and projected revenues, expenses, and other items that are calculated as a percentage of future sales.
    2. Discuss the operations/manufacturing and business staff conducting the project and how they will be utilized to achieve commercialization.
    3. Describe the physical plant, including facilities and the capital equipment, tooling, and test equipment used to conduct the investigation and how they will be utilized to achieve commercialization.
    4. Discuss consultants, incubators, and research institutions that will be utilized to achieve commercialization.
    5. Indicate how the innovation will enter into production (i.e., in house or through a licensee or other means) and what changes (if any) will be made to company capitalization for commercialization.
  2. As applicable, describe the approach, path to market, and revenues from past commercialization(s) resulting from SBIR/STTR awards disclosed in the Commercial Metrics Survey (CMS). (Companies with no SBIR/STTR awards or only fairly recent SBIR/STTR awards will not be penalized under past performance for the lack of past SBIR/STTR commercialization.)

Intellectual Property (IP)

  1. Describe how you will protect the IP that results from your innovation.
    1. Note any actions you may consider to attain at least a temporary competitive advantage.
    2. Describe your company’s prior IP record.
    3. Comment on the company’s strategy to build a sustainable business through protection of IP.

Assistance and Mentoring

  1. Describe the existing and future business relationships in terms of any formal partnerships, joint ventures, or licensing agreements with other companies/organizations.
  2. Describe the plans for securing needed technical or business assistance through mentoring, partnering, or through arrangements with state assistance programs, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Federally-funded research laboratories, Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers, Federal programs, or other assistance providers.
    • Identify if any assistance and mentoring is being requested under your TABA needs assessment and provide details in this section of the Commercialization Plan. The TABA needs assessment is reviewed separately from the Commercialization Plan.

Show you have a plan for this funding in one or more of the following ways:

  1. A letter of commitment* for follow-on funding and/or product sales.
  2. A letter of commitment* for matching funding to be provided for a future Phase II-E application.
  3. A letter of capital commitment, signed by the proper authority (CEO, CFO, etc.), that indicates a commitment to provide funding and/or product sales, should the Phase II project be successful and the market need still exists.
  4. A specific plan to secure Phase III funding.

*Note: Letters of funding support commitments should be submitted as part of the Capital Commitments Addendum found in section 3.4.6 and will be considered only under Factor 4: Commercial Potential and Feasibility (section 4). Any formal letters of commitment or intent submitted in the Capital Commitments Addendum will not count toward the page limits of the application*.

Part 8: Facilities/Equipment (Suggested page limit – 2 pages)

If an offeror requests to use Government-furnished laboratory equipment, facilities, or services (collectively, “Government resources”) the offeror shall describe in this part why the use of such Government resources is necessary and not reasonably available from the private sector. See sections 3.4.3.4and 5.14for additional requirements when proposing use of such Government resources. The narrative description of resources should support the proposed approach and documentation in the Proposal Budget form.

Part 9: Subcontractors and Consultants (Suggested page limit – 2 pages) 

The offeror must describe all subcontracting or other business arrangements and identify the relevant organizations and/or individuals with whom arrangements are planned. The expertise to be provided by the entities must be described in detail, as well as the functions, services, number of hours, and labor rates. Offerors are responsible for ensuring that all organizations and individuals proposed to be utilized are actually available for the time periods proposed. Subcontract costs shall be documented in the Subcontractors/Consultants section of the Proposal Budget form, and supporting documentation should be uploaded for each (appropriate documentation is specified in the form). The narrative description of subcontractors and consultants in the technical proposal should support the proposed approach and documentation in the Proposal Budget form.

Part 10: Related, Essentially Equivalent, and Duplicate Proposals and Awards (Suggested page limit – 0.5 page)

WARNING: While it is permissible with proper notification to submit identical proposals or proposals containing a significant amount of essentially equivalent work for consideration under numerous Federal program solicitations, it is unlawful to enter into funding agreements requiring essentially equivalent work.

If an applicant elects to submit identical proposals or proposals containing a significant amount of essentially equivalent work under other Federal program solicitations, a statement must be included in each such proposal indicating the following:

  1. The name and address of the agencies to which proposals were submitted or from which awards were received.
  2. Date of proposal submission or date of award.
  3. Title, number, and date of solicitations under which proposals were submitted or awards received.
  4. The specific applicable research topics for each proposal submitted for award received.
  5. Titles of research projects.
  6. Name and title of principal investigator or project manager for each proposal submitted or award received.

Offerors are at risk for submitting essentially equivalent proposals and therefore are strongly encouraged to disclose these issues to the soliciting agency to resolve the matter prior to award. 

A summary of essentially equivalent work information, as well as related research and development on proposals and awards, is also required on the Proposal Certifications form (if applicable). 

3.4.5 Research Agreement (Applicable for STTR proposals only) 

STTR: The Research Agreement (different from the Allocation of Rights Agreement; see: http://sbir.nasa.gov/content/nasa-sbirsttr-program-definitions) is a single-page document electronically submitted and endorsed by the SBC and RI. A model agreement is provided, or firms can create their own custom agreement. The Research Agreement shall be submitted as required in section 6.

All STTR Phase II proposals must provide sufficient information to convince NASA that the proposed SBC/RI cooperative effort represents a sound approach for converting technical information residing at the RI into a product or service that meets a need described in a Solicitation research topic.

 

3.4.6 Capital Commitments Addendum Supporting Phase II and Phase III 

Letters of capital commitment act as an indication of market validation for the proposed innovation and add significant credibility to the proposed effort. Although NASA can be a future stakeholder and could possibly issue a Phase III contract for the innovation to be infused in a future mission, it should be understood that NASA’s goal under the SBIR/STTR program is for small businesses to commercialize innovations in markets that are larger than just NASA. Letters of capital commitment should demonstrate that the company has initiated dialogue with relevant non-NASA stakeholders (potential customers, end users, strategic partners, investors, etc.) for the proposed innovation and that a legitimate business opportunity may exist should the innovation prove feasible outside of NASA. Additionally, NASA offers a Phase II/E program where a funded Phase II company can obtain additional NASA funding for the innovation. A Phase II/E application requires matching funding from an outside source in order to qualify. Applicants are encouraged to provide letters of capital commitment that can provide matching funds for a future Phase II/E application and should start this process at the onset of the first Phase II project.

The letter(s) must not exceed 2 pages in length; should come directly from potential customers, end users, strategic partners, investors, etc.; and must contain affiliation information and contact information for the signatory stakeholder. Letters and supporting documents that only support the development of the innovation with no capital funding commitment as described above will not be reviewed. Letters and supporting documents from state, local, and Congressional representatives are NOT considered letters of capital commitment. They should not be submitted as part of the application and will not be reviewed. 

If letters of capital commitment are not appropriate for this stage of an innovation due to business considerations, then the applicant must clearly justify why letters of capital commitment are not being included in the application. The justification should relate to the technical and commercial considerations of the innovation proposed in the application.

3.4.7 Briefing Chart 

A one-page briefing chart is required to assist in the ranking and advocacy of proposals prior to selection and contains the following sections:

    • Identification and Significance of Innovation
    • Technical Objectives
    • Proposed Deliverables
    • NASA Applications
    • Non-NASA Applications
    • Graphic

The briefing chart shall not contain any proprietary data or ITAR-restricted data. An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

Note: The briefing chart is public information and may be disclosed. Do not include proprietary information in this form. 

3.4.8 Firm Certifications

Firm certifications that are applicable across all proposal submissions submitted to this solicitation must be completed via the Firm Certifications section of the Proposal Submissions EHB. The offeror shall answer “Yes” or “No” as applicable. An example of the certification can be found in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html.

Note: The designated firm administrator, typically the first person to register your firm, is the only individual authorized to update the certifications.

3.4.9 Audit Information

Although firms are not required to have an approved accounting system, knowledge that a firm has an approved accounting system facilitates NASA’s determination that rates are fair and reasonable. To assist NASA, the SBC shall complete the questions in the Audit Information form regarding the firm’s rates and upload the Federal agency audit report or related information that is available from the last audit. There is a separate Audit Information section in the Proposal Budget form that shall also be completed. If your firm has never been audited by a Federal agency, then answer "No" to the first question and you do not need to complete the remainder of the form. An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

The Contracting Officer will use this Audit Information to assist with negotiations if the proposal is selected for award. The Contracting Officer will advise offerors what is required to determine reasonable cost and/or rates in the event the Audit Information is not adequate to support the necessary determination on rates. 

Note: The designated firm administrator, typically the first person to register your firm, is the only individual authorized to update the audit information.

3.4.10 Prior Awards Addendum

If the SBC has received more than 15 Phase II awards in the prior 5 fiscal years, submit the name of the awarding agency, solicitation year, phase, date of award, funding agreement/contract number, and topic or subtopic title for each Phase II. If your firm has received any SBIR or STTR Phase II awards, even if it has received fewer than 15 in the last 5 years, it is still recommended that you complete this form for those Phase II awards your firm did receive. This information will be useful when completing the Commercialization Metrics Survey (CMS) and in tracking the overall success of the SBIR and STTR programs. Any NASA Phase II awards your firm has received will be automatically populated in the electronic form, as are any Phase II awards previously entered by the SBC during prior submissions (you may update the information for these awards). An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

Note: The designated firm administrator, typically the first person to register your firm, is the only individual authorized to update the addendum information.

3.4.11 Commercial Metrics Survey (CMS)

NASA has instituted a comprehensive commercialization survey/data gathering process for firms with prior NASA SBIR/STTR awards. If the SBC has received any Phase III awards resulting from work on any NASA SBIR or STTR awards, provide the related Phase I or Phase II contract number, name of Phase III awarding agency, date of award, Funding Agreement number, amount, project title, and period of performance. The survey will also ask for firm financial, sales, and ownership information, as well as any commercialization success the firm has had as a result of SBIR or STTR awards. This information must be updated annually during proposal submission via the EHB. This information will allow firms to demonstrate their ability to carry SBIR/STTR research through to achieve commercial success and allows agencies to track the overall commercialization success of their SBIR and STTR programs. The survey should be limited to information requested above. An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

Note: Information received from SBIR/STTR awardees completing the survey is kept confidential and will not be made public except in broad aggregate, with no firm-specific attribution.

The CMS is a required part of the proposal submissions process and must be completed via the Proposal Submissions EHB. Companies with no SBIR/STTR awards or only fairly recent SBIR/STTR awards will not be penalized under past performance for the lack of past SBIR/STTR commercialization.

3.4.12 Contractor Responsibility Information

No later than 10 business days after the notification of selection for negotiations, the offeror shall provide a signed statement from the firm’s financial institution(s), on the financial institution’s letterhead, stating whether or not the firm is in good standing and how long the firm has been with the institution.

3.4.13 Allocation of Rights Agreement (STTR awards only)

An SBC, before receiving an STTR award, must negotiate a written agreement between the SBC and the partnering Research Institution (RI), allocating intellectual property (IP) rights, if any, to carry out follow-on research, development, or commercialization. This written agreement must be signed by authorized representatives of the SBC, RI, and subcontractors and consultants, as applicable. A sample Allocation of Rights Agreement is available in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html.

The SBC must submit this agreement with the proposal by uploading it in the Proposal Budget form. This will help to expedite contract negotiations.

 

3.4.14 Phase II Request for Use of Technical and Business Assistance (TABA) Funds

Offerors are not required to request TABA at Phase II, and there is no prerequisite that an offeror must request and use Phase I TABA funding in order to obtain TABA under a Phase II award.

If an offeror decides to request TABA at Phase II, the offeror must request TABA authority from NASA in the Phase II proposal submission. Requests for TABA funding are not reviewed under the technical evaluation of the proposal, and the request for TABA will not be part of the decision to make a Phase II award. All TABA requests will be reviewed after a proposal is selected for award and during the contract negotiation process.

If an offeror chooses to request up to $50,000 for TABA at Phase II, the offeror will be required to provide a TABA plan and coordinate with the selected vendors to obtain the vendor qualification statement(s) and submit these via the Electronic Handbook (EHB). Below is an example of the type of information that will be requested under each.

TABA Plan

    • Name, contact information, and company information including DUNS number for TABA vendor(s) that will provide the TABA services

 - Note: All TABA vendors must be a legal business in the United States, and NASA will review the U.S. Government-wide System for Award Management (SAM) excluded parties list to ensure the proposed TABA vendor can receive Federal funds. NASA will consider TABA requests that are missing any requested TABA information (e.g., DUNS number, Vendor Qualification Statements, etc.) as incomplete and will not review the TABA request or provide TABA approval under the award.

  • Description of TABA vendor(s) expertise and knowledge of providing technical and business assistance services.
  • Itemized list of services and costs.
  • Expected metric and outcome for each service to be provided.
  • Plan to submit a deliverable summarizing the outcome of the TABA services with expected supporting information.
  • TABA costs reflected in the budget forms.

Vendor Qualification Statement(s)—A 3-page qualification statement for each of the selected vendors(s) that provides the following:

    •  Statement on the selected vendor(s) letterhead and signed by an authorizing entity within the vendors’ organization that can attest to the services being provided.
    • Documentation that the vendor is a legal business in the United States.
    • A capabilities statement that

−       Indicates the qualifications, expertise, and knowledge to provide the TABA services requested by the offeror.

−       Indicates the level of expertise and knowledge of the Federal SBIR/STTR program and specifically any prior support provided to Phase I or II awardees.

−       Describes the overall metrics of success for the services requested by the offeror.

−       Describes the plans to report to the offeror so the offeror can report back to NASA as a deliverable on the outcomes and success of the TABA services and what information will be provided to validate the results.

NASA reserves the right to withhold funds requested for TABA until a formal review and approval of the requested vendor(s) is completed. If the project is selected for award and the offeror demonstrates this requirement sufficiently as determined by the Government, NASA will permit the awardee to acquire the requested assistance, in an amount up to $50,000 for the Phase II project, as an allowable cost of the SBIR/STTR award. Approval or denial of TABA funding will be provided during the contract negotiation period and before award.  The amount will be in addition to the Phase II award value, is not subject to any profit or fee by the requesting firm, and cannot be used in the calculation of indirect cost rates or General and Administrative Expenses (G&A). The amount is based on the original period of performance. Requests for TABA funding outside of the Phase II period of performance will not be considered.

Schedule of Deliverables and Payments for TABA—Offerors that are approved to receive TABA under a Phase II award will be reimbursed for TABA expenses. Firms may request TABA reimbursement at the midpoint of the contract when submitting the midterm report and/or at the end of the contract when submitting the final report. Awardees requesting reimbursement will be required to submit invoices for services received when submitting the contract reports.