5.1 Requirement for Contracting
Upon award of a Funding Agreement, the awardee will be required to make certain legal commitments through acceptance of numerous clauses in Funding Agreements. The outline that follows is illustrative of the types of clauses to which the contractor would be committed. This list is not a complete list of clauses to be included in Funding Agreements and is not the specific wording of such clauses. Copies of complete terms and conditions are available by following the links in Appendix C.
- Standards of Work. Work performed under the Funding Agreement must conform to high professional standards.
- Inspection. Work performed under the Funding Agreement is subject to Government inspection and evaluation at all times.
- Examination of Records. The Comptroller General (or a duly authorized representative) must have the right to examine any pertinent records of the awardee involving transactions related to this Funding Agreement.
- Default. The Federal Government may terminate the Funding Agreement if the contractor fails to perform the work contracted.
- Termination for Convenience. The Funding Agreement may be terminated at any time by the Federal Government if it deems termination to be in its best interest, in which case the awardee will be compensated for work performed and for reasonable termination costs.
- Disputes. Any dispute concerning the Funding Agreement that cannot be resolved by agreement must be decided by the contracting officer with right of appeal.
- Contract Work Hours. The awardee may not require an employee to work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week unless the employee is compensated accordingly (for example, overtime pay).
- Equal Opportunity. The awardee will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
- Equal Opportunity for Veterans. The awardee will not discriminate against any employee or application for employment because he or she is a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.
- Equal Opportunity for People with Disabilities. The awardee will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because he or she is physically or intellectually disabled.
- Officials Not to Benefit. No Federal Government official may benefit personally from the SBIR Funding Agreement.
- Covenant Against Contingent Fees. No person or agency has been employed to solicit or secure the Funding Agreement upon an understanding for compensation except bona fide employees or commercial agencies maintained by the awardee for the purpose of securing business.
- Gratuities. The Funding Agreement may be terminated by the Federal Government if any gratuities have been offered to any representative of the Government to secure the award.
- Patent Infringement. The awardee must report each notice or claim of patent infringement based on the performance of the Funding Agreement.
- American Made Equipment and Products. When purchasing equipment or a product under the SBIR Funding Agreement, purchase only American-made items whenever possible.
To simplify making contract awards and to reduce processing time, all contractors selected for contracts will ensure that:
- All information in your complete proposal package 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 the Contracting Officer immediately.
- Your firm is registered with System for Award Management (SAM) (section 2.2).
- Your firm complies with the FAR 52.222-37 Employment Reports on Special Disabled Veterans, Veterans of the Vietnam Era, and Other Eligible Veterans (VETS-4212) requirement (See Appendix D). Confirmation that a VETS-4212 report has been submitted to the Department of Labor, and is current, shall be provided to the Contracting Officer within 10 business days of the notification of selection for negotiation.
- Your firm HAS NOT proposed a Co-Principal Investigator.
- Your firm will provide timely responses to all communications from the NSSC Contracting Officer.
- Budget form items:
- 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 with contact information.
- If a university is proposed as a subcontractor, 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 facilities or equipment is proposed, your firm shall submit a signed letter from the Government facility authorizing the use of the facility and stating the availability and the cost, if any, together with a signed letter from your firm justifying the need to use the facility.
From the time of notification of selection for contract 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 if a contract is not subsequently awarded. A notification of selection for negotiation is not to be misconstrued as an award notification to commence work.
5.2.1 Anticipated number of Awards
For this pilot effort, it is anticipated that a limited number of proposals will be selected for negotiation. The program is anticipating selecting 12 Phase I proposals for contract negotiation with successful Phase I awards being selected for Phase II contract negotiation.
5.2.2 Award Conditions
NASA awards are electronically signed by a NASA Contracting Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via email. NSSC will distribute the NASA SBIR award with the following items.
- SF26—Contract Cover Sheet
- Contract Terms and Conditions—to include reference to the complete proposal package
- Attachment 1: Contract Distribution List
- Attachment 2: Template of the Final Summary Chart
- Attachment 3: IT Security Management Plan Template
- Attachment 4: Applicable Documents List
- Negotiation Confirmation
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
5.2.3 Type of Contract
NASA SBIR Phase I and Phase II awards are made as firm fixed price contracts.
5.2.4 Model Contracts
Examples of the NASA SBIR contracts can be found in the NASA SBIR/STTR Resources section: https://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. Note: Model contracts are subject to change.
5.3 Reporting and Required Deliverables
An IT Security Management Plan is required at the beginning of the contract. Contractors interested in doing business with NASA and/or providing IT services or solutions to NASA should use the list found at the website of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) as a reference for information security requirements: https://www.nasa.gov/content/security-requirements-policies. An example of an IT Security Management Plan can be found in the NASA SBIR/STTR Resources section: https://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html. For more information, see NASA FAR Supplement clause 1852.204-76.
All contracts shall require the delivery of technical 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) the proposed innovation’s relevance and significance to one or more NASA interests (section 9); and (4) the strategy for development and 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 if requested.
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 R/R&D effort in accordance with applicable contract provisions. Note: because the Phase II proposal is due 120 days from the start of the Phase I period of performance, firms are advised that the milestones reported in the interim/mid-term report should demonstrate sufficient progress to warrant selection for a Phase II award.
A final New Technology Summary Report (NTSR) is due at the end of the contract, and New Technology Report(s) (NTR) are required if technology(ies) is/are developed under the award prior to submission of the final invoice. For additional information on NTSR and NTR requirements and definitions, see section 5.9.
If TABA is requested, contracts will require TABA deliverables that summarize the outcome of the TABA services with expected supporting information.
Report deliverables shall be submitted electronically via the EHB. For any reports that require an upload, NASA requests the submission in PDF or Microsoft Word format.
Note: To access contract management in the EHB, you will be required to have an identity in the NASA Access 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 and completion of NASA IT Security Training is required for this account. Instructions to create an identity in NAMS will be provided during contract negotiations. It is recommended that you begin this process immediately upon notification, as this access will be required to submit deliverables and invoices.
5.4 Payment Schedule
All NASA SBIR contracts are firm-fixed-price contracts. The exact payment terms will be included in the contract.
Although invoices are submitted electronically through the Department of Treasury’s Invoice Processing Platform (IPP), as a condition for payment, invoice certifications shall be completed in the EHB for each individual invoice. The certification is preset in the EHB, and it shall be completed before uploading each invoice in IPP. Upon completion of the certification, a link to IPP is automatically provided in the EHB.
If TABA is requested, awardees will be required to submit TABA vendor invoices for reimbursement per the payment schedule in section 220.127.116.11 or 18.104.22.168.
5.5 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.
5.6 Cost Sharing
Cost sharing is permitted for proposal packages under this program solicitation; however, cost sharing is not required. Cost sharing will not be an evaluation factor in consideration of your proposal package nor will it be used in the determination of the percentage of Phase I work to be performed on the contract.
5.7 Rights in Data Developed Under SBIR Funding Agreements
The SBIR program provides specific rights for data developed under SBIR awards. Please review the full text at the following FAR 52.227-20 Rights in Data-SBIR Program and PCD 21-02 FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION (FAR) CLASS DEVIATION – PROTECTION OF DATA UNDER THE SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATIVE RESEARCH/SMALL TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER RESEARCH (SBIR/STTR) PROGRAM.
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 Invention Reporting, Election of Title, Patent Application Filing, and Patents
Awardees under the SBIR program are required to provide New Technology Reports (NTR) for any new subject inventions, and the New Technology Summary Reports (NTSR) for the interim and final contract periods. Please review full text at the following https://www.sbir.gov/sites/default/files/SBA_SBIR_STTR_POLICY_DIRECTIVE_OCT_2020_v2.pdf to understand these requirements.
5.10 Government-Furnished and Contractor-Acquired Property
In accordance with the SBIR/STTR Policy Directive, the Federal Government may transfer title to property provided by the SBIR Participating Agency to the awardee or acquired by the awardee for the purpose of fulfilling the contract, where such transfer would be more cost effective than recovery of the property.
5.11 Essentially Equivalent Awards and Prior Work
If an award is made pursuant to a complete proposal package submitted under a SBIR solicitation, 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 and/or civil or criminal penalties.
5.12 Additional Information
5.12.1 Precedence of Contract Over this Solicitation
This program solicitation reflects current planning. If there is any inconsistency between the information contained herein and the terms of any resulting SBIR contract, the terms of the contract take precedence over the solicitation.
5.12.2 Evidence of Contractor Responsibility
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 (e.g., financial capability, workforce, and facilities).
5.13 Use of Government Resources
Federal Departments and Agencies
Use of SBIR funding for unique Federal/non-NASA resources from a Federal department or agency that does not meet the definition of a Federal laboratory as defined by U.S. law and in the SBA Policy Directive on the SBIR program requires a waiver from the SBA. Proposal packages requiring waivers must include an explanation of why the waiver is appropriate. NASA will provide the offeror’s request, along with an explanation to SBA, during the negotiation process. NASA cannot guarantee that a waiver can be obtained from SBA. Specific instructions to request use of Government Resources are in sections 3.5 or 3.6 of the solicitation. Note: NASA facilities qualify as Federal laboratories.
Support Agreements for Use of Government Resources
Note: Use of Federal laboratories/facilities for Phase I contracts is highly discouraged as these arrangements will in most cases cause significant delays in making the final award. Approval for use of Federal facilities and laboratories for a Phase I technical proposal requires a strong justification at time of submission and will require approval by the Contracting Officer during negotiations if selected for award.
For proposed use of NASA resources, a NASA SBIR/STTR Support Agreement template is available in the Resources section (https://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html) and must be executed before a contractor can use NASA resources. Offerors shall only include a signed letter of commitment from an authorized NASA point of contact in the complete proposal packages. NASA expects selected offerors to finalize and execute their NASA SBIR Support Agreement during the negotiation period with the NSSC.
Contractor Responsibilities for Costs
In accordance with FAR Part 45, it is NASA's policy not to provide services, equipment, or facilities (resources) (capital equipment, tooling, test, and computer facilities, etc.) for the performance of work under SBIR contracts. Generally, any contractor will furnish its own resources to perform the proposed work on the contract.
In all cases, the contractor shall be responsible for any costs associated with services, equipment, or facilities provided by NASA or another Federal department or agency, and such costs shall result in no increase in the price of this contract.