‘Tis the Season…for Contracting Agencies
Tags: Dept. of Defense, DHS, NASA, proposals, SBIR, SBIR contracts, TPOC
The three largest SBIR contracting agencies (NASA, DoD and DHS) have SBIR solicitations open this month. For those agencies that use a contract mechanism for their SBIR/STTR programs, rather than a grant mechanism (like NSF or NIH), this means you must be strategic in your planning and proposal preparation.
For one thing, you can’t count on the same topics being repeated in a future solicitation, so if you see a topic that your technology can address in this round you need to be prepared to submit now. And, while granting agencies allow you to directly contact the Topic Authors or Program Managers at any time during the process, contracting agencies have strict rules about when you can and cannot talk to these agency people. As of the first day a solicitation is formally released, direct contact is no longer allowed with the Topic Authors/TPOCs (Technical Points of Contact) for any contracting agency.
To allow time for questions and discussion, DoD and DHS issue a Pre-Solicitation with topics, and then release the formal Solicitation about a month later. During the Pre-Solicitation or “open” period, companies are welcome to talk directly by phone and/or email with the Topic Author or TPOC.
This table provides an overview of important dates you need to know if you are considering submitting a proposal to NASA, DoD or DHS for their released solicitations:
Please contact BBC if you have any questions about preparing and writing SBIR/STTR proposals for either contracting or granting agencies.
Becky Aistrup is a Principal Consultant with BBCetc.