4. Method of Selection and Evaluation Criteria
4.1 Select Phase I Proposals
All proposals will be evaluated and ranked on a competitive basis. Proposals will be initially screened to determine responsiveness. Proposals determined to be responsive to the administrative requirements of this Solicitation and having a reasonable potential of meeting a NASA need, as evidenced by the technical abstract included in the Proposal Summary (Form B), will be technically evaluated by NASA personnel to determine the most promising technical and scientific approaches. Each proposal will be reviewed on its own merit. NASA is under no obligation to fund any proposal or any specific number of proposals in a given topic. It also may elect to fund several or none of the proposed approaches to the same topic or subtopic.
4.1.1 Evaluation Process
Proposals shall provide all information needed for complete evaluation. Evaluators will not seek additional information. NASA scientists and engineers will perform evaluations. Also, qualified experts outside of NASA (including industry, academia, and other Government agencies) may assist in performing evaluations as required to determine or verify the merit of a proposal. Offerors should not assume that evaluators are acquainted with the firm, key individuals, or with any experiments or other information. Any pertinent references or publications should be noted in part 5 of the technical proposal.
4.1.2 Select Phase I Evaluation Criteria
NASA intends to select for award those proposals offering the most advantageous technology to the Government and the Select SBIR Program. NASA will give primary consideration to the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of the proposal and its benefit to NASA. Each proposal will be evaluated and scored on its own merits using the factors described below:
Factor 1: Scientific/Technical Merit and Feasibility
The proposed R/R&D effort will be evaluated on whether it offers a clearly innovative and feasible technical approach to the described NASA problem area. Proposals must clearly demonstrate relevance to the subtopic as well as one or more NASA mission and/or programmatic needs. Specific objectives, approaches and plans for developing and verifying the innovation must demonstrate a clear understanding of the problem and the current state of the art. The degree of understanding and significance of the risks involved in the proposed innovation must be presented.
Factor 2: Experience, Qualifications and Facilities
The technical capabilities and experience of the PI, project manager, key personnel, staff, consultants and subcontractors, if any, are evaluated for consistency with the research effort and their degree of commitment and availability. The necessary instrumentation or facilities required must be shown to be adequate and any reliance on external sources, such as Government furnished equipment or facilities, addressed (section 3.2.4, part 8).
Factor 3: Effectiveness of the Proposed Work Plan
The work plan will be reviewed for its comprehensiveness, effective use of available resources, labor distribution, and the proposed schedule for meeting the Phase I objectives. The methods planned to achieve each objective or task should be discussed in detail. The proposed path beyond Phase I for further development and infusion into a NASA mission or program will also be reviewed. Please see Factor 5 for price evaluation criteria.
Factor 4: Commercial Potential and Feasibility
The proposal will be evaluated for the commercial potential and feasibility of the proposed innovation and associated products and services. The offeror's experience and record in technology commercialization, co-funding commitments from private or non-SBIR funding sources, existing and projected commitments for Phase III funding, investment, sales, licensing, and other indicators of commercial potential and feasibility will be considered along with the initial commercialization strategy for the innovation. Commercialization encompasses the infusion of innovative technology into products and services for NASA mission programs, other Government agencies and non-Government markets.
Factor 5: Price Reasonableness
The offeror's cost proposal will be evaluated for price reasonableness based on the information provided in Form C. NASA will comply with the FAR and NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) to evaluate the proposed price/cost to be fair and reasonable.
After completion of evaluation for price reasonableness and determination of responsibility the Contracting Officer shall submit a recommendation for award to the Source Selection Official.
Scoring of Factors and Weighting
Factors 1, 2, and 3 will be scored numerically with Factor 1 worth 50 percent and Factors 2 and 3 each worth 25 percent. The sum of the scores for Factors 1, 2, and 3 will comprise the Technical Merit score. The evaluation for Factor 4, Commercial Potential and Feasibility, will be in the form of an adjectival rating (Excellent, Very Good, Average, Below Average, Poor). For Select Phase I proposals, Technical Merit is more important than Commercial Merit. Factors 1 - 4 will be evaluated and used in the selection of proposals for negotiation. Factor 5 will be evaluated and used in the selection for award.
Proposals recommended for negotiations will be forwarded to the Program Management Office for analysis and presented to the Source Selection Official and Mission Directorate Representatives. The Source Selection Official has the final authority for choosing the specific proposals for contract negotiation. The selection decisions will consider the recommendations as well as overall NASA priorities, program balance and available funding. Each proposal selected for negotiation will be evaluated for cost/price reasonableness, the terms and conditions of the contract will be negotiated and a responsibility determination made. The Contracting Officer will advise the Source Selection Official on matters pertaining to cost reasonableness and responsibility. The Source Selection Official has the final authority for selecting the specific proposals for award.
The list of proposals selected for negotiation will be posted on the NASA SBIR/STTR website (http://sbir.nasa.gov). All firms will receive a formal notification letter. A Contracting Officer will negotiate an appropriate contract to be signed by both parties before work begins.
4.2 Debriefing of Unsuccessful Offerors
After Select Phase I selections for negotiation have been announced, all unsuccessful offerors will be notified. Debriefings will be automatically e-mailed to the designated Business Official within 60 days of the announcement of selection for negotiation. If you have not received your debriefing by this time, contact the SBIR/STTR Program Support Office at ARC-SBIR-PMO@mail.nasa.gov. Telephone requests for debriefings will not be accepted. Debriefings are not opportunities to reopen selection decisions. They are intended to acquaint the offeror with perceived strengths and weaknesses of the proposal in order to help offerors identify constructive future action by the offeror. Debriefings will not disclose the identity of the proposal evaluators, proposal scores, the content of, or comparisons with other proposals.