NASA SBIR Select 2015 Program Solicitation Details | Phase II | 2. Proposal Preparation Instructions and Requirements

2. Proposal Preparation Instructions and Requirements

2.1 Fundamental Considerations

The object of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D effort from the completed Phase I. 

2.2 Select Phase II Proposal Requirements

2.2.1 General Requirements

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

A competitive Select Phase II proposal will clearly and concisely (1) describe the proposed innovation relative to the state of the art and the market, (2) address Phase I results relative to the scientific, technical merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation and its relevance and significance to the NASA needs, and (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 and other potential customers.

2.2.2 Format Requirements 

Proposals that do not follow the formatting requirement are subject to rejection during administrative screening.

Page Limitations and Margins 

Any page(s) going over the required page limited will be deleted and omitted from the proposal review. A Select Phase II proposal shall not exceed a total of 50 standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch (21.6 x 27.9 cm) pages. Forms A, B, and C count as one page each regardless of whether the completed forms print as more than one page. Each page shall be numbered consecutively at the bottom. Margins shall be 1.0 inch (2.5 cm). All required items of information must be covered in the proposal and will be included in the page total. The space allocated to each part of the technical content will depend on the project and the offeror's approach.

Each proposal submitted must contain the following items in the order presented:             

(1) Cover Sheet (Form A), electronically endorsed, counts as 1 page towards the 50-page limit.

(2) Proposal Summary (Form B), counts as 1 page towards the 50-page limit (and must not contain proprietary data).

(3) Budget Summary (Form C), counts as 1 page towards the 50-page limit.

(4) Technical Content (11 Parts in order as specified in section 2.2.4, not to exceed 47 pages), including all graphics, and starting with a table of contents.

(5) Briefing Chart (Not included in the 50-page limit and must not contain proprietary data).

(6) NASA Research License Application is not included in the 50-page limit (only if TAV is being proposed).

(7) Capital Commitments Addendum Supporting Phase II and Phase III (optional).

Note: Letters of general endorsement 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.

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 proposals submissions:

(8) Firm Level Certifications, are not included in the 50-page limit.

(9) Audit Information, is not included in the 50-page limit.

(10) Prior Awards Addendum, is not included in the 50-page limit.

(11) Commercial Metrics Survey, is not included in the 50-page limit.

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 will be rejected without consideration.

Header/Footer Requirements  

Header must include firm name, proposal number, and project title. Footer 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.

2.2.3 Forms 

All form submissions shall be done electronically, with each form counting as 1 page towards the 50-page limit and accounting for pages 1-3 of the proposal regardless of the length.

2.2.3.1 Cover Sheet (Form A) 

A sample Cover Sheet (Form A) is provided in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library (https:/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 5. 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. Form A counts as one page towards the 50-page limit.

2.2.3.2 Proposal Summary (Form B) 

A sample Proposal Summary (Form B) is provided in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library (https:/sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html). The offeror shall provide complete information for each item and submit Form B as required in section 5. Form B counts as one page towards the 50-page limit.

Note: Proposal Summary (Form B), including the Technical Abstract, is public information and may be disclosed. Do not include proprietary information on Form B. 

2.2.3.3 Budget Summary (Form C)

A sample of the Budget Summary (Form C) is provided in the NASA SBIR/STTR Firm Library (https:/sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/sbir/firm_library/index.html). The offeror shall complete the Budget Summary following the instructions provided with the sample form. The total requested funding for the Phase II effort shall not exceed $1,500,000. A text box 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. Form C counts as one page towards the 50-page limit.

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

2.2.3.4 Milestone Plan

NASA has a new program requirement which mandates that the SBIR/STIR contracts will be written with a single final deliverable to include a prototype (if applicable), a final report, final summary/briefing chart, and invoice certification. The IT Security Management Plan and the New Technology Reporting (New Technology Summary Report and New Technology Report) requirements remain unchanged. Your firm shall submit a proposed quarterly milestone plan with FORM C. The milestone plan shall be in accordance with your 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 FORM C for each of the proposed quarterly milestones (i.e. each milestone should include the labor, supplies, travel, 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. 

2.2.4 Technical Proposal 

This part of the submission should not contain any budget data and must consist of all eleven (11) parts listed below in the given order. All eleven 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 non-responsive to this Solicitation and will be rejected during administrative screening. The required table of contents is provided below:

Phase II Table of Contents

Part 1:Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………………Page 4

Part 2: Identification and Significance of the Innovation and Results of the Phase I Proposal

Part 3: Technical Objectives

Part 4: Work Plan

Part 5: Related R/R&D

Part 6: Key Personnel

Part 7: Phase III Efforts, Commercialization and Business Planning

Part 8: Facilities/Equipment

Part 9: Subcontracts and Consultants

Part 10: Potential Post Applications 

Part 11: Essentially Equivalent and Duplicate Proposals and Awards

Part 1: Table of Contents 

The technical proposal shall begin with a brief table of contents indicating the page numbers of each of the parts of the proposal and should start on page 4 because Forms A, B, and C account for pages 1-3.            

Part 2: Identification and Significance of the Innovation and Results of the Phase I Proposal

Drawing upon Phase I results, succinctly describe:

(1) The proposed innovation.

(2) the relevance and significance of the proposed innovation to a need or needs, within the subtopic.

(3) the proposed innovation relative to the state of the market, the state of the art, and its feasibility.

(4) the capability of the offeror to conduct the proposed R/R&D and to fulfill the commercialization of the proposed innovation. 

Part 3: Technical Objectives 

Define the specific objectives of the Select Phase II research and technical approach.

TAV Note: All offerors submitting proposals who are planning to use NASA IP must describe their planned developments with the IP. The NASA Research License Application should be added as an attachment at the end of the proposal and will not count towards the 50-page limit (See paragraph 1.4).

Part 4: Work Plan

Include a detailed description of the Select 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 shall be included.

Part 5: Related R/R&D 

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. As an option, the offer may use this section to include bibliographic references.

On February 26, 2004, the President issued Executive Order 13329 (69 FR 9181) entitled “Encouraging Innovation in Manufacturing.” In response to this Executive Order, NASA encourages the submission of proposals that deal with some aspect of innovative manufacturing technology. If a proposal has a connection to manufacturing this should be indicated in the Part 5 (Related R/R&D) of the proposal and a brief explanation of how it is related to manufacturing should be provided.

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, section 1203, stated that federal agencies shall give high priority to small business concerns that participate in or conduct energy efficiency or renewable energy system research and development projects. If a proposal has a connection to energy efficiency or alternative and renewable energy this should be indicated in Part 5 (Related R/R&D) of the proposal. Provide a brief explanation of how it is related to energy efficiency and alternative and renewable energy.

Part 6: Key Personnel and Bibliography of Directly Related Work 

Identify all key personnel involved in Phase II activities whose expertise and functions are essential to the success of the project. Provide bibliographic information including directly related education and experience.  

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 Select 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 indicate the extent to which other proposals recently submitted or planned for submission in the year and existing projects 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. Please see section 1.3.3 for further explanation.

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

Part 7: Phase III Efforts, Commercialization and Business Planning 

Present a plan for commercialization (Phase III) of the proposed innovation. Commercialization encompasses the transition of technology into products and services for NASA mission programs, other Government agencies and non-Government markets. The commercialization plan, at a minimum, shall address the following areas:

(1) Market Feasibility and Competition: Describe (a) the target market(s) of the innovation and the associated product or service; (b) the competitive advantage(s) of the product or service; (c) key potential customers, including NASA mission programs and prime contractors; (d) projected market size (NASA, other Government and/or non-Government); (e) the projected time to market and estimated market share within five years from market-entry; and (f) anticipated competition from alternative technologies, products and services and/or competing domestic or foreign entities.

(2) Commercialization Strategy and Relevance to the Offeror: Present the commercialization strategy for the innovation and associated product or service and its relationship to the SBC’s business plans for the next five years. Infusion into NASA missions and projects is an option for commercialization strategy.

(3) Key Management, Technical Personnel and Organizational Structure: Describe: (a) the skills and experiences of key management and technical personnel in technology commercialization; (b) current organizational structure; and (c) plans and timelines for obtaining expertise and personnel necessary for commercialization.

(4) Production and Operations: Describe product development to date as well as milestones and plans for reaching production level, including plans for obtaining necessary physical resources. 

(5) Financial Planning: Delineate private financial resources committed to the development and transition of the innovation into market-ready product or service. Describe the projected financial requirements and the expected or committed capital and funding sources necessary to support the planned commercialization of the innovation. Provide evidence of current financial condition (e.g., standard financial statements including a current cash flow statement).

(6) Intellectual Property: Describe plans and current status of efforts to secure intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, copyrights, trade secrets) necessary to obtain investment, attain at least a temporally competitive advantage, and achieve planned commercialization.

Part 8: Facilities/Equipment

General:

Describe available equipment and physical facilities (this should include physical location [address of where the work is to be performed], square footage, and major equipment) necessary to carry out the proposed Phase I, projected Phase II, and projected Phase III efforts. Items of equipment or facilities to be purchased (as detailed in the cost proposal) shall be justified under this section. 

Use of Non Federal Laboratory/facilities or equipment:

In accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) Part 45, it is NASA's policy not to provide facilities (capital equipment, tooling, test and computer facilities, etc.) for the performance of work under SBIR/STTR contracts. Generally an SBC will furnish its own facilities to perform the proposed work on the contract. When a proposed project or product demonstration requires the use of a unique Federal facility that is not designated as a Federal laboratory to be funded by the SBIR/STTR Program, then the offeror shall provide a) a signed letter on company letterhead from the SBC Official explaining why the SBIR/STTR research project requires the use of the Federal facility or personnel, including data that verifies the absence of non-Federal facilities or personnel capable of supporting the research effort, and a statement confirming that the facility proposed is not a Federal laboratory b) a statement, signed by the appropriate Government official at the facility, verifying that it will be available for the proposed period of performance. If the proposed facility is not a Federal laboratory than a SBA waiver will be required.  Proposals requiring waivers must explain why the waiver is appropriate. NASA will provide this request, along with an explanation to SBA during the negotiation process. NASA cannot guarantee that a waiver can be obtained from SBA.  These letters should be uploaded in Form C of your proposal. Failure to provide this explanation and a written letter of availability from the Government official authorized to approve such use may invalidate any proposal selection.

Use of Federal Laboratory/facilities or equipment:

When a proposed project or product demonstration requires the use of a Federal laboratory then the offeror must provide a letter justifying the use of a Federal laboratory from the SBC official, as well as, a letter from the Government agency that verifies the availability. These letters should be uploaded in Form C of your proposal. Failure to provide a written letter of availability from the Government official authorized to approve such use of the Federal laboratory and the letter of justification from the SBC shall invalidate any proposal selection.

Additionally, any proposer requiring the use of Federal laboratory, property, or facilities shall, within twenty (20) business days of notification of selection for negotiations, provide to the NASA Shared Services Center Contracting Officer all required documentation, to include, an agreement by and between the Contractor and the appropriate Federal facility, executed by the Government official authorized to approve such use. The Agreement must delineate the terms of use, associated costs, property and facility responsibilities and liabilities.  If a selected proposal indicates that NASA facilities are to be used in conjunction with SBIR/STTR funds as part of the work effort it is required that the offeror and the proposed NASA facility enter into a Space Act Agreement (SAA). The final awarding of the SBIR/STTR contract is dependent on the receipt of the documentation of the finalized agreement to use any Federal laboratory, property or facility.

Part 9: Subcontracts 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. 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 should be documented in the subcontractor/consultant budget section in Form C and supporting documentation should be uploaded for each (appropriate documentation is specified in Form C). Subcontractors' and consultants' work has the same place of performance restrictions as stated in section 1.3.2. The following restrictions apply to the use of subcontracts/consultants:

Select SBIR Phase II Subcontracts/Consultants

The proposed subcontracted business arrangements 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 OH and G&A) in comparison to the total effort (total contract price including cost sharing, if any, less profit if any). 

 

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 – subcontractor cost plus G&A / total price less profit - $262,500/$703,250 = 37.3%

For a Select SBIR Phase II this is acceptable since it is below the limitation of 50%.

Part 10: Potential Post Applications (Commercialization) 

Building upon section 2.2.4, part 7; further specify the potential NASA and commercial applications of the innovation and the associated potential customers; such as NASA mission programs and projects, within target markets. Potential NASA applications include the projected utilization of proposed contract deliverables (e.g., prototypes, test units, software) and resulting products and services by NASA organizations and contractors.

Part 11a: Essentially Equivalent and Duplicate Proposals and Awards

WARNING – While it is permissible with proposal 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. 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. See Part 11b.

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:

(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.

A summary of essentially equivalent work information is also required on Form A.

Part 11b: Related Research and Development Proposals and Awards

All federal agencies have a mandate to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in federally funded programs. The submission of essentially equivalent work and the acceptance of multiple awards for essentially equivalent work in the SBIR/STTR Program have been identified as an area of abuse and possibly fraud. SBIR/STTR funding agencies and the Office of the Inspector General are actively evaluating proposals and awards to eliminate this problem. Related research and development includes proposals and awards that do not meet the definition of “Essentially Equivalent Work”, but are related to the technology innovation in the proposal being submitted. Related research and development could be interpreted as essentially equivalent work by outside reviewers without additional information. Therefore, if you are submitting closely related proposals or your firm has closely related research and development that is currently or previously funded by NASA or other Federal agencies, it is to your advantage to describe the relationships between this proposal and related efforts clearly delineating why this should not be considered an essentially equivalent work effort. These explanations should not be longer than one page, will not be included in the page count, and will not be part of the technical evaluation of the proposal.

2.2.5 Capital Commitments Addendum Supporting Phase II and Phase III 

Describe and document capital commitments from non-SBIR sources or from internal SBC funds for pursuit of Phase II and Phase III efforts. Offerors for Phase II contracts are strongly urged to obtain non-SBIR funding support commitments for follow-on Phase III activities and additional support of the Phase II from parties other than the proposing firm. Funding support commitments must show that a specific and substantial amount will be made available to the firm to pursue the stated Phase II and/or Phase III objectives. They must indicate the source, date, and conditions or contingencies under which the funds will be made available. Alternatively, self-commitments of the same type and magnitude that are required from outside sources can be considered. If a Phase III will be funded internally, offerors should describe their financial position. 

Evidence of funding support commitments from outside parties must be provided in writing and should accompany the Phase II proposal. Letters of commitment should specify available funding commitments, other resources to be provided, and any contingent conditions. Expressions of technical interest by such parties in the Phase II research or of potential future financial support are insufficient and will not be accepted as support commitments by NASA. Letters of commitment should be added as an addendum to the Phase II proposal. This addendum will not be counted against the 50-page limitation.

2.2.6 Briefing Chart

A one-page briefing chart is required to assist in the ranking and advocacy of proposals prior to selection. Submission of the briefing chart is not counted against the 50-page limit, and shall not contain any proprietary data or ITAR restricted data. An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

2.2.7 Firm Level Certifications

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

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

2.2.8 Audit Information

The SBC shall complete the questions regarding the firm’s rates and upload the Federal agency audit report or related information that is available from the last audit. 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. The “Audit Information” will be used to assist the contracting officer with negotiations if the proposal is selected for award. If the audit provided is not acceptable, they will be advised by the Contracting Officer on what is required to determine reasonable cost and/or rates. There is a separate “Audit Information” section in Forms C that shall also be completed. The audit information is not included in the 50-page limit. An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

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

2.2.9 Prior Awards Addendum

If the SBC has received more than 15 Phase II awards in the prior 5 fiscal years, submit name of awarding agency, date of award, funding agreement number, amount, topic or subtopic title, follow-on agreement amount, source, and date of commitment and current commercialization status 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, 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). The addendum is not included in the 50-page limit. An electronic form will be provided during the submissions process.

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

2.2.10 Commercial Metrics Survey

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 sales and ownership information, as well as any commercialization success the firm has had as a result of Phase II SBIR or STTR awards. This information will allow firms to demonstrate their ability to carry SBIR/STTR research through to achieve commercial success, and allow agencies to track the overall commercialization success of their SBIR and STTR programs. The survey is not included in the 50-page limit and content 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 Submission Electronic Handbook

2.2.11 Contractor Responsibility Information

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