NASA SBIR/STTR 2019 Program Solicitation Details | Notable Changes and Helpful Reminders

Notable Changes and Helpful Reminders

EHB Modernization

This is the second year proposals will be submitted in the modernized SBIR/STTR Electronic Handbook (EHB). It was modernized with the goal of providing a seamless user experience by building an intuitive, user-friendly and integrated digital service. We have continued to make refinements over the past year to continue to provide clearer instructions throughout the process. Over time, the new interface should improve efficiency, eliminate duplication of effort and overall make your proposal submission process simpler.

Research Topics for SBIR and STTR

The STTR subtopics will appear in an integrated list with the SBIR subtopics again this year. They will be clearly marked as STTR subtopics so that offerors will know that the additional Research Institution (RI) partnership is required before submitting a proposal. This will assist Firms in seeing related subtopics across both programs.

“Pointers” to Assist You in Finding the Appropriate Subtopic

Subtopic pointers are used to indicate subtopics that are asking for related technologies. Where applicable, these pointers will appear in the subtopic headers to assist proposers with identifying those related subtopics that potentially seek related technologies for different customers or applications. Pointers in conjunction with the focus area listings of subtopics will make it easier for proposers to find all subtopics that may be of interest.

CCRPP Is Back For 2019

The Civilian Commercialization Readiness Pilot Program (CCRPP) is an additional funding opportunity available to small businesses, with the purpose of accelerating the transition of SBIR and STTR funded technologies to commercialization. The funding is a combination of additional SBIR/STTR Program investment and NASA or non-NASA entity investment. The program will match between $500,000 and $1 million of external investment. The primary objective of the NASA CCRPP is an infusion or commercialization, not an incremental improvement in technology maturation alone. Technology maturation without infusion or commercialization will not be accepted for CCRPP. For additional information, please see https://sbir.nasa.gov/content/post-phase-ii-initiatives#CCRPP.

Moon to Mars Campaign

NASA is implementing a program for the exploration and utilization of the Moon followed by missions to Mars and other destinations, called the Moon to Mars campaign (see https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-unveils-sustainable-campaign-to-return-to-moon-on-to-mars and https://www.nasa.gov/topics/moon-to-mars). An early element of the exploration campaign is the delivery of payloads to the Moon for scientific study and the advancement of technology capabilities to support sustained lunar surface operations. In December 2018, the agency announced the selection of nine U.S. companies who are now eligible to bid on NASA delivery services for payloads to the lunar surface through Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contracts (https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-announces-new-partnerships-for-commercial-lunar-payload-delivery-services). 

Due to this emerging new commercial payload delivery service, a highlight in this year’s solicitation is that a number of the subtopics are encouraging proposers to consider the potential for developing a lunar payload as part of their technology development effort.  Where appropriate, the technology development project may consider a lunar payload as a deliverable by the end of Phase II (or perhaps in a post Phase II effort). While not all proposals from those subtopics are expected to produce a payload as their deliverable, suitable payloads which are developed may be eligible (through subsequent competitive selection) for delivery to the lunar surface at no cost. However, selection for an SBIR award will not guarantee selection for a future lunar payload flight opportunity. 

The 18 subtopics that highlight the lunar payload opportunity include, but are not limited to, in situ resource utilization, thermal management, energy storage, rad hard high performance computing, cryogenic fluid management, various lunar sensors, solar arrays, and coordination of space vehicle swarms. The CLPS companies are expected in the coming months to produce payload user guides (with some ready now and perhaps all such user guides available by time this SBIR/STTR solicitation’s Phase I projects are awarded in summer 2019). The payload user guides will provide insights into size, power, interfaces, and similar constraints that should be helpful to payload developers. In the meantime, some preliminary payload constraints are provided within the relevant subtopic descriptions.

To learn more about the NASA’s interest in lunar payload development refer to a recent NASA ROSES solicitation: (https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewrepositorydocument/cmdocumentid...).

STMD:

Z1.03 – Kilowatt-Class Energy Conversion for Small Fission Reactors

Z1.04 – Long Duration Lunar Energy Storage and Discharge

Z2.01 – Spacecraft Thermal Management

Z4.01 – MISSE Experiments

Z4.02 – In-Space Sub-Modular Assembly

Z5.05 – Lunar Rover technologies for In-Situ Resource Utilization and Exploration Missions

Z6.01 – High Performance Space Computing Technology

Z7.04 – Lander Systems Technologies

Z8.03 – Low Cost Radiation Hardened Integrated Circuit Technology

Z10.01 – Cryogenic Fluid Management

Z12.02 – Payloads for Lunar Resources: Volatiles

SMD:

S1.06 – Particles and Fields Sensors & Instrument Enabling Technologies

S1.07 – In Situ Instrument/Technologies for Lunar and Planetary Science

S3.01 – Power Generation and Conversion

S3.03 – Power Electronics and Management, and Energy Storage

S4.04 – Extreme Environments Technology

HEOMD:

H5.01 – Lunar Surface Solar Array Structures                                                                                                                               

STTR:

T4.03 – Coordination and Control of Swarms of Space Vehicles

Travel in Phase I

Due to the limited budget and short period of performance in Phase I contracts, travel is highly discouraged. If the purpose of the meeting cannot be accomplished via videoconference or teleconference, the proposer must provide rationale for the trip in the proposal budget form. All travel must be approved by the Contracting Officer.

Updated Certifications

The certifications collected at time of proposal, time of award, and during the lifecycle have been revised to match those required in the SBIR and STTR Policy Directives located at https://www.sbir.gov/. These certifications will look similar to those you may have seen in the past from NASA’s SBIR and STTR programs, but with some updated language. You will see one set of certifications twice. Once at time of proposal and again at time of award. The purpose of presenting these certifications at time of proposal is to speed up the award timeline by preparing you for what will be asked of your company by the Contracting Officer at time of award.

Request for Information (RFI)    

After last year’s solicitation period, the SBIR/STTR Program released an RFI asking for feedback on our existing subtopics. The inputs received were reviewed and provided to the Subtopic Managers for consideration as they updated or developed new subtopics for this year’s solicitations. We hope that you see some of your inputs incorporated.