Writing an SBIR Proposal by lih18327

VIEWS: 90 PAGES: 65

									Preparing a Competitive Proposal

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

“There is no grantsmanship that will turn a bad idea into a good one, but there are many proposal writing techniques that will disguise a good idea.”
NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

--Deputy Director of NIH

A Competitive Proposal is:
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Compliant Compelling Consistent Cost Effective

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Compliant
Checklist
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Submit on-time Submit precisely in specified format
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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paper/disk/other page count fonts/margins/line spacing/forms foldouts/drawings/graphics/photos certifications and representations corporate brochures/information appendices/add-on materials

. . . compliant
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Submit exact # of copies & forms (or
electronically or both)

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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Submit original signatures Submit budget/cost detail Follow outline given/implied in solicitation

Compelling
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Innovation is “king” Responsive to agency need Improvement from/over current situation Credible plan, personnel, facilities and costs

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

. . . compelling
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Highly readable
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proper english no jargon few acronyms useful figures/tables/etc.

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Evaluation factors clearly visible & well met

Internally Consistent & Mutually Supportive
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Technical proposal Budget/cost proposal Appendices & attachments

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Cost Effective
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Customer gets what he wants to pay for:
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true/best solution direct labor vs. overhead/G&A career enhancement

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Worth the risk (both business and technical) Best value

Technical officers/White Paper
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Name & address of proposing agency Importance of the problem Technical objectives Work plan Anticipated results and benefits Name & qualifications of PI Cost & duration of project

Before The Writing Process Begins
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Utilize SBIR support services in your state and/or SBIR Consultants Evaluating the topic fit Brainstorming Planning for reviews/Identifying reviewers Seeking potential Phase II/III partners Developing a checklist & Timeline

Proposal Objective
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Represents a new concept Extends an existing theory Provides a quick, new solution Improves the current solution

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Proposal Writing Process
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Conducting literature search
Organizing information Outline Develop themes Draft work plan Draft complete proposal Reading review Technical review Final draft Desktop publishing

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“Don’t write in a vacuum. Do patent and literature searches before you begin.”
--Mark Henry, Bend Research.
NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

General Information Sources
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

In-house knowledge Outside consultants Publications Direct agency contacts Technology specific on-line searches Information Brokers with access to subscription-based databases not generally available.

Organizing Information
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Technical Literature Marketing Information Personnel Profiles Facilities & Equipment Information Budget Figures Current Contract Information

Outline of NASA Proposal
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Proposal Cover Form (9A) Proposal Summary Form (9B) Technical Proposal
Table of Contents Identification & Significance of the Innovation Technical Objectives Work Plan Related R/R&D

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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

4. 5.

Outline...
6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
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Key Personnel and Bibliography of Directly Related Work Relationship with Phase II or Future R/R&D Company Information & Facilities Subcontracts & Consultants Commercial Applications Potential Similar Proposals and Awards

Winning Themes
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Commercial potential True innovativeness Satisfy agency or public need Past R&D successes Productivity enhancements Foreign competitive threats Fit of project to SBIR
Source: Writing SBIR proposals, Washington Publishing Group

Non-Winning Themes
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Look how cheaply we can do this work This is incredibly urgent Look how much I know about this topic

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Source: Writing SBIR proposals, Washington Publishing Group

Proposal Requirements (NASA)
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No more than 25-8 X 11 ½ inch pages A page is a single side of a piece of paper What counts towards the page limit?
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Proposal Cover (Form 9A) Proposal Summary (Form 9B) Technical Proposal (11 parts as shown in the outline) Summary Budget (Form 9C)

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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Numbered consecutively at the bottom One inch margins No type size small than 10 point (Anywhere!)

Cover Form 9A
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Provide complete information for each item and submit the form as required in Section 6. 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

Proposal Summary Form 9B
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Complete information for each item and submit Form 9B as required in Section 6. Limited to 200 words Summarize the implications of the approach and the anticipated results of both Phase I and Phase II. Potential commercial applications of the technology Abstracts determined to be Non-responsive to the subtopic will be rejected without further evaluation.

Abstract
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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A sentence on the significance of the Innovation A sentence on what aspect of the technology is the current problem A sentence on your proposed solution A sentence or two on your methodology A sentence on your expected results A sentence on commercial viability
The abstract is read first, but written last

Part 1

Table of Contents
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Part 1: Table of Contents........................................................……..Page 3 Part 2: Identification and Significance of the Innovation ..........….....TBD Part 3: Technical Objectives ........................................................…...TBD Part 4: Work Plan................................................................................TBD Part 5: Related R/R&D ...................................................................... TBD Part 6: Key Personnel and Bibliography of Directly Related Work ...TBD Part 7: Relationship with Phase II or Future R/R&D ........................ TBD Part 8: Company Information and Facilities .......................................TBD Part 9: Subcontracts and Consultants .................................................TBD Part 10: Commercial Applications Potential ......................................TBD Part 11: Similar Proposals and Awards .............................. .............TBD
Each STTR proposal must also contain a Cooperative R/R&D Agreement between the Small Business and Research Institution, which is included as part of the 25-page limit.

Part 2

Identification & Significance of the Innovation (initial paragraph)
A clear and succinct statement of the specific innovation proposed, and why it is an innovation A brief explanation of how the innovation is relevant and important to meeting the technology need described in the subtopic. The initial paragraph shall contain no more than 200 words. NASA will reject proposals that lack explanation of the innovation. Subsequent paragraphs may also include appropriate background and elaboration to explain the proposed innovation.

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Part 2

Identification & Significance of the Innovation (subsequent paragraphs)
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Innovation Identification (75% of a page)
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Primary Technology Aspect addressing (1 para) Issues related to the use of the technology, generally indicating a present barrier to widespread acceptance (1 paragraph) Specific problem Phase I proposal will address (1 paragraph & table with parameters of interest)Real World Guide to Writing EXCELLENT SBIR proposals Source:

Part 2

Identification & Significance of the Innovation (subsequent paragraphs)
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Proposed Approach (1/2 Page)
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Outline the tasks you will be performing to accomplish your Phase I goal. Clearly indicate a sound scientific research or development program for the particular goals. Clearly state the criteria for feasibility.

Source: Real World Guide to Writing EXCELLENT SBIR proposals

Part 2

Identification & Significance of the Innovation (subsequent paragraphs)
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Technical Background (3 pages)
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Why technology area has gained increased attention Elaborate on the first major breakthrough for the technology (build from there until you detail the technology which you will be developing Explain (un)known parameters (theoretical & practical) Elaborate on the experiments. Tell how the experiments will provide the feasibility test Use tables, graphs, figures & equations Conclude by stating the purpose of the proposed Phase I research.

“Be aware that reviewers could be state of the art.”
--Mark Henry, Bend Research.
NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Part 3

Technical Objectives
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(~ 1 page)

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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Provide a brief overview of your work plan Spell out the organization of the Phase I project with respect to four or five tasks (3-4 sentences per task) Summarize Tasks in Table form Show overall project schedule

Part 4

The Work Plan
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(~ 8 pages)

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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Indicate who, what, when, where, why and how it will be done. The methods planned to achieve each objective or task should be discussed in detail. Schedules, task descriptions and assignments, resource allocations, estimated task hours for each key personnel, and planned accomplishments including project milestones shall be included. Discuss possible problems Use matrices, tables, flowcharts, schematics, figures to support the text

Part 5

Related R/R&D
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(~ 50-75% page)

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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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. This section may include concise bibliographic references in support of the proposal if they are confined to activities directly related to the proposed work.

Part 6

Key Personnel and Bibliography of Directly Related Work
(~ 3 pages)
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Identify key personnel whose expertise and functions are essential to the success of the project. Provide bibliographic information including directly related education and experience.
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Functions Qualifications Eligibility (PI)

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Relationship with Phase II or Future R&D (~50% page)
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

State the anticipated results of the proposed effort if the project is successful (through Phase I & Phase II). Discuss the significance of the Phase I effort in providing a foundation for the Phase II R/R&D continuation.

Part 8

Company Information & Facilities
(~1 page)
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Allow the evaluators to assess the ability of the offeror to carry out the proposed Phase I and projected Phase II and Phase III activities. Describe the relevant facilities and equipment, their availability, and those to be acquired, to support the proposed activities. NASA will not fund purchase of equipment, instrumentation, or facilities under Phase I contracts as a direct cost. Special tooling may be allowed. The capability of the offeror to perform the proposed activities and bring a resulting product or service to market must be indicated. Qualifications of the offeror in marketing related products or services or in raising capital should be presented.

Part 9

Subcontracts & Consultants(~ 50% page)
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If none, state so. If so . . .
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Detail the functions, services, number of hours and labor rates. Detail his/her expertise/publications Have entity or individual write a letter of commitment detailing that they will be available at the times required for the purposes and extent of effort described in the proposal. Failure to provide certification(s) may result in rejection
of the proposal. (Alternative: Use text box within proposal containing
their signature)

Part 10

Commercial Applications Potential
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(1 page)

Product or Service Commercial Feasibility:
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Describe the contemplated commercial product and/or service, the corresponding commercial venture

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Market Feasibility and Competition:
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Describe the target market niche including the distinction between U.S. Government and other markets
Describe the relevance of the targeted commercial venture to the offeror's current business segments

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Strategic Relevance to the Offeror:
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Key Management, Technical Personnel & Organizational Structure:
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Describe the skills & experience of key management and technical personnel relevant to bringing innovative technology to commercial application
Describe business development progress to date regarding the contemplated commercial venture

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Production and Operations:
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center 

Financial Planning:
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Describe the amounts and sources of private financial resources expended/ committed to date with respect to the technology development and to business development

Part 11

Similar Proposals and Awards
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A firm may elect to submit proposals for essentially equivalent work under other federal program solicitations. However, NASA will not fund duplicate proposals for essentially equivalent work under any Government program. For all such cases, the following information is required:
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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The name and address of the agencies to which proposals have been or will be submitted, or from which awards have been received; Dates of such proposal submissions or awards; Title, number, & date of solicitations under which proposals have been or will be submitted or awards received; The specific applicable research topic for each such proposal submitted or award received; Titles of research projects; Name and title of the principal investigator/project manager for each proposal that has been or will be submitted, or from which awards have been received.

Budget
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Summary Budget (Form 9C)
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include it and any explanation sheets, if needed, as the last page(s) of the proposal Costs for materials may be included. "Materials" means property that may be incorporated or attached to a deliverable end item or that may be consumed or expended in performing the contract Travel during Phase I is not normally allowed to prove technical merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation Yes Allowed, but not required

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Property
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Travel
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Profit
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Cost Sharing
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Addendum
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The SBA requires offerors, who have received > 15 Phase II awards from all agencies in the prior 5 fiscal years, to report those awards and their progress toward commercialization. Information for each Phase II contract shall include:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center 7.

Name of awarding agency Date of award and date of completion Funding agreement number and amount Topic or subtopic name Project title Sources, dates and amounts of federal and/or private sector Phase III follow-on funding agreements Post-Phase II commercialization activities, including development, marketing, sales, and projections

Help Desk
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e-mail sbir@reisys.com telephone 301-937-0888 between 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Mon.-Fri., Eastern Time) facsimile 301-937-0204

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Submission
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Electronic Submission
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Entire Proposal including forms 9A, 9B & 9C. Optional Briefing Chart (Do it!)

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Internet Submission
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Technical Proposal
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Strongly encouraged to submit as a PDF. If you don’t they will and conversion may change formatting to an unfavorable presentation DO A VIRUS CHECK WITH UPDATED VIRUS FILES. Embed your graphics (attachments are less desirable)

Dressing it up and finishing it off
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Fonts Section & subsection headings Beforehand agreements Checklist

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Checklist
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Use agency checklist Create own checklist Set deadlines Make notes to guide future proposal efforts

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Checklist
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Cover Letter Title Page Abstract Page Signatures Figures, photos, graphs Proper pagination Headers/Footers

Proposal Hints
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Respond to your business and technical expertise Become familiar with the agency Be sure that the agency is familiar with you Structure the project to fit within the rules and within your business plan Address all required sections of the proposal Seek out an independent, qualified reviewer Tell the story twice

“If your project is bigger than SBIR funding, then break up the project into multiple parts.”
--Deputy Director of NIH
NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Weaknesses of SBIR Proposals
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Lack of knowledge of prior work or state-ofthe-art Unknown/unpublished PI Inadequate facilities/equipment Start-up company Phase I/Phase II funding is inadequate
Source: Writing SBIR proposals, Washington Publishing Group

More reasons proposals are rejected
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Lack of sound technical approach Not relevant to agency program Inadequate Phase II or Phase III potential Unclear or invalid concept

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

more tips . . .
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Consider audience Have plenty of lead time Adhere to the agency’s suggested proposal order Use headings Use graphics Incorporate references in the text Use short paragraphs Be honest
Source: Real World Guide to Writing Excellent SBIR Proposals, Allen Enterprises

“Reviewers are looking for an excuse to quit reading.”
--Mark Henry, Bend Research
NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

more hints . . .
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Know your topic before receiving the solicitation Personally contact technical officer before solicitation opens Solve the technical officer’s problem

Selection Process (NASA)
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Administrative screening Technical review Commercial Review Program manager funding decision

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Selection Criteria (NASA)
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Scientific/Technical Merit and Feasibility (50%) Experience, Qualifications and Facilities (25%) Effectiveness of the Proposed Work Plan (25%) Commercial Merit and Feasibility (Adjectively)
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Commercial Potential of the Technology (Phase II) Demonstrated Commercial Intent of the offeror Capability of the offeror to bring successfully developed technology to commercial application

What if you lose?
#^&@$%*(!
NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

“If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.”
--John Davis, JADE Research Corporation
NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Benefits of Debriefing
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Learn how to compete better Improve technical approach Make new contacts Seek guidance on appropriate budget levels Improve focus of the proposal Receive a copy of the evaluations

Debriefing
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Debriefings will be available via e-mail. Debriefings are not opportunities to reopen selection decisions. They are intended to acquaint the offeror with perceived strengths and weaknesses of the proposal and perhaps identify constructive future action by the offeror.

What if you win?
!!!!!!!
NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Accounting tips
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

Know the rules or find someone that does know the rules to help you get started. Accounting system must be in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles & handle government contract accounting During early part of Phase I contract, have pre-award survey accounting system review performed.

Payment (NASA)
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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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Fixed Price Contract One-third at the time of award (net 30) One-third at project midpoint with Interim Technical Report (net 30) Remainder upon acceptance of the final report (all other deliverables) by NASA (net 30) Electronic funds transfer will be employed.

Thoughts for Phase II
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Good feasibility report Continued contact with technical liaison Extensive literature search More emphasis on commercialization

NASA southeast regional technology transfer center

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NASA southeast regional technology transfer center


								
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