NASA Solicitation: Innovative Partnerships Program Services

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2006

Synopsis - Feb 24, 2006

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNH0631306L
Posted Date: Feb 24, 2006
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Feb 24, 2006
Original Response Date: Mar 13, 2006
Current Response Date: Mar 13, 2006
Classification Code: A -- Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541990 - All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters Acquisition Branch, Code 210.H, Greenbelt, MD 20771



The Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) at NASA has undergone significant changes and restructuring over the past few years. The purpose of this RFI is to communicate the current structure, elements, mission and products of the IPP in preparation for the issuance of an RFP for services that will replace the prior network which consisted of the Regional Technology Transfer Centers (RTTC), the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) and the National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC).

A single contractor will be sought to provide services that will recognize current business climates and communication capabilities, with a focus on a technology-based approach to partnership development. Services will be structured to provide support to NASA Headquarters, all NASA Field Centers, and all program elements of the IPP. IPP program elements include the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program, the Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Program, the Enterprise Engine (EE), the Technology Transfer (TT) Program and the Space Product Development (SPD) Program. The EE is a new initiative designed as an investment vehicle to support innovative, dual-use technology development which will help NASA achieve its mission, and also help better position these technologies for future commercial use. A Request for Information was issued for the EE initiative on February 6, 2006 as Solicitation Number NNH0622806L entitled “Venture Capital Project" (Red Planet Capital).

Due to budget reductions, the scope of this anticipated effort will be significantly reduced from the work performed by the prior network.


The mission of IPP within NASA is to provide leveraged technology for NASA Mission Directorates, Programs and Projects through technology investments and partnerships with industry, academia, government agencies and national laboratories.

  • Technology investments are made with small businesses under the SBIR Program element, with small businesses working with research institutions under the STTR Program element, and with a variety of entities in conjunction with the EE.
  • Technology partnerships are developed under the TT and SPD Program elements.

The primary purpose of all these technology investments and partnerships is to advance the technology position of NASA. The nature and design of the anticipated activities is expected to yield dividends to both the non-NASA partners and other stakeholders through the development of such things as new products and processes.

The elements of IPP are in various stages of maturity and redesign, and their full integration is still in progress. Definitions, strategies and metrics are currently being established.


IPP will provide significant value to NASA through the delivery of a combination of the following products.

  • Emergent technologies - which are anticipated to be delivered primarily by the SBIR, STTR, SPD and EE program elements.
  • Technology partnerships - which will pursue technology needs identified by the NASA Mission Directorates, Programs and Projects, and consolidated and communicated by a team headed by the IPP technologist. These partnerships are anticipated to be delivered primarily by the TT and SPD Programs. Partnerships are also expected to stem from the IP Management functions at the NASA Centers, and the emergent technologies being developed under the SBIR, STTR and EE Programs.
  • Intellectual property management - which will be performed by TT in close consultation with the Office of General Counsel, and includes evaluation of new technologies for intellectual property protection, licensing and portfolio management.
  • Process improvements - will be identified that are integral to the full integration and efficiency of all program elements, and include shared infrastructure investments such as information technology (IT) support systems.
  • Nontraditional partnerships - and how to structure and implement them is the goal of all IPP program elements.


External organizations and individuals are sought to provide input and comments on how best to structure a contract to provide services to the IPP. This will be done via the submission of white papers, which may address one or more of the topic areas below. White papers should not consist of more than five pages of 12-font text and three pages of graphics. Any submittal that exceeds these page limits will not be reviewed.

Information submitted as a direct response to this RFI will not be made publicly available, but may be used, without credit or reference to the source of the material, in documents that will be made publicly available at a future date. Respondents will not be notified of the results of the evaluation.

Reviews may be performed by multi-discipline review teams, which may include third parties, such as contractor personnel who support NASA. As such, to the extent that any information is submitted in response to this RFI is marked as, or construed to be, proprietary or business sensitive, submitters are hereby notified (a) about the potential that such information may be disclosed to third parties, and (b) that submission of information in response to this RFI constitutes consent to such handling and disclosure of submitted information.

White Paper Topics

IPP is seeking input on the following topics, although papers addressing other important aspects relevant to IPP and the anticipated contract are also welcome.

  1. Incentives. A Cost Plus Award Fee contract is currently anticipated for this work. Comments on other methods of incentivizing the resultant contractor to achieve optimum performance are being sought.
  2. Knowledge of Center Capabilities. IPP considers it critical for the Contractor to develop and maintain an in-depth knowledge of each Center’s areas of expertise, capabilities and technology as they relate to NASA Mission Directorate needs. One suggested method of achieving this level of knowledge would be to co-locate between ½ to 1 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) contractor personnel at each Center. Comments on this approach and suggested alternatives are being sought.
  3. Technology Based Partnership Development. Given budgetary constraints, it will not be possible for any contractor to staff its organization with experts in the many fields of technology of interest to NASA. Methods to establish a network of knowledgeable, recognized experts with established contacts in specific technology fields on an as-needed basis are being sought.
  4. Communication. Given the many changes in IPP, new IPP communication strategies with a variety of groups are required. Optimizing communication within the available budget and priorities will also be challenging. Methods on how to best communicate within NASA and with various stakeholders are being sought.
  5. Intellectual Property Management. Streamlined approaches on how to identify those technologies which should be protected, as well as how to license them, are being sought.
  6. Innovative Ideas. New and innovative approaches to doing business are being sought to increase the effectiveness of the Program.

All documents should be delivered in electronic format using Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat no later than Monday, March 13, 2006, 4:30 EST to

This RFI is being used to obtain information for planning purposes only.

As stipulated in FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not considered offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract.

This RFI is subject to FAR 52.215-3.

Point of Contact

Name: Kathleen K. Needham
Title: Lead Technology Commercialization Specialist
Phone: (202) 358-1982
Fax: (000) 000-0000
Email: Kathleen.K.Needham@nasa.go

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