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Request For Information on NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate Virtual Institutes

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) continually looks for ways to help advance the development of U.S. aerospace technology. With the accelerating pace of innovation, NASA seeks to better understand opportunities for early technology research and development (R&D), especially in partnership with academia. In particular, NASA is interested in the potential benefits of forming virtual institutes to facilitate research and technology advancements from U.S. academic organizations. A virtual institute is an organizational model allowing distributed participation by experts in academia, not-for-profit organizations, and individual researchers. It enables coordination and cooperation without requiring participants to be collocated.

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) already has multiple programs engaged in excellent work with university researchers, most notably through the Space Technology Research Grants Program (STRG). However, NASA is considering the possibility of establishing virtual institutes to complement the individual research grants and project opportunities already offered in STMD programs. Through this Request for Information (RFI), NASA seeks input on the use of academia-based virtual institutes to advance promising technology research avenues; the manner to implement and manage such virtual institutes; the identification of organizations that might be interested in leading, managing, facilitating, or participating in a virtual institute; and recommended processes that would enable more efficient and effective partnership and research progress.

The RFI can be obtained through the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={88E280FD-4790-BDEE-71CE-E6A5FA0A5B31}&path=open

Responses are limited to no more than 10 pages and should be uploaded as a single PDF file attachment not to exceed 10MB at the NSPIRES web site (http://nspires.nasaprs.com) by October 21, 2015 (5:00pm Eastern). Please refer to the “Virtual Institute RFI Response Submission Instructions” document on the Virtual Institutes NSPIRES Web page for RFI response submission instructions. Note that responses to this RFI may be submitted within NSPIRES directly by the PI; no action by an organization’s Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) is required to submit a response.

Note: This RFI was originally released on May 22, 2015 and is being re-released now to provide opportunity for additional responses. Responses received under the previous RFI need not be submitted again, they will be reviewed together with new responses.

This RFI is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government, nor will the Government pay for the information submitted in response. Respondents will not be notified of the results. NASA Clause 1852.215-84, Ombudsman, is applicable. The Center Ombudsman for this acquisition can be found at http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/pub/pub_library/Omb.html.

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