SBIR Insider Newsletter
Speical DoD SBIR Resource Center Issue
February 2, 2015
Dear SBIR Insider,
This is a special issue for those of you who participate, or want to participate in the DoD's SBIR/STTR program. Those of you who don't, may want to read on to see how government contracting can run amok.
The DoD SBIR/STTR program utilizes two web sites; 1) http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/sbir which provides basic information about the program, 2) www.dodsbir.net aka the "DoD SBIR Resource Center" which provides detailed information, accepts and processes proposals, and provides help services.
Over the weekend we received calls and emails from the small business community asking if we knew what was wrong with the DoD SBIR support site www.dodsbir.net . After some checking over the weekend it certainly appeared as if the web server was shut down. After some investigation on Monday, February 2 (observing that it was still down) we uncovered what was happening, or in this case, NOT happening.
On Saturday January 31 the DoD SBIR/STTR submission and support web site was closed down. This was due to an expired Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) contract that supported their SBIR/STTR programs.
The outages of the "DoD SBIR Resource Center" include the DoD SBIR/STTR submission site, the SITIS interactive topic information system (where you can pose questions to the topic authors), the DoD topic search engine, the SBIR Help desk and many other tools.
A new DoD SBIR support contractor was selected. The government makes their contractor support selection based on their needs in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations [FAR] and DFARS. However, in selecting a new contractor (which we have no issue with), there needs to be a transition plan for migrating these complex information systems. Many of you have experienced buying a new computer and migrating your programs and data files from the old computer to the new. Imagine this at a much larger scale. It requires a good deal of planning!
To the best of what we can see at the moment, a transition plan for this support is, at worst non-existent, or at best totally inept! This is happening at a critical time for the DoD's FY-15.1 SBIR and FY-15.A STTR, since both programs are in process of accepting proposals from our small business community to help provide cutting edge solutions for the DoD, their components and our warfighters.
At the time of this writing, no SBIR/STTR proposals can be submitted, no questions answered, and I'd be very suspicious of any already submitted proposals getting to their destination.
This is not a problem brought about by SBIR program mangers or people at their level. This is high up in OSBP management and their contracts shop. This is also at a time when OSD's OSBP is working to have more control over the various DoD component SBIR/STTR programs. However, this serves as an example as to why the DoD components (Army, Navy, Air Force, etc) need less, not more governance from the OSD's OSBP.
Although I'm sure OSBP is working the issue, there is no set date to turn the lights back on, but depending on the method used, it could take place in a few days (or sooner if they involve the previous contractor in the transition process). In the mean time, you can register with us at www.zynsys.com/sbir/dod.htm and we'll let you know when it is back on.
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