The Dept. of Defense issued its 2013.2 SBIR pre-solicitation on April 24, opening a 30-window during which you can talk directly to its Technical Points of Contact (TPOCs), before proposals may be submitted beginning on May 24. Why bother talking to a TPOC?
- The TPOC is often the author of the topic and so is most knowledgeable about its intent.
- During the 30-day pre-solicitation period, your conversation with the TPOC is private. Once that period is over, you can post questions – anonymously – to the SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS) for technical clarification only, but your questions and responses will be public. (Conversely, you can gain information by monitoring the questions/answers of others, but the answers will likely be nowhere near what you can glean from a one-on-one conversation.).
- This is your opportunity to learn the parameters of the topic, ask technical questions, get clarification, and gauge whether and how well your technology meets the objective.
Even if you don’t talk to the TPOC, be sure you note who it is, because once the actual solicitation begins, TPOC names and contact information are withdrawn from view. A couple more BBCetc pointers:
- Topics are sometimes altered based on the questions received during the pre-solicitation, or even withdrawn, so be sure to double check the topics when the actual solicitation period begins.
- Always, always, always read the solicitation carefully. There’s no replacement for this invaluable step, which answers many questions and provides key pointers.
Here are those dates again:
April 24 – DOD Pre-Solicitation released; Talk to your TPOC now!
May 24 – Solicitation opens and TPOC communication ends
June 26 – Proposal deadline 6 PM (ET)
Becky Aistrup is a BBCetc Principal Consultant specializing in the DOD, NASA and DHS SBIR/STTR programs.