BD21 Industry Day QAs 7June2021.pdf


Original Source
Contract Opportunity
June 7, 2021



BD21 Industry Day Questions

Number Question


As you know, industry investment depends on a well-defined government acquisition
program . On the defense side, our companies are used to tracking JRO, FYDP/POM, and
R&D programs in advance of procurement funding. How will the CWMD office help
provide that level of detail to industry for increasing certainty on internal industry
investments in support of your needs?

Do you see the relationship between DHS and the States (towards security
enhancements for Courts & similar) becoming closer and more interactive?

Will there be a conflict of interest for any vendor supporting the current BioWatch
laboratory support services contract?

Have the survey results been published or can they be made available if requested?

What is the timeline of the CONOPS plan being approved by JRC? Will that be provided to
industry? Do you have a cost target for these systems? Obviously, these systems will vary
based on the scale of the indoor facility. Are you setting different price points depending
on the size of the facility?

This effort sounds like it is the same to the prior effort, BTE, which DHS found was not
technically feasible and cost prohibitive. How does BD21 differ from BTE? How are the
lessons from BTE being incorporated into this effort?

You mentioned resource concerns for state and locals. Do you anticipate DHS grants
being used to help fund any unforeseen unfunded costs for state and locals?

Government will release any information that is permitted for
public consumption as the need arises.

The program office will be achieving the following milestones:
Industry Day
Procurement Package Submitted to Procurement Office
Issuance of RFI/Draft RFP or RFQ
Acquisition Plan Approval
Release of Solicitation
Submission of Quotes/Proposals
Completion of Evaluation of Quotes/Proposals
Congressional Notification
Award Date

Yes, DHS does see closer and more interactive relationships. BD21
will capitalize on current Biowatch relationships and seek
opportunities to establish new relationships. The CWMD Office
provides information to industry following the guidelines as
specified by the Federal Acquisition Regulations. These guidelines
include the issuances of Requests for Information, and Broad
Agency Announcements. In addition, vendors can request and be
scheduled to meet with the CWMD program team using the
CWMD Industrial Engagement process.

In general the Government does not anticipate an organizational
conflict of interest (OCI) resulting from the current BioWatch
laboratory support services contract. The BD21 acquisition
strategy and requirement are still in development. Once finalized,
the Government will further assess the potential for any OCIs, to
include whether input from offerors is required during the BD21
RFP process to make a final OCI assessment.

The Government does not intend to release the results at this
The CONOPS was validated by the JRC on March 25, 2021.
Consultation with OPO is required prior to release to Industry.
Cost information is still be developed and cannot be addressed at
this time.

There are similarities between BTE and BD21. The significant
difference was that BTE was relying on single, unnetworked
triggers with onboard software providing a notification of
suspicious activity, with low probability of detection a result.
BD21 is relying on machine learning and development of an
algorithm capable of ingesting multiple data feeds from
networked sensors and potentially additional sources to evaluate
for an anomaly that is suspicious with a higher probability of
detection. The BD21 program has had full access to all lessons
learned from BTE and incorporated them into the effort.

It may beneficial to evaluate the options for addressing resource
concerns. In the BioWatch program Cooperative Agreements and
DHS Contractor staff have been used to offset resource
constraints in the jurisdictions, and sometimes tailoring to their
needs was necessary.

You mentioned Anomaly Algorithms, ML/AI and training, are you also considering Digital
Twin with BD21?

The program is not planning to do any extensive modeling of the
building as part of BD21.

For the ADA proof-of-concept specifically, computer simulated
models and virtual environments have been used for developing
the ADA. Though the design or acquisition strategy is not fully
developed for the BD21 program, the use of Digital Twin concept
for BD21 development may be considered in the development
strategy as a recommendation by the prime developer.
Developers are expected to provide a sound technical, cost
effective, and performance acceptable development strategy to
acquire and deliver BD21 required capabilities.

The prework that has been done to date has been focus on
establishing a proof of principle. The Government's intention has
not been to optimize a solution. The results of this work will be
shared with industry as deemed appropriate by the US
Government. However, nothing in the prework should be viewed
as directive or limiting the innovation industry can employ in
optimizing the solution for this problem. The plan will be to select
the solution that represents the best value to the government.

Yes- The slides are already published in

Yes, the current thought is an area would have multiple
sensor/ADA nodes acting in an array and that the responding
authority would respond to the sensor that alarmed with a FSD.

The accreditation process includes verification and validation
(V&V) of the models and simulations to be used in order to
demonstrate readiness for execution of the model. The results of
the V&V process will be evaluated. If the models and simulations
and their associated data are acceptable for use, the models will
be accredited by the CWMD lead technical authority (LTA).

The accreditation is granted by the CWMD lead technical authority
(LTA). The accreditation criteria will be defined in the early phases
of the modeling & simulation campaign with approval of the

The BD21 Acquisition Strategy is still in development, and the
procurement plan has not yet been finalized by program and
CWMD leadership. However, it is anticipated that the BD21
program will likely award multiple system integration contracts to
promote competition across system design and development
phases of the program. The strategy will likely require that system
integrators build their teams based on the component solution
providers they feel are best able to help their overall system
design meet program requirements and support their selection for
system production.

The Government does not intend to release this information.

A significant amount of testing seems to have taken place over the past 2 years for the
BD21 project, for example the work on the ADA to date. How directly is BD21
anticipating industry to use this pre-work? Should this pre-work be viewed as a general
knowledge-base for industry to start with, or is the intent to improve/expand directly on
this pre-work?

How is BD21 defining COTS and GOTS? It seems like the traditional definition is slightly
different for a TRL 7 tech demo.
Will slides be provided after today's presentation?

COTS and GOTS are TRL 9.

Is it the intent that there will be (many?) more Trigger/Collector/Networked 'boxes' than
there will be number of Field Service Devices?

Can you describe the accreditation process?

Accreditation by whom? To what standard?

In regard to BD21 budget planning. Can you please provide an overview of existing
budget authority for Biowatch and/or BD21 (FY20, 21)? Also, have you been given
notional budget authority for FY23-26. Do those estimates include increases over your
current funding level for Biowatch?

For Biowatch: FY20, $74.740M. FY21, $79.751M.
For BD21: FY20 and FY21, $3.5M
Future budget information will not be released.

Is it the government's intent to release BD21 as a single procurement that spans all of
the required components? If so, is the government concerned that the best component
solutions may be spread across different teams?

Laura Itle mentioned working with an MIT lab to test multi-sensor anomaly detection and
field screening functionality of screens at both indoor and outdoor venues. Which MIT
lab(s) assisted in this project? IBM has a long-standing research and development
oriented relationship with multiple MIT labs and we plan to follow-up with them as well
as we craft an RFP.

Are the field screening devices meant to be used in a mobile laboratory with access to
power, biohazardous waste disposal, pipettes, etc. or be a self-contained (battery
powered, internal liquid and waste handling), portable unit? Any other additional
information about the field screening devices or specifications would be helpful.
BD21 continues to reference the existing BioWatch operational budgets as opposed to
reviewing the planned BD21 objectives. When can BD21 operational budgets be provided
for Industry? (these data are critical for Industry to assess opportunity timing and value
v. USG expectations in this scope)
When will additional details on the pending OTA for the BD21 control module be

Will the upcoming acquisition efforts be focused on individual CTE or system integration
for indoor and/or outdoor operations?

Will the upcoming acquisition efforts require solutions across each of the proposed
BD21 blocks? When will outdoor requirements be released? How will future technology
upgrades be handled?

Requirements reviewed multiple variant/approaches for indoor fielding needs and the
acquisition approach depicted multiple solutions/awards is it envisioned that
responses would cover a multitude of deployment applications and scales indoors, or