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Onrbaa14-006 Amendment 0003 Attachment 1 Pre-Industry Day Faq.Pdf
Date Originally Posted
Jan. 16, 2014, 1:54 p.m.
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Page 1 of 11 ONR BAA 14-006 Electronic Warfare Technology Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) GENERAL QUESTIONS Question 1: Will the briefing slides shown at the Industry Day be posted on the ONR website? Answer: Yes. Question 2: Will an attendance list be provided for the Industry Day? Answer: Yes, a list will be posted on the BAA website, minus those people who request their names be excluded. Question 3: Who will be the evaluators of the White Papers and Proposals for this BAA? Will it be just yourself and Dr. Rudd? Answer: The plan is to employ a panel of subject matter experts (SMEs), the cognizant Program Officer and other Government scientific experts will perform the evaluation of White Papers and Technical Proposals. Restrictive notices notwithstanding, one or more support contractors may be utilized as subject-matter-expert technical consultants. However, Proposal selection and award decisions are solely the responsibility of Government personnel. Each support contractor's employee having access to Technical and Cost Proposals submitted in response to this BAA will be required to sign a non-disclosure statement prior to receipt of any White Papers or Proposal submissions. Question 4: Does the parallel solicitation that has been distributed to government labs and warfare centers have the same deadline for White Papers as the BAA? Answer: Yes, significant areas including deadlines for White Papers are the same. Question 5: Would you have any interest in receiving White Papers that are outside the area of Electronic Warfare but still of great interest to the U.S. Navy? Answer: No. The focus of this BAA is on Electronic Warfare so other technical areas will not be considered. For other topics of interest to the U.S. Navy, BAA ONR 14-001 may be more appropriate. However, you are encouraged to seek out the appropriate Program Officer within ONR that handles the technology area of interest and discuss the matter with him or her before submitting any White Paper or Proposal in response to BAA ONR 14-001. Consult the ONR website to determine the best point of contact. WHITE PAPERS Page 2 of 11 Question 1: In the White Paper, do we need to select one of the suggested research areas in Section I.F. that our technology area fits in or can it refer to multiple areas? Answer: Please decide which is the primary research area from Section I.F. of the BAA that you wish to address, but you are free to cite other research areas that also apply. We may assign groups of SME's to review the papers by research area so it is important to specify the area that you feel is best aligned to your technology. Research area 4 (Innovative EW Concepts) should only be used for White Papers that don't fit elsewhere. Question 2: If we intend to write a White Paper, are we limited to one White Paper of six pages in length for any/all of the subsections listed under section I.F. (Research Opportunity Description), or can we write a six page White Paper for each subsection (1 through 4) we intend to address? Answer: Any Offeror can submit as many White Papers as they want, but each individual proposed effort (with a defined technical objective, approach, and set of deliverables) should be limited to a single 6-page White Paper. Each White Paper should be able to identify a primary research area (1a/1b/1c, 2, 3, or 4) that it is addressing from Section I.F. of the BAA (Research Opportunity Description), but can identify multiple additional secondary areas as well. Question 3: Can a single company submit multiple White Papers in which each one develops a separate piece of a system? Answer: I would discourage this, since it would require all of the efforts to be funded to get a complete product. In general, each White Paper should stand on its own merits and not be tied to or dependant upon any other White Papers. Question 4: Our Company requires proprietary information sent via email to be encrypted. Will this be a problem? Answer: Email submission of White Papers will not be accepted. All White Papers must be uploaded to a secure (encrypted) file transfer protocol (FTP) site. Question 5: We have a concept that may be classified but we do not have a classification guide to get a final determination. How would such a White Paper be marked and submitted? Answer: Recommend that you contact your company security personnel and mark the paper according to their directions. If determined to be classified, the White Paper should be appropriately marked and submitted using the instructions in the BAA that refer to classified White Paper submission (Section IV Application and Submission Information, Sub-Section B Content and Format of White Papers/Full Proposals). Question 6: In the resume section of the White Paper submission are we allowed to include information or experience about the company that we feel supports our efforts in these technical areas? Page 3 of 11 Answer: Yes, but I recommend such discussions be kept to a minimum. We do not want 75 page packets submitted that consist of a 6 page White Paper and 69 pages of backup material. We will focus on the 6 page technical content and we request that the supplementary material be kept short and to the point. Question 7: Can foreign institutions submit White Papers and Proposals to this BAA? Answer: Offerors proposing on export controlled technologies and topics must meet requirements of ITAR regulations. See page 12 of the BAA. Foreign institutions that satisfy them and other export control requirements, as well as the other requirements of this BAA, may submit White Papers and Proposals. Question 8: What happens to White Papers that are not selected for further consideration? Is the information destroyed? Answer: No. White Papers not selected will be retained in a separate file in accordance with FAR 4.805 entitled, “Storage, Handling, and Disposal of Contract Files”. ORAL PRESENTATIONS Question 1: How long are the oral presentations that are given in March at the EW Program Review? Answer: The presentations are 20 minutes long with a 10 minute question and answer period for 30 minutes total. Offerors that are selected to give an oral presentation will be provided with a briefing template that ensures the technical, programmatic and required background info is covered. Question 2: You stated that during the oral presentations in March representatives of industry or academia would not be in the audience. Would the audience include proposers from the government? Answer: No. Government proposers may not be in attendance during oral presentations or participate in the evaluation process. FULL PROPOSALS Question 1: Will ONR request more Full Proposals to be submitted than there are resources to fund? Answer: No. ONR will request Full Proposals from only those entities whose efforts they intend to fund starting in fiscal year 2015. However, if the final approved DoD budget for fiscal year 2015 includes less funding for ONR EW Discovery & Invention (D&I) efforts than is currently anticipated, it may be necessary to limit the awards to match the funding available. Question 2: Is there a limit on the number of awards a single company can receive? Answer: No. Question 3: Is it possible to add additional subcontractors over the life of the three year effort? Page 4 of 11 Answer: I would encourage you to have identified the people and companies you will be using up front and identify what part each plays in the overall effort. Changes that are necessitated due to unforeseen circumstances in the future are generally addressed through modification of the initial contract, subject to Program Officer and Contracting Officer approval. IRAD & DATA RIGHTS Question 1: Is there an option to combine your funding with a company’s IRAD? Answer: Possibly. There would most likely be intellectual property and data rights issues which would limit the government’s ability to use the technology in other efforts they may fund later. ONR prefers to fund efforts that develop innovative ideas and innovative technologies for the benefit of the DoD community over those that solely benefit one company. If your proposed effort does involve IRAD technology or funding or other intellectual property that is protected in other ways (for instance, under a prior SBIR) you can still submit a White Paper but the issue of intellectual property and data rights should be specifically pointed out in the White Paper. If omitted in the White Paper, it must certainly be addressed in the Full Proposal in Section II (Special Requirements), Sub-section 10 of the Required Technical Proposal Template (2011, Revision 8) that must be completed and submitted with the Full Proposal. GOVERNMENT/INDUSTRY TEAMING Question 1: Are you willing to fund a company’s effort if they are also working with the Army or Air Force Research Labs? Answer: Yes, I would be willing to consider it. However, I would discuss the effort with my colleagues from the other services to determine if there is any duplication to the effort within their service. Each paper would be handled on a case-by-case basis. Question 2: I'm curious as to the possibilities of combining a proposed effort with other government funded efforts that may happen. Answer: Combining a proposed effort with other government funded efforts is possible, but the relationship and roles would need to be clearly explained and a list of specific deliverables unique to the ONR-funded effort would be needed. Question 3: What is the best way to address this BAA and the separate government “Call for White Papers” for efforts involving combined government/industry efforts? Should the government lab submit a White Paper to lead the effort, and list all the participating industry/academic partners? Or should the government lab submit a White Paper focusing on leading the transition of the initiative and suggest to the industry/academic partners to pair up and submit a separate White Paper geared towards details of technical implementation? Page 5 of 11 Answer: We prefer to see a single proposed effort instead of a group of Proposals with aligned efforts. The White Paper should clearly indicate how the work will be divided among the participants, the roles of each, and recommend a contracting strategy for industry/academic participation (ONR contract (industry) or grant (academia)? Lab contract? Other contract vehicle?). Note that in such a combined effort the government lab participation should have a clear technical value-added and not just act as project manager or as a contracting facilitator. Question 4: You’ve said we can submit papers that partner with a Navy lab. How specific do we have to be in the White Paper with respect to how much industry does as compared to how much the Navy does? Answer: You need to clearly delineate what role the Navy lab will play in the effort. You also have to ensure that the Navy is already on board to provide their level of participation. The Navy Principal Investigator should be identified and his resume included. Any partnership with the Navy must have already been established. ONR will not be the go between to set up this partnership. Also, if your effort requires the use or participation of Navy assets or test ranges these have to be arranged by you. ONR will not be a facilitator for your effort. Question 5: Are there any guidelines regarding development in conjunction with Navy labs as opposed to without such partnerships? Answer: No, there are no guidelines. Partnering with a Navy lab will not get you any additional consideration during the evaluation process. Question 6: Will representatives from any Naval Warfare Centers (NWCs) be in attendance at the Industry Day? Answer: No NWC participation is planned for Industry Day. Although representatives from multiple organizations and firms are expected, any Government staff from Navy laboratories or NWCs would attend as interested parties rather than participants providing briefings or seeking partners. Question 7: Would a White Paper that proposed partnering industry with the Coast Guard Research and Development Center be allowed? Answer: A White Paper proposing partnering industry with CGR&DC would be considered. FUNDING Question 1: Is there a single pot of money to fund industry efforts and a separate pot for government efforts? Answer: No, a single funding source will be used for all the selected efforts whether they are from industry, academia, FFRDC, UARC, government labs, or warfare centers. There are no earmarks for any Page 6 of 11 Offeror or group of Offerors; the only consideration for funding decisions is the content of the Proposal and the available budget. Question 2: Is this funding you have sent aside for 2015 new starts affected by multiyear efforts from previous years and efforts from future years that may be funded? Answer: No, this funding has been identified and set aside for each of the next three years to fund efforts in the Research Areas identified in the BAA. Question 3: How many efforts will be funded in each year? Answer: That depends upon how much the selected efforts cost. As stated in the BAA we anticipate most efforts to cost around $3M - $4M per year for 3 years (Area 1 only) or $500K - $1,500K per year for 3 years (Areas 2- 4). It is always possible that higher priced efforts may be selected. However, if you proposed an effort costing $8M - $9M per year for Area 1a you would need to convince the panel of reviewers that your effort deserves a budget that is 2x – 3x above the norm and, quite frankly, that would be very difficult to do. Generally speaking, efforts that request a budget that falls outside the range given in the BAA need to show a very compelling reason both technically and programmatically to convince the panel of reviewers that they are worthy of being selected. Question 4: Over how many years will efforts be funded? Answer: Generally, the efforts are three year efforts. One year and two year efforts are fine but if you have a four year effort you need to take a look at the schedule and see if there is any way to compress it down into three years. Question 5: Is there additional funding available in the out-years? Answer: Possibly, but those funds are currently planned to support new start efforts in those years and any funds used to continue current efforts will cut into the amount available for new starts. Question 6: Regarding program funding, is there a profile that is considered more desirable than others? Answer: Not necessarily, but the profile should make sense with respect to the effort being proposed. One would normally not expect the funding to be front-loaded but rather spread out over the life of the program, possibly with a slightly higher profile in the final year as testing and other more costly events occur. But whatever profile is proposed it must be justified by the program plan. FTP Site Question 1: Will the FTP site allow me to upload multiple White Papers at one time? Page 7 of 11 Answer: Yes, the FTP software allows Offerors to upload multiple files at once using a batch drop. This is very similar to copying or moving multiple files on a computer that uses a windows-based operating system. Question 2: If my White Paper has application to multiple research areas of the BAA, will I upload a single White Paper or will I upload multiple copies of the same paper, one for each research area? Answer: Offerors will upload a single White Paper. The file naming convention for each White Paper needs to follow the following format: Primary research area_additional research area #2 (if applicable)_additional research area #3 (if applicable)_logically abbreviated White Paper title_last name of principle investigator .pdf or .doc or .docx As an example, for a White Paper with application in only a single research area, such as the Innovative EW Concepts research area (4), the Offeror would upload a file with the following file naming convention: 4_Practical development of Romulan cloaking technology_Kirk.pdf However, if an Offeror is submitting a White Paper that covers two or more research areas, e.g. 1a is the primary area and 1b is the secondary area, then they would upload a file with the following naming convention: 1a_1b_relativistic pre-causal EW receivers_einstein.doc Finally, for three research areas in proper descending order from primary to tertiary research areas, 2_3_1b_EW applications of green eggs and ham_suess.pdf The reason for following this naming convention is that the FTP server will execute a script that bins all White Papers according to their primary research area. It is also during this operation when tracking numbers will be assigned. If Offerors upload multiple copies of the same paper, then this will cause considerable confusion during our processing. For those papers with secondary and tertiary applications, the ONR staff will manually copy them to the appropriate folders for evaluation. Additionally, if an Offeror uploads duplicate copies of the same White Paper, then ONR will process the most recent file uploaded by date & time stamp and delete all other versions. Question 3: My Company requires all White Papers and Proposals to be submitted using password protection. Will I be able to upload password protected White Papers and provide you the password via email? Answer: No. The instructions in the BAA clearly state that Offerors are not permitted to upload White Paper files that are password protected. The FTP site provides a secure, encrypted connection to your Page 8 of 11 client software (e.g. your web browser) during your uploading session. Only the Offeror, ONR staff, and evaluators will have access to your White Paper. Please see the Instructions in the BAA regarding the proper process for submitting Full Proposals when requested. Question 4: How will I know if my paper has been successfully uploaded to the FTP server? Answer: The FTP server uses a windows-based website interface for Offerors to upload their files. Once a file has been uploaded successfully, your client software will indicate that the transfer was successful in addition to a visual display in your home folder that shows the file and the date & time stamp for last modification. Additionally, Offerors will be able to open their file on the FTP server to ensure that it was uploaded successfully and opens properly. It is recommended that Offerors do a Print Screen (PrtScn) capture of the successful upload to retain for your records. Additionally, the FTP Site Administrator will keep an event log that tracks all successful/failed file transfers with a date & time stamp. Question 5: If I am uploading multiple papers, will I get a confirmation for each paper or just a single confirmation at the end of the session? Answer: Please refer to question 4. The same notification procedure applies to both single and multiple file uploads. Question 6: If my paper is classified, will I be able to upload it to the FTP site? If not, what procedures will I use to obtain a confirmation that I met the submission deadline? Answer: Under no circumstances should an Offeror submit classified information to the FTP site, which is an unclassified system that operates on an unclassified network. Please see the BAA for instructions regarding the proper procedures for submission of classified information. Any classified White Paper that is uploaded to the FTP site will be reported to the appropriate security office for immediate action. However, as a courtesy to the ONR staff, Offerors are requested, but not required, to upload an unclassified document to the FTP site prior to the submission deadline that contains the following information: • The following statement: "Actual White Paper is classified." • Principle investigator point-of-contact information, • Contracting administrator/manager point-of-contact information, • Unclassified White Paper title Primary research area, secondary and tertiary research areas (if applicable), • Yearly funding totals based on Government fiscal year. Page 9 of 11 The uploaded unclassified file shall follow the same file naming convention as described in question 2. Uploading this file does not confirm receipt of your classified paper or that it was received by the submission deadline. Instead, it acts as a placeholder for the actual classified White Paper if it is received prior to the submission deadline. At 3:00:01 PM (EST) the ONR Classified Material Custodian will be checked for receipt of any classified White Papers. Offerors will be notified via email if a paper has been received. Due to the uncertainties that can impact mail delivery it is highly recommended that those submitting classified White Papers provide extra time in order to ensure their paper arrives at ONR by the cut-off date/time. Question 7: My project has two partners, one from Industry and the other from Academia. Should we both submit the same White Paper or only one of us? Will it make any difference who uploads it? Answer: Offerors shall only upload one copy of their White Paper to the FTP site. If duplicate copies of the same White Paper are submitted, then only the most recent file as indicted by the date & time stamp will be processed and all other copies will be deleted. It is incumbent upon the teammates to determine their internal file submission procedure to the FTP site, e.g. who will upload the file and when, and provide notification to their teammates. Question 8: If the principle investigator is not available to upload the White Paper to the FTP site, must someone else register to ensure that it gets submitted by the deadline? Answer: During FTP user registration, it is highly recommended that a potential Offeror provide additional POCs that they wish to have access to their directory/folder. Each person will have their own user name for security and auditing purposes, but will have access to the same folder. For example, in addition to the principle investigator, an Offeror may want to grant access to their contacts administrator/manager, a program manager (if applicable), members of an organization's chain-of-command (within reason), or a team member for joint efforts. The purpose for this access is threefold. First, it provides an Offeror with redundant FTP site access for White Paper submission in case the principle investigator is indisposed when the paper is ready for submitting, e.g. another member from the Offeror's organization can upload the file in the PI's absence. Second, it allows members of an Offeror's organization to check to see if the White Paper has been submitted on-time. And third, this process should help reduce the number of duplicate papers received each year because of poor coordination within an Offeror's organization/team. It is the Offeror's responsibility to institute the proper internal controls/procedures to ensure a single copy of the correct White Paper is submitted prior to the deadline. If duplicate White Papers are submitted, ONR will process the most recent file submitted prior to the submission deadline according to the date & time stamp. Question 9: If I am having trouble uploading a paper to the FTP site, whom do I contact for assistance? Answer: All technical questions/issues related to the FTP site should be submitted to the FTP Site Administrator via email and CC the ONR Technical POC and Business POC as listed in the BAA. Potential Page 10 of 11 Offerors will receive information on how to contact the FTP Site Administrator with the reply email after registering for a user account according to the instructions in the BAA. Question 10: My Company is partnering with another organization on a White Paper, but we plan on submitting additional company-only White Papers of our own. What is the procedure for handling this on the FTP site and will our partner be able to access/read our own proprietary papers? Answer: During FTP user registration, it is recommended that Offerors describe their future teaming arrangements and desired user access. The FTP Site Administrator can establish a shared folder between the Offeror and its teammate for their joint White Paper, and create a separate folder that only the Offeror can access for its proprietary White Papers. Offerors are encouraged to contact the FTP Site Administrator to discuss their folder structure needs. Question 11: If I am logged into the FTP site and am in the process of uploading my White Paper when the submission deadline is reached, will I still be able to complete my file transfer past the deadline? Answer: No. All user accounts will be disabled at 3:00:01 PM (EST) without exception, which includes ending all server sessions/connections. Because we have minimal control over network congestion, potential Offerors are highly encouraged to plan ahead and upload their White Papers as early as possible. Question 12: After uploading a White Paper, I discover an error. Will I be allowed to upload a revised file in its place before the submission deadline? If so, how do I do that? Answer: Yes. Once a potential Offeror has registered for a FTP user account, you may begin uploading your files at any time prior to the submission deadline. If an Offeror wishes to replace a file with another, you may do so by deleting the old file and uploading the new one. However, if duplicate/multiple copies of a White Paper are uploaded, ONR will use the most recent uploaded file for processing as indicated by the date & time stamp and all other copies will be deleted. Question 13: Will I be allowed to upload zip files to the FTP site? Answer: Yes. An Offeror will be able to zip files prior to upload using the website interface, and then unzip them after transfer. However, ONR requests that Offerors ensure that all of their White Paper files are unzipped and the zipped files are deleted prior to submission deadline. Question 14: If I fail to register for a user account to the FTP site, can I still submit a White Paper via email? Answer: No. White Papers submitted by email will not be accepted. Question 15: What is meant by "client software?" Do I need special software to access the FTP site? Page 11 of 11 Answer: Client software is the program an Offeror will use on their computer to establish a secure, encrypted connection to the FTP site, which is running the server software. All potential Offerors will interface with the FTP site using their preferred web browser, e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, or Opera. The FTP site uses the FIPS 140-2 protocol that safeguards sensitive/controlled unclassified information. Because of this protocol, certain restrictions apply to the capability of various older web browsers. For example, only Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2 protocols will be used. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 2.0 and 3.0 have been disabled because of their inherent and proven vulnerabilities to attack. It is recommended that Offerors use the most up-to-date web browser that their operating system will permit that implement the highest TLS level possible. ONR is not responsible for Offerors using out of date web browsers with known security vulnerabilities and Offerors assume the risk of data compromise during file transfer. Although ONR does not officially recommend one web browser over another, the FTP Site Administrator has noted that the most recent version of Google Chrome implements TLS 1.2 with forward secrecy and state-of-the-art encryption algorithms for key exchange.