Keeping in line with its decision in August to migrate from "Solicitations" to "Broad Agency Announcements" (BAA), the DoD will issue its 2017.1 SBIR BAA, and its 2017.A STTR BAA on November 30, 2016. They will keep the same format of Pre-Release period where you can contact the topic author (TPOC), usually about 30 days, but increased in this offering to 41 days due to the holidays, then the official opening (no more TPOC contact) on January 10, 2017 and a closing date of February 8, 2017. There have been some organizational changes at the DoD's Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) who, in addition to other small business programs, facilitates the SBIR/STTR BAA. Gary Motsek is now the Acting Director of the DoD OSBP replacing Kenyata Wesley who has moved to other duties. Mr. Motsek is a well seasoned veteran of DoD management and brings a great deal of experience to that position. So far we are hearing good things about his leadership. David Sikora continues his job at OSBP as the DoD SBIR Program Administrator. Q. Why did DoD move from Solicitations to BAAs? It really has more to do with the DoD contracting process and the way the award is made. Technically I've been told that the term "Solicitation" is most often handled under FAR Part 15 which has some limitations that some (perhaps anal) contracting agents believe doesn't accommodate the contracting flexibility needed for SBIR agreements.
The term BAA is generally handled by FAR Part 35 which can apply to the acquisition of research, which has more SBIR flexibility. The SBIR "Solicitations" have always been considered under FAR 35 but some contracting agents claim otherwise (FAR 15) which slows down or undermines the process. The bottom line on the word "flexibility," is really more related to SBIR Data Rights, which some "feds" hate! Courtesy of SBIR Insider www.zynsys.com/sbir