Draft bid due for imaging, workflow wares

The National Institutes of Health plans to release next week a draft statement of work to acquire imaging systems and workflow solutions to control the mountain of paperwork that the agency's institutes, centers and divisions create.

NIH plans to award by September multiple task-order contracts, including awards to 8(a) and small firms, to obtain hardware, software and services for document conversion, electronic storage and document management.

The project, expected to be worth at least $100 million over two years, may be expanded to include other federal agencies.

"What we're trying to do is cultivate an imaging community that works together" to create specific solutions, said Manny De Vera, director of NIH's Computer Acquisition Center.

Most imaging vendors declined to talk about the draft statement of work until it is released March 25 on NIH's National Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center home page at http://www.nih.gov/od/oirm. Some vendors mentioned Wang Laboratories Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp. as possible favorites to win the contract. A key goal of the procurement is for imaging systems to reduce the amount of space and personnel that NIH devotes to storing paper documents, letters, reports, studies, memos, grants, contracts and agreements. More complex image processing will be available for offices involved in clinical, biological and radiological research. Spatial hard-copy images, such as X-rays and microscopic images, will be digitized. The images, including CAT scans, will be stored in databases that all institutes, centers and divisions can access.

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