Innovation

GSA rolls out shared services pilot for SBIR

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The General Services Administration hopes to accelerate how small businesses introduce new technologies to federal customers by making the commercialization phase of its small business innovation program a shared services offering.

GSA has stood up a pilot plan for its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The pilot will make and manage awards for the program through its Office of Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS).

AAS’ Great Lakes Region and Federal Systems Integration and Management (FEDSIM) teams will lead the pilot, which will run through September.

Mark Lee, assistant commissioner for the Office of Policy and Compliance in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, told reporters in a July 30 conference call that the pilot was prompted by requests from the 13 agencies that use the SBIR program.

Those agencies -- which include the Commerce Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, the Energy Department, NASA and others -- contract with small companies with promising technologies through the SBIR process. However, the agencies “don’t have specific SBIR support,” Lee said, and all of them -- especially DOD -- are looking for a solution to solve that issue. The pilot, he added, will “offer a shared services solution across government.”

SBIR, created in the 1980s by the Small Business Administration to help domestic small businesses speed their development and introduction of new technologies, is a competitive program structured in three phases.

Phases I and II focus on research and development and product development, while Phase III looks to commercialize products and technology fostered by the first two phases.

The pilot will help GSA determine how it can expand the commercialization service offering, Jeffrey Koses, GSA’s senior procurement executive, said during the call. That ability to bridge the gap between emerging technology companies and the federal market is GSA’s sweet spot, he said.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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