Small business DoD R&D funding – BAA

What is a Broad Agency Announcement?

Government agencies often solicit small business research through Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs). These are competitive R&D requests for innovative solutions from scientific and technology firms to meet DoD and other federal agency needs. They’re designed to encourage state-of-the-art ideas and creative approaches for solving an agency’s stated problem.

Green Tape BAA7 steps for submitting an award-winning BAA

1.   Check out FedBizOpps.gov or Grants.gov for BAA solicitation announcements. You’ll see a short explanation and a link for the full announcement to the federal agencies that participate in BAAs.

2.   Carefully read the BAA; you’ll find all the information you need there.

3.   For good measure, read it again. This time, create a spreadsheet, a checklist or integrated product development plan for all the items needed in the BAA proposal. Then use this to track everything you do throughout the proposal process.

4.   Connect with the technical and contract points of contacts. They’re listed on the BAA — and don’t breeze by that part. Send an e-mail. Call. Whatever you do, connect with them. Ask questions, often. If you decide to go for a BAA proposal, it could take weeks — or months — to write. Remember, you always want to know the governments’ requirements before you pitch your innovation.

For example, we worked with a scientist who developed some innovative medical technology. But he didn’t know how to market to the government (and the government isn’t just one client; it’s many). The key to marketing to agencies is understanding their requirements and how they buy small business R&D, then molding an offering to meet their needs.

Because he ignored our advice to ask questions about the agency’s problems and where it needed help, we weren’t surprised that he wasn’t awarded a BAA — or any government award, for that matter. The government wants the best science and technical innovations and often purchase from top quartile university Ph.D.s or MD.s. But not always. What agencies care most about is whether an innovation meets their or their clients’ needs, within their timeframes and budgets.

It’s really as simple as that. It’s the details in the process that are more complicated.

5.   Find out if white papers are required before submitting a proposal. This is to ensure that the innovation, principal investigator, program manager and related cost proposed are of interest to the government agency. After all, if there’s no need or interest, why bother? BAAs are often evaluated by a multidisciplinary agency team, if the agency likes your white paper, you’ll be invited to submit a formal technical and cost proposal.

6.   Ensure that your project is well defined, and the  principal investigator/program manager and contract team are in place.

Whether this is your first or ninth BAA, Green Tape can help. As BAA and proposal experts, we assist with every step in the proposal process. In fact, our proposal win rate for clients has been as high as 50 percent, dramatically above the industry average.

7.   When the agency announces the award, negotiations begin. Closely working with the contract officer and your subcontractors can be a long process. If you aren’t a contracts or grants professional, and don’t know what an optimal contract looks like for you,it’s an area where someone with experience in government contracts can negotiate on your behalf. After all the time, money and effort invested in preparing the proposal, you don’t want to lose the money now.

After writing a white paper, putting your BAA proposal together and negotiating for weeks or months, both parties sign the contract.

If it’s your first BAA, the only thing in life that you’ll do from this point on is make sure that you’re ready for it and ensure that you meet the agency’s requirements. Prepare yourself. Better yet, prepare your family.

It may seem like it, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting process. Green Tape has more than 20 years’ experience managing programs and budgets, while ensuring deadlines are met. What’s more, we help clients win multiple R&D awards, including SBIR/STTR and bigger technical efforts, so you can stay focused on your science, technologies and innovations — and grow your business.

We can help you prepare your proposal, which includes calculating your cost or price; negotiate your contracts and grants; while managing your program and deliverables — on time.

If you want to increase your odds on winning a BAA and growing your business, contact us today.