A--Research and Development in support of the Living Marine Resource Program
Department of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command | Published August 24, 2016 - Deadline August 23, 2017
This announcement constitutes a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NEXWC) under FAR 6.102(d)(2) and 35.106. A formal Request for Proposals (RFP), other solicitation, or additional information regarding this announcement will not be issued.
FAR Part 35 restricts the use of BAAs, such as this, to the acquisition of basic and applied research and that portion of advanced technology development not related to the development of a specific system or hardware procurement. Contracts made under BAAs are for scientific study and experimentation directed towards advancing the state of the art and increasing knowledge or understanding.
This announcement is not for the acquisition of technical, engineering, or other types of support services.
The Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, through the Living Marine Resources (LMR) program, is soliciting pre-proposals for efforts related to any one of the two (2) need topics listed below. If invited, offerors will be asked to submit a full proposal.
NEED TOPIC 1: MEASURING EXPLOSIVE EFFECTS TO MARINE MAMMALS. (LMR N-0134-17).
There is little information about the potential direct effects to marine mammals from exposure to blasts from underwater explosions. The criteria for safe standoff ranges, slight lung injury, and severe injury/mortality for marine mammals are based on limited datasets originally derived from experiments using historic studies using small submerged terrestrial animals subjected to underwater explosions.
Tissues surrounding the lungs and other air-filled cavities are most susceptible to near-field blast damage. These assessments, however, are based on a number of assumptions regarding response of the lungs of terrestrial mammals vs. those of marine mammals when exposed to underwater blasts and scaling of lung volume with the marine mammal’s mass. Lung injury is related to stretching (strain) of lung tissue that occurs in response to underwater explosions. Historically, this strain is estimated by (1) assuming that the lung volume responds to depth and underwater explosions in the same manner as would a freestanding spherical bubble in response to uniform step changes in pressure; and (2) assuming that the presence of marine mammal tissue (blubber and muscle) has no influence on the transmission of the underwater explosion shock wave energy to the lungs, or the response of lung volume to rapid ambient pressure changes.
We are soliciting pre-proposals under this topic to address these assumptions and advance our understanding about the potential effects from underwater explosions using analogues or other approaches that do not involve living marine mammals.
The intended result of the investigation will produce an improved and scientifically defensible understanding of risk to marine mammals posed by underwater explosions.
NEED TOPIC 2: UNDERSTANDING THE RANGE TO EFFECT TO THE BEHAVIORAL RESPONSE OF MARINE MAMMALS FROM SONAR EXPOSURE. (LMR N-0135-17).
It has been noted from previous behavioral response studies that the context of when the exposures are experienced by marine mammals may affect their responses. It was noted that marine mammals may have the ability to assess range (distance) to the sound source and received sound pressure level may not be the only factor to consider when assessing behavioral responses.
We are soliciting pre-proposals under this topic to study the range dependency of behavioral response to Navy sonars.
Pre-proposals must include an approach that will lead to conducting a field study using exposure to Navy sonar sources. This can include sources such as the hull-mounted AN/SQS-53C, AN/AQS-22 dipping sonar, and other operational Navy sources. See Appendix A for LMR priority species and geographic regions. Pre-proposals should include appropriate research approaches including but not limited to: controlled exposure experiment on free-ranging animals, observational studies of incidental exposure such as during actual Navy training exercises or testing activities, etc. In addition, proposals should include appropriate methods including but not limited to tagging, direct measurement, passive acoustics, etc.
More details on Navy interests on the topic can be found in the recent workshop report ‘Report on the Status and Future of Behavioral Response Research’ by Catriona Harris and Len Thomas at the University of St. Andrews and jointly sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, the Living Marine Resources Program, and NOAA. https://research-repository.st-andrews.ac.uk/handle/10023/7741
NEED TOPIC 3: COORDINATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF DENSITY SPATIAL MODELING METHODS USING VISUAL AND ACOUSTIC SURVEY DATA. (LMR N-0136-17).
We are soliciting pre-proposals to develop a working group consisting of relevant scientists (government and non-government) to coordinate the advancement of density spatial modeling methods using visual and acoustic survey data.
The goal of the working group is to work together to identify and address priority issues in density surface modeling that are common to academia, NMFS Science Centers, Navy, and other agencies. This need involves a lead individual/team to coordinate a working group, lead the advancement of density spatial modeling methods, and coordinate with stakeholders to address priority issues identified by the working group. The key objectives of this need involve:
1. Bring together scientific leaders in density spatial modeling
2. Sharing information about best practices, without being prescriptive
3. Developing and implementing innovative approaches for advancing spatial modeling methods to best characterize marine species seasonal abundance and distribution within Navy training and testing areas
4. Highlight priority areas for continued research
The organizational format for the working group should capitalize on previous very successful approaches, e.g., National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), Population Consequences of Disturbance (PCOD) and Multi-Study Ocean acoustics Human effects Analysis (MOCHA) and should result in a series of collaborative publications.
The proposed structure and format of the working group should inspire collaboration amongst the leading scientists in field of density spatial modeling.
For more information on what is required in a proposal, guidance on LMR priority species and geographic regions, how to submit a proposal via the LMR website, and how proposals are evaluated, refer to Appendix A. Offerors will be required to adhere to the data rights and handling procedures agreement (Appendix B) and the geospatial data requirements (Appendix C). Modifications to the data rights and handling procedures agreement or geospatial data requirements should be discussed with the LMR program staff prior to proposal submission.
Offerors will also need to comply with the U.S. Navy Handling Procedures for Ocean Observing Systems (OOS) Data (Appendix D) and the Ocean Observing Systems Awareness and Compatibility Memorandum (Appendix E). Offerors should note, however, that locations labelled in red in Appendix E as incompatible with acoustic OOS actually overlap with some of the LMR priority geographic regions outlined in Appendix A. Strict adherence to passive acoustic monitoring site selection, passive acoustic device deployment notification and data custody guidance will be required. Site selection should be discussed with the LMR program staff prior to submission of the proposal package. DoD is still finalizing their plan to meet the goals and requirements of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memorandum titled Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research issued 2013 February 22.
All projects funded by LMR would be subject to DoD policy once it is finalized.
WEB-BASED SUBMISSION PROCESS:
Submissions should be made via the LMR program website, www.lmr.navy.mil, identifying one, and only one, of the three listed need topic areas as the primary focus of the pre-proposal. Pre-proposals and full proposals will only be evaluated under one need topic.
To be considered for funding in FY 2017, pre-proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm, Eastern Time on 19 OCTOBER, 2016. If invited to submit a full proposal, these will be due 30 days after notification.
Offerors will receive an automated email message acknowledging successful submission to the LMR program website.
Following a 2 month evaluation and approval process, successful pre-proposal offerors will receive an email inviting submission of a full proposal, also via the LMR program website. Unsuccessful pre-proposal offerors will receive an email via the LMR program website, but will not receive a detailed description of the reasons for pre-proposal rejection, due to the anticipated volume of submissions. Awards to non-government entities (academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations, industry) will be in the form of contracts. A nominal award amount has not been provided because the scope of the need topics varies considerably. However, proposals less than $300K/year are more likely to be funded given the limited budget of the LMR program in FY 2017-2018.
The nominal duration of a project is expected to be 1-3 years, with a maximum of 5 years. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use realism of cost for the proposed effort as their metric, as this will be a critical element in the review process. Otherwise meritorious pre-proposals and full proposals will be rejected if cost does not accurately reflect the proposed scope of work.
Proposed efforts involving interaction with and contact with marine mammals or endangered species may require research permits including but not limited to a Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) Research Permit, Endangered Species Act (ESA) scientific research permit, and/or Department of Defense Animal Care and Use authorization.
If the offeror currently possesses a permit or other documentation, it should be mentioned in the pre-proposal and submitted as part of the full proposal. If your project involves developing or demonstrating a technology, an agreement with NAVFAC EXWC will need to be established to describe the ownership/use of the technology. Contracts will not be awarded without appropriate regulatory documentation and all agreements in place.
The pre-proposals and full proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria, of approximately equal weight.
1. TECHNICAL APPROACH: The scientific/technical merits and objectives in terms of meeting the stated need topic, as well as evidence that the science/technology is mature enough for applied research funding, and the performance criteria to measure success of the research effort.
2. OFFEROR’S EXPERIENCE: For the pre-proposal phase, the offeror should clearly provide evidence or examples showing experience related to the solution being proposed. The organization’s capabilities related to experience, techniques, or a unique combination of these that are integral factors in achieving the contractors proposed objectives. This equates to past performance, and will be assessed based on both relevance and confidence. If invited to submit a full proposal, NAVFAC also requires the offeror to provide their EMR and DART ratings. Safety is an integral and important aspect in all NAVFAC work. If the offeror does not have an EMR/DART rating, they should state this and provide a narrative rationale.
See NFAS 15.304.
3. PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR’S AND KEY MEMBER’S RELATED EXPERIENCE: For the pre-proposal phase, the offeror should provide the name, highest degree earned, organization/affiliation, location, and years of experience for the Principal Investigator and key personnel who are critical in achieving the objectives of the proposal. Principle Investigators and key personnel should be identified in the pre-proposal as such. If invited to submit a full proposal, the offeror will need to upload CVs for the Principal Investigator and key personnel.
4. COST/PRICE: The cost relative to the proposed scientific/technical approach. For the pre-proposal phase this information may be limited to a total cost estimate by calendar year (Jan 1 – December 31).
Assume for Year 1 of your project that effort will begin in August due to the time it takes to get a contract in place It is assumed in Year 1 (August-December) of the project your cost estimate should only include labor/travel associated with the LMR In-Progress Review in Fall 2017. The majority of effort would take place in Year 2 and beyond. In addition to any other relevant travel required for the project, please include a trip for the PI to attend the In-Progress Review (IPR) meeting (3 days) each year (fall) in Port Hueneme, CA to present on the progress of the project. If invited to submit a full proposal, additional guidance on cost/price information will be provided. This is not prescriptive, and can be submitted in the contractor’s format.
However, the same information will be required.
5. NAVY BENEFITS AND IMPACT: Expected benefits of the proposed project, key issues the proposed solution addresses, potential application of the results of the project, and advantages over current approaches.
6. PRODUCT IMPLEMENTATION: Describe the intended product(s) and all associated deliverables, the requirements for implementing the proposed products of this effort by the Navy, and the potential technical risks that may pose a challenge to successful implementation.
1. An eligible pre-proposal or full proposal does not guarantee a contract. Multiple contracts may result.
2. An offeror is required to register with the system for award management (SAM).
No contract award will be made to any offeror that is not registered. Registration may take up to three weeks. SAM may be accessed at https://www.sam.gov. Registration is not required for proposal submission, but must be completed prior to initiation of award negotiation. To avoid delays in the award process, applicants are encouraged to initiate SAM registration early in the submission and review process. Non-government awardees will also need to provide a DUNS (Dunn and Bradstreet) number (http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.doc) and CAGE (Commercial and Government Entity) code (http://govwin.com/knowledge/ccr-registration) before an award can be made.
3. The preceding data should be sufficient for completing the pre-proposal form.
4. There are no solicitation documents applying to this LMR program BAA.
Request for a solicitation package will not be acknowledged. Those interested in participating in the LMR program BAA must follow the instructions to submit a pre-proposal.
5. There is no commitment by the Navy either to make any contract awards or to be responsible for any money expended by the contractor before a contract award.
6. As no funding for contracts has been reserved in advance, NEXWC will be sharing qualified pre-proposals with other Federal Government activities to seek demonstration sites and/or funding. Some Federal Government activities may employ civilian contractors to determine the applicability of an offered technology to specific projects. Technical and cost pre-proposals and full proposals submitted under this BAA will be protected from unauthorized disclosure in accordance with FAR 3.104-4 and 15.207.
The cognizant Program Manager and other scientific experts will perform the evaluation of technical proposals. Restrictive notices notwithstanding, one or more support contractors may be utilized as subject-matter-expert technical consultants in accordance with FAR 37.204. However, pre-proposal and full proposal selection and award decisions are solely the responsibility of Government personnel. Each support contractor’s employee having access to technical and cost pre-proposals and full proposals submitted in response to this BAA will be required to sign a non-disclosure statement prior to receipt of any pre-proposal or full proposal submissions. An offeror may require the non-government personnel to execute a supplemental non- disclosure agreement by including a copy of their institutional NDA with their proposal.
However, note that a failure to come to an agreement may impact the ability to make an award. Please review FAR 37.204 and NFAS 15.303(d)(4). Eligibility notification will be sent to all contractors who have submitted a pre-proposal, after the Technical Review Committee (TRC) and Living Marine Resources Advisory Committee (LMRAC) have reviewed all pre-proposals submitted by the solicitation cut-off date.
7. For questions regarding this BAA, contact NAVFAC EXWC at (805) 982-4853 or (805) 982-5872 or via this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Correspondents are advised not to include Personally Identifiable Information (PII), business proprietary, or competition-sensitive information via email.
Offerors will receive an automated email message acknowledging successful submission to the LMR program website. If the contractor does not receive a notification of pre-proposal receipt, the contractor should call or e-mail NEXWC by using the phone number or e-mail address provided in this section.
8. Historically Black Colleges/Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) will be recognized according to DFARS 226.3. All responsible sources from academia and industry may submit proposals. No portion of this BAA will be set aside for HBCU and MI participation, due to the impracticality of reserving discrete or severable items of this research for exclusive competition among the entities.
Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), including Department of Energy National Laboratories, are not eligible to receive awards under this BAA. However, teaming arrangements between FFRDCs and eligible principal bidders are allowed so long as they are permitted under the sponsoring agreement between the Government and the specific FFRDC.
DFARS 235.017-1 allows DOD FFRDCs which function primarily as research laboratories to apply. Naval laboratories and Warfare Centers as well as other DOD and civilian agency laboratories are not eligible to receive awards under this BAA and should not directly submit proposals in response to this BAA. If any such organization is interested in one or more of these program areas, they should contact the NEXWC program office to discuss its interest.
As with the FFRDCs, these organizations may team with other responsible sources from industry and academia that are submitting proposals under the BAA. University Affiliated Research Centers (UARC) are eligible to submit proposals under this BAA unless precluded from doing so by their DOD UARC contract or an organizational conflict of interest.
9. Do not call the Contracting Office for verification. The pre-proposal is not received by the Contracting Office.