We maintain consistent communications with our federal partners and support them in the process to develop the OFRN Areas of Interest. Further, OFRN funded teams have a standing relationship with a federal subject matter expert who has technical expertise and interest in the project’s research and output. The OFRN engages with its partners via meetings and quarterly briefings.
To achieve the Ohio Federal Research Network mission, we catalyze federal, academic, and commercial collaborations to support the future growth of Ohio’s workforce with a focus on the priority research initiatives of Ohio-based federal and state partners, including:
Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton (NAMRU-D)
National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC)
National Aeronautical and Space Administration’s Glenn Research Center (NASA-GRC)
The Ohio Federal Research Network team matchmaking service entails locating and connecting potential collaborators within the Ohio Federal Research Network to pursue federal and state R&D funding opportunities through collaborative innovation.
The OFRN utilizes networking and collaboration as solutions to innovation gaps present within Ohio-based federal entities. The OFRN’s networking and collaboration service identifies science and technology capabilities across academia, industry, and the government and builds strategic partnerships between each group to support federal missions. To achieve this objective, the OFRN has identified a key suite of networking and collaboration services that are available to our network partners:
Federal agency and congressional engagement strategies
Planning and execution of industry outreach events, communication, and PR for OFRN and its funded research projects
Team matchmaking to help those that need to find a required partner for a solicitation submission
Ohio industry, academia, and government collaboration on Advanced Air Mobility research and transition
The OFRN offers Education, Training & Proposal Navigation for SBIR & STTR proposal teams.
The OFRN education and training service offers in-person mentoring, training programs, and educational content that is focused on increasing academic and industry engagement and partnerships with federal and state agencies for science and technology research and development. The curriculum covers:
(1) How to apply for a current OFRN solicitation round SBIR/STTR Proposal Process Navigation
(2) Workforce development for meeting federal and state priorities reflected in a current solicitation
Each OFRN-funded R&D project is aligned with federal requirements, has a clear path to job creation, and capitalizes on Ohio’s investment involving multiple Ohio research universities and firms that provide cost-share to further leverage the Ohio investment and attract other Department of Defense and industry funding in Ohio. Therefore, each OFRN-funded R&D project inherently contributes to workforce development and has resulted in spinouts, the creation of high-quality jobs in Ohio, and commercialized technologies.
The achieve these workforce development objectives, the OFRN offers the following services:
1) Funding for R&D projects that lead to high-quality job creation and spinouts
2) Student Experiential Engagement (SEE) program, which recruits and hires student interns to work and learn throughout an OFRN-funded R&D project
Recordings of the information sessions can be accessed from the OFRN Round 6 solicitation site https://www.ohiofrn.org/solicitations/ohio-federal-research-network-round-6-solicitation
The OFRN Round 6 Solicitation site has a Matchmaking tool that you can utilize for finding a Round 6 partner. https://ohiofrn.org/matchmaking.
SIGN-UP to list skills sought for a required partner or to list your skills to join a team for an OFRN proposal.
To request an introduction, select PARTNER INQUIRY. Then 1) Check the ID# for the organizations with which you would be interested in meeting. As you make selections, the Partner IDs are automatically entered into the form at the bottom of the screen (note: the list is on multiple pages, apply the filter to view more than 3 pages at a time). 2) At the bottom of the screen, Enter your contact information and select Get Started. 3)We will review your request and send an email to connect you with the selected organization.
As mentioned in the 3/14/23 training regarding facilities and equipment, equipment purchases need to be realistic, supportable, essential to your research and fully utilized during your period of performance. If there is an essential need for equipment, it can be proposed but the point of this program is not to buy equipment. You are encouraged to look for alternative ways to get the capability so your funding can support your research.
No, a university partner retains the classification of university partner regardless if the lead organization is an academic or industry organization.
Student names are not expected in the proposal. Intern names can be confirmed after awards are made. The information to include in the proposal should be focused on your plan for a student intern. Include the following information as referenced in Appendix 1 and the March 14 Bidders Conference and Proposal Training:
- Student’s core curriculum should be STEM focused with student recruitment limited to Ohio Universities and Community Colleges.
- Create a purpose statement defining the nature of the internship work and how it will benefit the proposed project outcome.
- Describe the Innovation opportunities the Student will be exposed to and how their participation will enhance their learning and benefit their individual career path.
- Describe the Project Team’s mechanisms for interacting with Students and providing an inclusive environment.
- Develop a timeline, budget and oversight structure for the program along with a mechanism for the Student to provide their own assessment of the experience.
- Project Teams are encouraged to investigate and utilize existing academic and State programs currently in operation.
The primary industry participant has to have a physical location in Ohio
See Section 188.8.131.52 Resumes. “Full length resumes referenced in sections 3.2.10 and 3.2.12 should be abbreviated (maximum 5 pages) and submitted as an appendix.” Items in the appendices do not count towards the page limit. There is a checklist that may be helpful regarding page counts, etc. https://ohiofrn.org/sites/ofrn/files/attachments/cms_blog/ofrn_round_6_opportunity_announcement_submission_checklist.pdf
Response: there are a couple of ways to access the FAQ on the OFRN Round 6 solicitation site:
- Go to https://www.ohiofrn.org/solicitations/ohio-federal-research-network-round-6-solicitation and select “View FAQ”
- Use this direct link https://www.ohiofrn.org/faq
- Go to the bottom of the webpage https://www.ohiofrn.org/solicitations/ohio-federal-research-network-round-6-solicitation and select “FAQ” located in the bottom left of the site.
You do not need to attach the communications with Federal Sponsor as the record. Providing their name, title, department, agency, phone and email on the cover page of the proposal (item #3 Government POC) is sufficient. In sections 3.2.6 (Identification and significance of the Problem or Opportunity) and 3.2.8 (Federal Partner Applications) you have the opportunity to provide information about the Federal Partner contact and identified needs as appropriate for the section.
All items listed in Section 3.1.1 are due by the April 28, 2023 submission deadline. The items listed are:
- Technical Proposal with appendix containing:
- Student Experiential Engagement
- Full Length Resumes
- Subcontractor Letter of Intent
- Technical Proposal Supplement
- Cost Proposal (Business & Cost Proposal template)
- Vendor Profile
- Quad Chart
- Technical Readiness Level (TRL)
Question: The Cover Page template is requesting a section of “Funding requested by calendar year.” Since this is expected to start September/October, this would run 3 calendar years. Unless I am missing something this is the only item that I found noting the budget needs to be separated out by calendar year. Is this correct?
Response: That is correct. However, if you want to split it by month (i.e., "1st 6 months" and "months 7-18", and label as such, that would be fine. They key is to label the time period.
OCT is indeed a method that is currently in use by the ISS astronauts to diagnose/monitor Spaceflight Associated Neuro Ocular Syndrome. I believe it has also been used in eye tracking, but I don’t know how it could be utilized operationally in that capacity for some of the human performance metrics we’re looking for (cognitive state/fatigue while operating an aircraft/spacecraft).In terms of health monitoring, advances in OCT and/or fundus photography technology to make it smaller, lighter, easy to use, and require less power would always be beneficial in a space environment.
Question: In the Cost Proposal Template in the Cost Worksheet would the performance period be the calendar year? If the performance period is different than calendar years, could we change the wording on the Cover Sheet from calendar year to “1st 6 months” and “months 7-18” even if that is not by calendar year?
Response: Yes, it would be appropriate to be consistent and use the performance period that is used on the cover sheet.
Table of contents and glossary are included in the Technical Proposal 8 page count. All items listed in section 3.2 of the solicitation count towards the 8 page limit of the Technical Proposal with the exception of the cover page and items residing in the Appendix. Appendix items are listed in section 3.2.14 and include: SEE, resumes, and Letters of Intent). There is a checklist that may be helpful regarding page counts, etc. https://ohiofrn.org/sites/ofrn/files/attachments/cms_blog/ofrn_round_6_opportunity_announcement_submission_checklist.pdf
There is no page limit to the cost proposal.
OFRN Opportunity Announcement Section 3.2.12 (Subcontractors) states that consultants are considered as Subcontractors. If the consultant has a significant contribution to the project, then they should be listed as a subcontractor.
Clarification on Appendices and how they are numbered/what goes where? Instructions say to add Resumes and LOIs to the appendix, but it doesn’t say which number, is there a certain place these need to go/way these need to be labeled?
The order of documents in the Appendices should be:
- Student Engagement Experience (SEE)
- Letters of Intent
There is a checklist that may be helpful regarding content order, etc. https://ohiofrn.org/sites/ofrn/files/attachments/cms_blog/ofrn_round_6_opportunity_announcement_submission_checklist.pdf
Question: We are particularly interested in AOI 4.2, and during the 3/7 info session the SME mentioned that he would share a list of current metrics used for measuring digital maturity of organizations that are currently used by Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA Glenn Research Center. Do you happen to have that information available yet?
Response: Below are links to distribution A versions that can be shared. The links below are found on the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) Digital Maturity Assessment website https://guide.dafdto.com/2023/01/04/digital-maturity-assessment/
- DAF Maturity Guide pdf Version https://guide.dafdto.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/DAF-Digital-Maturity-Guide_v2.0_PA.pdf
- DAF Digital Maturity Assessment Spreadsheet https://guide.dafdto.com/2023/01/04/digital-maturity-assessment/
Question: During the 4/17 information session, it was mentioned that we could list down multiple potential federal partners. With tomorrow being the last day to ask any further questions, and since I'm unsure of how long the matchmaking tool/process will take to contact our prospective partners, how else would I get the point of contact information for both NASA and NASIC?
Response: The matchmaking part of OFRN Round 6 can continue past the OFRN Round 6 Solicitation questions April 18th deadline.
Email OFRNemail@example.com if you are in need of connecting with a Federal point of contact. It can take some time to make a connection so it is advised that you not wait too long to make a request.
Question: We were hoping to learn more about the nature of the OFRN funds and their permissible utilization. Specifically, we would like to know if the funds can be used for equipment procurement or construction-renovation purposes, such as designing a specific educational lab to enhance Student Experience and Engagement related to this project?
Response: As mentioned in the March 14 training session regarding facilities and equipment, equipment purchases need to be realistic, supportable, essential to your research and fully utilized during your period of performance. If there is an essential need for equipment, it can be proposed but the point of this program is not to buy equipment. You are encouraged to look for alternative ways to get the capability so your funding can support your research.
Question: On page 12 of the Opportunity Announcement, the document has the two bullets at the end of the Submission Guidelines. Can you confirm these two bullets are a guideline and not a required document for submittal?
- Reasonableness of the proposed project schedule, budget, and SOW
- In the sole determination of OFRN, Proposals that exceed this page limitations may be disqualified from further review.
Response: The 2 bullets you referenced are guidelines. They are contained in the bulleted list contained in section 3.1.1 Submission Guidelines.
Lines for the Lead Organization Tuition and Direct labor are in the Total Summary worksheet, but do not have direct links from the individual worksheets. There is a line at the bottom of the Total Summary worksheet for Total Cost Share.
Make adjustments to the form as needed. Many of these are copy/paste because of different needs of various organizations that don’t transfer neatly with formulas/links.
Direct Labor: Copy / paste columns from the Lead Organization’s Direct Labor worksheet to the Total Summary worksheet as needed
Tuition: copy / paste Tuition total from the Lead Organization’s ODC worksheet into the Total Summary worksheet as neededCost Share: insert the total cost share of Lead Organization and Subcontracts into the Total Proposed Cost Share line in Total Summary worksheet
We noticed that the proposal cover sheet (item 9) asks for “New jobs created by the end of State Fiscal Year 2025.” Can you clarify whether 2025 is the correct year? (We were wondering whether this might be an accidental holdover from an earlier version of the template from prior funding rounds). Similarly, the tables in the Technical Proposal Supplement require that we estimate new jobs created (and follow-on federal funding, etc.) both at project end and by 2025. However, it would seem that “project end” and “2025” are basically the same thing, since projects will be winding down circa Q1/Q2 2025. Can you please clarify if 2025 is the correct year?
Response: The dates in the Cover sheet and in the proposal are correct. The state fiscal year begins on July 1 and runs through June 30 of the following year. State Fiscal Year 2025 ends June 30, 2025.
Question: In section 3.2.12 Subcontractors, the opportunity announcement says “All should be described in detail and also included in the cost proposal.” Do you want the detailed description of subcontractors in the Tech Proposal or the Cost Proposal or both?
Response: The detailed description of subcontractors should be in the Tech Proposal as indicated. The subcontractors listed in the Tech proposal should also be included in the Cost proposal – providing the information indicated in the Cost proposal.
They can be involved, but cannot be a recipient of funds. If they have significant involvement, they can contribute to cost share of the project and the individual(s) involved need listed in Key Personnel.
Question: For the proposals, can we just include rolled up rate information for industry subcontractors? Usually, rate breakdown information is highly sensitive and only provided on certain government proposal directly to the federal agencies in sealed bid packages. Federal SBIR/STTR do not currently require sub breakdowns in labor costs (e.g. Fringe, OH, G&A).
Response: As long as we get the breakout of the rates for our analysis. Subcontractor should send an unsanitized version directly to Parallax for review if they don’t want to share with the lead organization IAW B.2 Subcontractor instructions of Business and Cost Proposal Template.
At Project End = 30 Jun 2025By 2025 = 1 July 2024 (SFY 25)
OFRN pays sub-contractors directly or the prime awardee pays them and invoices parallax for it… the text on the solicitation is quite confusing about this.. as it seems you call the prime awardee and the subcontractors both subcontractors…
OFRN pays the lead organization (prime awardee) only. In the terms of the question above, the prime awardee is a subcontractor to Parallax. The lead organization (prime awardee) would pay their subcontractors from the OFRN payment.
Question: We provide cost share to the OFRN -6 project using faculty Academic Year time, and graduate student partial tuitions. Since we are a State University, this is technically funded by the State of Ohio General Revenue Funds (GRF). Would it be possible to clarify this? Are we still allowed to provide faculty AY time as a cost share from the State University?
Response: to the extent the AY time is not GRF, it should be fine.
It is preferred that you submit the following in separate pdfs (detailed list of elements in each can be found in Resource document OFRN Round 6 Opportunity Announcement Submission Checklist found on the OFRN Round 6 Solicitation website in the Resources section).
DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED
1, Technical Proposal (8 pages max) – includes Appendices
2. Technical Proposal Supplement
3. Business & Cost Proposal
4. Budget for the project
5. Vendor Profile
6. Quad Chart
7. Technical Readiness Level (TRL)
Follow up question: If so, do we need to mention all of them in the table of contents and accordingly provide page numbers?
Response - Table of contents applies to the Technical Proposal only.