How do I submit a proposal to MCWL?
Each fiscal year MCWL announces its capability interest areas in the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Long Range Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) posted on the Internet, http://www.onr.navy.mil/contracts-grants/funding-opportunities/broad-agency-announcements.aspx . These interest areas are intentionally broad in order to allow flexibility in the technological capabilities MCWL considers. If you or your organization have a technology you believe is responsive to the BAA then follow the directions in the BAA to submit a White Paper to the TISO. Be sure to read ALL information on this page before you submit your White Paper as it contains important details regarding its suitability for submission, as well as information that will answer most questions about what happens after submission.
What happens after I submit a White Paper?
Once a White Paper is received, it's reviewed by MCWL's technical staff for its overall suitability for experimentation or continued development. If this precursory look deems the technology potentially suitable, the TISO will likely request additional information, invite the submitter to come brief the proposed capability, or request to visit the submitter at his or her location if advantageous to both parties. At this point the TISO may then recommend the capability be included into the formal consideration process.
What is the formal consideration process?
MCWL utilizes the services provided by the Army Research Development Center under an "Other Transaction Authority". This is a vehicle that serves to identify organizations with similar capabilities (if any) as the one proposed in order to expedite the contracting process. The one(s) that are best suited for MCWL experimentation are then down selected and given a funding prioritization. If the proposal is ranked high enough in the prioritization then funding is approved and the submitter will be contacted with contract specifics.
How long will it be before I hear back after I submit a White Paper?
The TISO strives to provide a response to White Paper submittals within 2 weeks. Because all papers are provided a quality review, responses may be delayed and are highly dependent on the travel schedules of TISO personnel. If you do not receive a response after 3 weeks then submitters are welcomed to send a follow-on status inquiry.
What criteria does MCWL use to determine whether a proposal will be considered?
Suitability of a technology for MCWL experimentation is based on many factors to include; responsiveness to the BAA, maturity of the capability, relative impact/value of the capability to the Marine Corps, synchronization to experimentation schedule, total lifecycle cost of the capability were it to be a program, existence or absence of other similar efforts within DoD and industry, and cost. Selection of a technology is also highly dependent on its importance relative to other technologies that are already being worked.
What can I expect if MCWL wants to experiment with or assist in further developing my technology?
It's important to understand that MCWL does not "procure" material for the Marine Corps. However, it assists those organizations that do so by helping to establish Marine Corps requirements through technology demonstrations, assessments, and experimentation. MCWL, therefore, only obtains sufficient quantities of equipment and systems to meet this objective. Depending on the maturity of the technology, MCWL typically engages in 2-4 year agreements with performers that consist of a combination of actions such as development, testing, assessment, demonstrations, and experimentation. Following favorable acceptance of a new capability, organizations such as Marine Corps Systems Command and PEO Land Systems may begin the formal procurement process by announcing its intent to procure this type of capability.
If MCWL determines my proposal is not suitable to its mission, does that mean it has no value to the Marine Corps?
Certainly not. MCWL's mission is focused and there're many reasons it may determine a proposal is not suitable for it to pursue. Innovators are highly encouraged to seek other organizations in the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps, as well as other Services and Department of Defense organizations to consider their ideas. In many cases, MCWL is able to help facilitate meetings with other organizations.
How mature should my technology be for MCWL to consider it?
Because MCWL's primary focus is experimentation, it requires technologies it experiments with to be at a Technical Readiness Level (TRL) (TRL chart) typically at least TRL 5. Additionally, because the government buys complete systems and not subsystems, innovators that have developed improved components need to submit White Papers that present a complete system. For example, while a lighter, more powerful and more efficient engine is of interest, the proposer should consider partnering with an existing vehicle provider as opposed to submitting the proposal to MCWL.
Can organizations keep the intellectual property developed under MCWL contract?
Yes! In most cases, the intellectual property obtained under MCWL funded initiatives is the property of the performer and can be used to compete for any follow-on contracts.
Can I meet with the TISO to present my technology?
Yes. The TISO regularly meets with vendors to gain a fuller understanding of their technology proposals. However, due to the large volume of submitted proposals, and to ensure fairness to all submitters, the TISO relies on the information in the White Papers to determine which vendors in which it will meet.
Can I provide additional materials?
Vendors can submit as much material as needed to impart a fundamental understanding of their proposed capability, to include sufficient technical information, but should do so as concisely as possible to minimize the time required to review it. Due to bandwidth constrictions, files cannot exceed 3MB or the mail will not be delivered.
If you've read this page and the ONR Long Range BAA and still have a question then please e-mail the TISO at Futures_Directorate_FTO@usmc.mil.