Pilot Grants 2012—Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I obtain the application package for the Pilot Projects grant opportunity (2012-NIST-NSTIC-01)?

For the abbreviated proposal, you need only the SF-424 form and the Federal Funding Opportunity notice which is available at http://www.nist.gov/nstic/2012-nstic-ffo-01.pdf and describes what is required for the proposal narrative for the abbreviated proposal. Word and PDF versions of the SF 424 are available at http://www.nist.gov/nstic/pilot-projects.html.

2. Where can I find the "near and long term benchmarks" referred to on p.13 of the FFO notice in the description of the "Merit of Contribution" criterion?

In the "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace" strategy document available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/NSTICstrategy_041511.pdf.

3. In reference to the Evaluation Criteria, Section a., "Rationality and Feasibility," clarify the following two factors: (5) the ability to address differences between conformity and interoperability; and (6) the ability to identify clearly, technology versus policy interoperability efforts.

The conformity referred to is conformity to relevant standards. Standards conformity is often a first step to interoperability, and true interoperability requires going beyond standards conformity to address additional issues such as policy issues. Interoperability can be addressed at the project level or can go further and address interoperability issues at the level of the Identity Ecosystem as a whole.

4. In reference to the Evaluation Criteria, Section d., "Resource Availability and Planning," what is the difference between requirement (1) the degree to which requested resources are appropriate for the proposed project's scope and requirement (3) the rationality of acquisition plans.

"The degree to which requested resources are appropriate for the proposed project's scope." is evaluating resource utilization for the project as a whole compared to what is being done on the project as a whole. "The rationality of acquisition plans" refers to the use of contracting and sub-awards and whether those are appropriate, cost-effective, etc. for the project.

5. In reference to the Evaluation Criteria, Section d., "Resource Availability and Planning," what is the meaning of number (4) the plan to obtain and/or leverage additional or external resources or support as needed to complete the project and/or to engage in post-project commercialization to move the project results into routine use?

The purpose of the grant program is to advance the Identity Ecosystem. The project results must move into use in order to advance the Identity Ecosystem. "Resource Availability and Planning" encompasses both the time period of the project and post-project utilization of the results.

6. What rights does the government have in intellectual property created on an NSTIC project?

Intellectual property rights are covered in the Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions available at http://www.osec.doc.gov/oam/grants_management/policy/documents/DOC_Standard_Terms_and_Conditions_03-01-2008.pdf Term M.04. In general, the provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act apply.

7. What rights does the government have to pre-existing intellectual property used in the project?

Neither the NSTIC Pilot Grant Program Federal Funding Opportunity Notice (http://www.nist.gov/nstic/2012-nstic-ffo-01.pdf), nor the applicable statutes, regulations or policies referenced therein, dictate that the Federal government shall own a license under pre-existing patents belonging to a Pilot Program grantee. This is to be distinguished, of course, from the disposition of rights to "subject inventions" made by a grantee under the Pilot Grant Program. Rights in such "subject inventions" are governed by the Bayh-Dole Act, 35 U.S.C. § 200 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 37 CFR Part 401, including the standard patent rights clause, 37 CFR § 401.14.

8. Does the "Buy American Act" apply to the selection of NSTIC grants?

This applies to contracting and purchases and is not applicable to the selection of grants.

9. Does the SF-424 count against the page limit?

No, the SF-424 does not count against the page limit.

10. Are foreign-owned, U.S. located companies eligible to receive funding under the NSTIC grants?

Yes, foreign-owned, U.S. located companies are eligible to receive funding.

11. Can a project include multiple separable technical efforts?

All projects will be evaluated against the criteria found in the FFO. Having multiple separable research efforts is not precluded by the FFO, and such projects will be evaluated using the same evaluation criteria.