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PSIAP - Point Cloud City FAQs

1. How do I apply?
The application package is available at Grants.gov under Funding Opportunity Number 2018-NIST-PSIAP-PC2. Applicants should carefully follow the opportunity-specific instructions listed on Grants.gov to ensure that all attachments will be accepted by the submission system. Applications must be received via Grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

For further information or questions regarding electronic applications on Grants.gov, contact:
Christopher Hunton
Phone: (301) 975-5718
Email: Grants [at] nist.gov (subject: PSIAP-UI)

2. Can I submit multiple applications?
NIST will consider only one application per applicant; however, an applicant entity may be proposed as a subrecipient, contractor, or unfunded collaborator within applications submitted by other entities.

3. What is the overall objective of this program and what kind of "outputs" are you looking for from award recipients?
The primary goal of the Point Cloud City (PC2) grant program is to develop a catalog of annotated indoor point cloud models captured using 3D LiDAR that can be used to advance research and development (R&D) focused on public safety indoor mapping, localization, and navigation technologies. We intend for this catalog, comprised of the outputs produced under the PC2 grant program, to demonstrate the potential value of ubiquitous indoor positioning and location-based information to industry, academia, and government.

A desired output of the research funded by PC2 is a datastore or datastores of 3D point clouds and simultaneous 360 degree imagery annotated with public safety relevant objects, building information, and any other data that may be collected and annotated to enable additional R&D related to indoor localization and navigation, as well as other novel indoor location-based services. Another desired research output is that the surveyed buildings, or at least a representative subset, will be available to both public safety users and the R&D community for real-world testing of indoor localization and navigation systems.

Award recipients will also demonstrate their approach to and share the results of this program with other interested municipalities in the NIST Global Cities Team Challenge initiative as the lead for an Action Cluster.

Applicants should refer to Section I of the PSIAP-PC2 NOFO for details about the program goals and the specific types of outputs that the program is looking to fund.

4. This program is for a 1-year, $500,000 project, correct?
Not necessarily - the maximum project duration is 1 year for all applicants and individual awards will range from $50,000 to $500,000 each. The total amount of available PC2 award funds is approximately $1,000,000. PSCR may fund one or more awards, depending on the applications received and the availability of funds.

5. We are already working with NIST under a CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement). Are we eligible to apply for this funding opportunity?
Potentially: Being a CRADA partner does not, in itself, preclude you from this funding opportunity, but conflicts are possible. A sufficiently - detailed answer doesn't fit in the space of this FAQ, but a key issue is that you cannot receive NIST funds for the same activities involved in the CRADA. If you are a current CRADA partner and considering applying, please contact us directly at PSCR [at] nist.gov to discuss your specific situation.

6. Are non-US entities eligible for this program?
No, non-US entities are not eligible to apply for PC2 funding. This NOFO is open to U.S. state, local, and tribal government entities, including public safety organizations.

7. Who owns IP rights to work funded under this program?
Invention and other intellectual property rights for work funded under this program are governed by federal law, including the Bayh-Dole Act, (35 USC § 200 et seq.), 2 CFR § 200.315, and the Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions § C.03.

Generally, the inventor who conceives the invention (the recipient) may elect to own the invention rights, though the Federal Government retains certain governmental use rights.

For additional information, NIST recommends contacting legal counsel knowledgeable about intellectual property rights under federal awards...

8. Does this funding opportunity cover equipment purchases?
Equipment is an allowable expense. For example, an applicant could procure 3D LiDAR equipment and conduct the surveying, data collection and processing using its own or contracted staff. An applicant could, alternatively, partner with a company that manufacturers or uses 3D LiDAR equipment, which would provide in-kind services in-exchange for access to a wealth of buildings and the opportunity to expose other government entities to their products and business model.

9. How will public safety organizations be involved in this funding opportunity?
Eligible public safety organizations that are carrying out work to advance public safety indoor mapping, localization, and navigation technologies are strongly encouraged to apply to this NOFO. All applicants must demonstrate a sincere interest in actively collaborating with both public safety organizations and the R&D community to help ensure that the selected buildings and data collection are highly relevant and will have a meaningful impact to first responders.

10. What's the timeline for applications and NIST's response?
Key expected dates are provided below:

April 20, 2018: Deadline to submit application
No earlier than August 1, 2018: Anticipated Award Data

11. What is the “unique entity identifier number” in section IV.8.a?
Applicants will need a “D-U-N-S” number, which is a free, unique identifier provided by Dun and Bradstreet. Applicants will also need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) provided by the Internal Revenue Service. 

Note, if your organization does not have these numbers, it may take some time to acquire them. Please see the Organization Applicant Registration page on the Applicants tab on Grants.gov.

12. Do references and citations count towards the page limit?
No, references and citations do not count toward the twenty-page limit of the technical proposal.

13. How does NIST determine whether to award a grant vs. cooperative agreement? 
Per the NOFO, this determination is made at NIST’s discretion.  It involves many factors, but will primarily be based upon a determination if substantial involvement by PSCR will be necessary during the implementation of the project.

14. Are federally funded research and development centers (FFRDC) eligible to apply?
Because of the funding instruments used to manage FFRDCs, FFRDCs are generally not eligible to apply. Interested FFRDCs should discuss this further with their Contracting Officer. FFRDCs are, however, eligible to be subcontractors to other eligible applicants.

15. Where can I find information about past awards?
To learn more about research and development projects funded by PSCR, visit the Funding Opportunities webpage.

16. Will resumes of key personnel be considered in the review process?
Yes, the resumes will be considered as part of the Qualifications criterion to assist reviewers with understanding the qualifications and experience of the key staff, leadership, and technical experts. Resumes are required for all key personnel including the principal investigator.

17. Can you review our technical proposal and provide comments if they meet the R&D objectives in the NOFO?
PSCR cannot comment on an applicant’s proposed technical solution. Applicants should refer to Section I of the PSIAP-PC2 NOFO for details about the two program goals and the specific types of outputs that the program intents to fund. PSIAP0PC2 will provide funding for award recipients to generate data that can be leveraged by the R&D and public safety communities to accelerate indoor mapping, localization, and navigation technologies for first responders.

18. How do I ensure that I'm aware of any changes or new information?
Any amendments to this NOFO will be announced through Grants.gov. Also, check these FAQs regularly for additions, which will be dated.

19. What will need to be presented at the two conferences where attendance is required and how many of the key personnel must attend the conference?
NIST anticipates that Recipients will present on the progress of their projects to date, and/or be available to answer questions in group discussion settings at the conferences. At a minimum, the project lead from the government entity should plan to attend; for GCTC at least one of the attendees MUST represent the government entity. Applicants should generally plan to send one or two individuals to each event. More may be allowable if the applicant can justify the expense appropriately.

20. We have other entities that are interested in providing us access to their buildings, but we may not be able to secure their letters of commitment before the application deadline. How should we handle this?
Reviewers will only be able to consider materials submitted to NIST before the application deadline. It is the applicant's responsibility to secure letters of commitments prior to the date that the applicant submits their application via Grants.gov. It may be possible for recipients to work with additional entities beyond those who submit letters of commitment at the time of application, but NIST cannot increase award funding for this reason.

21. Who signs the SF424 as the 'authorized representative' (Section 21)?
The Authorized Representative should be from the organization that will be the primary applicant and responsible for managing any award made under this program. This person must otherwise meet all the requirements of an appropriate Authorized Representative consistent with guidance on grants.gov.

Created January 23, 2018, Updated March 9, 2018