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Whole Genome Approach to Microbial Forensics

Solicitation Number: BAA12-04
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Office: Office of the Chief Procurement Officer
Location: Office of Procurement Operations
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BAA12-04
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Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
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Added: Dec 01, 2011 12:56 pm
INTRODUCTION:

The Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Chemical and Biological Division, Threat Characterization and Attribution Branch, Bioforensics Program is issuing Broad Agency Announcement 12-04 entitled "Whole Genome Approach to Microbial Forensics (WGAMF)" in order to seek out technologies to achieve the following programmatic goals:


• Development and application of mathematical models for statistical confidence measurements in metagenomic analysis
• Development of a procedure to support the transfer of viral cDNA generated in a BSL-3/4 laboratory to BSL-2 laboratory for genomic analysis
• Whole-genome sequencing to capture the global biodiversity of human, plant and animal pathogens (bacterial, viral and fungal) in support of microbial forensics analysis.


DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY:


The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296) states that DHS S&T will "support basic and applied homeland security research to promote revolutionary changes in technologies; advance the development, testing and evaluation, and deployment of critical homeland security technologies; and accelerate the prototyping and deployment of technologies that would address homeland security vulnerabilities." Pursuant to this mission the Chemical Biological Division (CBD) seeks technologies to prevent and defend against a chemical and biological attack. In addition, the division is charged with pursuing research to improve response and restoration, conduct threat risk assessments, and invest in bioforensics research and development. The focus of this BAA is in the area of bioforensics research.


The threat of terrorist or criminal use of pathogenic organisms and their toxins remains of great concern in the United States. There are vulnerabilities and needs to perform microbial forensic analyses for attribution purposes in a rigorous scientific manner. As part of the effort to deter biological terrorism and strengthen the law enforcement response to such an act, Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 10, "Biodefense for the 21st Century" established a dedicated central microbial forensic laboratory known as the National Bioforensics Analysis Center (NBFAC), as part of the Department of Homeland Security to provide bioforensics analysis of evidence associated with the event. The NBFAC operates in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the lead investigative agency in acts of terrorism. This BAA seeks research in the following technical focus areas (TFAs) to support the missions of the NBFAC and FBI for evidentiary analysis and interpretation of results to support a criminal investigation. The ultimate goal of this joint mission is the capture, indictment, and prosecution of the perpetrator(s) of the biocrime or terrorist attack.


The NBFAC has instituted a robust, operational molecular biology program with enhanced capabilities to conduct genomic analysis of biological threat agents. The Bioforensics Research and Development Program supports NBFAC operational threat agent identification and characterization through investments in microbial forensics research and next generation technologies to include molecular biology, genomic comparison techniques, genotyping assays and physical/chemical analysis of sample matrix to better understand the origin, evolutionary history, production method and dissemination mechanism associated with the malicious use of biological agents. Pursuant to this mission the Bioforensics R&D Program seeks technologies to achieve the following goals:


• Development and application of mathematical models for statistical confidence measurements in metagenomic analysis
• Development of a procedure to support the transfer of viral cDNA generated in a BSL-3/4 laboratory to BSL-2 laboratory for genomic analysis
• Whole-genome sequencing to capture the global biodiversity of human, plant and animal pathogens (bacterial, viral and fungal) in support of microbial forensics analysis.


The specific details for each goal identified above can be found in the attached MS Word file that contains Broad Agency Announcement 12-04.


PROGRAM STRUCTURE AND OBJECTIVES:


BAA 12-04 contains 3 Technical Focus Areas (TFAs), each with an emphasis on a particular aspect of the whole genome sequence-based analytical approach. The 3 TFAs are as follows:


TFA-1: Development and application of mathematical models for statistical confidence measurements in metagenomic analysis.


TFA-2: Development of a procedure to support the transfer of viral cDNA generated in a BSL-3/4 laboratory to BSL-2 laboratory for genomic analysis.


TFA-3: Whole-genome sequencing to capture the global biodiversity of human, plant and animal pathogens (bacterial, viral and fungal) in support of microbial forensics analysis.

Bioforensics R&D intends to initially fund a 12 month period of performance for phase 1. TFA 1 and 2 projects will have the opportunity to apply for a phase 2 option year, which will be funded based on performance in the first year and funding availability and priorities. TFA 3 will have a multiple year phase 2 to be funded on a yearly basis based on funding availability, priorities and performance. For option years to be considered for TFA 1 and 2, they must be included in the proposal.


SOLICITATION APPROACH:


For BAA 12-04, a two-stage proposal selection process will be used for this solicitation to minimize the cost and effort for prospective offerors. Stage 1 will consist of the solicitation, receipt, and evaluation of white papers, technical section limited to 5 pages. No formal transmittal letter is required for the Stage 1 responses.


A down-selection process will be conducted by the DHS and those Stage 1 white papers selected will be invited to participate in Stage 2, which will consist of the solicitation, receipt, and evaluation of a Full Proposal, limited to 40 pages, excluding the Formal Transmittal Letter, Cover Page, and Table of Contents. Specific details concerning this source selection process can be found in the attached Broad Agency Announcement to this notice.


For this BAA, awards may take the form of contracts or other transactions (OTs) agreements. In the event an Offeror or subcontractor is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), Department of Energy National Laboratory, or other Federally funded entity, DHS S&T will work with the appropriate sponsoring agency to issue an interagency agreement pursuant to the Economy Act (31 U.S.C. 1535) or other appropriate authority. Depending on the nature of the Full Proposals received, DHS S&T will also consider awarding a grant or cooperative agreement. Therefore, the applicable laws and regulations governing the legal vehicle used for award will depend on the legal vehicle chosen by DHS S&T. In this regard, Offerors should propose a preferred vehicle type for DHS S&T to consider for award.


GENERAL INFORMATION:


As previously identified, the attached MS Word file is a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) as contemplated in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 6.102(d)(2) and 35.016 to provide for competitive selection of research proposals. Contracts based on responses to this BAA are considered to be the result of full and open competition and in full compliance with the provisions of Public Law (PL) 98-369 "The Competition in Contracting Act of 1984." A formal Request for Proposals (RFP) will not be issued. Awards under this BAA are planned in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012. No contract awards or other instruments that obligate funds will be made until appropriated funds are available from which payment for contract purposes can be made.


 


 

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Broad Agency Announcement 12-04

Type:
Other (Draft RFPs/RFIs, Responses to Questions, etc..)
Label:
Broad Agency Announcement 12-04
Posted Date:
December 1, 2011
Description: Broad Agency Announcement 12-04
:
Office of the Chief Procurement Officer
Washington, District of Columbia 20528
United States
:
Aaron H. Ford,
Procuring Contracting Officer
Phone: 202-254-6302
Fax: 202-254-6911
:
Vaughn I. Oswald,
Contract Specialist
Phone: 202-254-2406
Fax: 202-254-6911