From the Executive Director

I had the pleasure of attending the MIDWEST AEROSPACE SMALL BUSINESS INDUSTRY DAY hosted by NASA, the Federal Reserve and our IL PTAC counterparts yesterday in Chicago.  All 10 NASA centers were represented as were 6 of NASAs large prime contractors including Boeing, Jacobs, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, SAIC and Sierra Nevada.  Also joining the program was NASA’s SBIR-STTR Deputy Program Executive.  Quite a lineup.  So, what was the message?

Here is what they said:

  • If you want to do work with NASA, you must register in their NASA VENDOR DATABASE This will connect you to their procurement opportunities and requirements.
  • Respond to SOURCES SOUGHT and RFIs – and when you do – respond specifically to the requirement. This is important in the consideration to set aside requirements and consider suppliers.
  • Do your homework – a repeated comment. You are not making a good impression if you do not know who you are meeting with and what you can bring to their table
  • Glenn Delgado is the Associate Administrator of the NASA OSBP. He writes a blog from their website – good reading
  • Each NASA Center has a specialized mission – do your homework before meeting with NASA representatives
  • The NAICS codes that they use may seem “wrong”. They recommended digging deeper on their requirements to determine if the opportunities actually are a fit.  Only one NAICS code can be used on a requirement – the decision factors may not be obvious.
  • Make sure that you have an “elevator pitch” that includes your NAICS and differentiators and a good capabilities statement
  • Understand the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the NASA Supplement
  • Attend the Center events – develop relationships at each Center Select OUTREACH at
  • VERY IMPORTANT to the prime contractors attending – a robust accounting system.
  • VERY IMPORTANT – AS9100 quality system
  • Remember that NASA for the most part buys in low quantity – high specialization
  • SBIR STTR programs are both available through NASA
  • NASA has their own Mentor Protégé program – outside of the US SBA program

Wisconsin has a number of NASA contractors including Orbital Technologies, UW System, Medical College of Wisconsin, Plymouth Tube Company, College of Menominee Nations, Madison Cryogroup, Marquette, Industries for the Blind and others.

If you are interested in exploring potential opportunities for your business with NASA, contact me at