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NASA Office of Small Business Programs, Where Small Business Makes a Big Difference

FAQ's

How many agreements may a Mentor and a Protégé have?

A Mentor is not limited in the amount of NASA Mentor-Protégé agreements they may have at the same time, whereas a Protégé may only be in one active NASA Mentor-Protégé agreement at a time. Additionally, a Protégé may not participate in the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program more than twice.

If I currently participate in another Federal Agency’s Mentor-Protégé Program, may I participate in the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program at the same time?

The NASA MP Program is completely separate from any other Federal Agency’s MP Programs, and thus Mentors and Protégés may participate in one or both of them at the same time, as long as the Protégé has the resources to be mentored under two different Programs.

How long is a Mentor approval valid for?

A Mentor approval letter is good for six years from the date of the letter. Six years after the date of approval the Mentor must resubmit their Mentor application with the updated information and go through the approval process again.

If a Mentor is disbarred or suspended from government contracts for any reason, their Mentor approval is automatically withdrawn and they may no longer participate in the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program.

Does a potential Mentor need to apply by division, or is there a corporate-wide approval?

Mentor approval may be corporate-wide, provided that Mentor applications are filled out with information at the corporate level. Once the application is submitted with corporate information and approved, all divisions of the company are eligible to participate as a Mentor.

What should a Mentor consider when selecting a Protégé?


The Mentor is solely responsible for selecting a Protégé with whom they believe they can develop a successful relationship. Mentors should consider the following when selecting a Protégé:

  • A previous, established association is highly recommended between the Mentor and Protégé;
  • Protégé’s geographic proximity to the Mentor;
  • How the assistance aligns with the Protégé’s strategic vision;
  • Protégé’s attitude regarding being mentored;
  • Commitment to the relationship by both parties;
  • Capabilities of the Protégé and how they interface with the Mentor;
  • Stability of the Protégé’s management and financial status;
  • Protégé’s past performance;
  • Results of any contract/subcontract work between the Mentor and Protégé;
  • Subcontracting expectations, and;
  • Ensure that potential protégés have not participated in the NASA M-P Program more than two times previously and that they are not currently receiving developmental assistance under an active NASA M-P agreement.

Where is a listing available of all NASA SBIR Phase II awardees?

The link to NASA SBIR Phase II companies may be found here.

What is the Protégé application?


The Protégé application is a separate application for potential Protégé companies that details information about the company, including employee base and contracts received. However, it differs from the Mentor application in that it is NOT submitted in advance of an agreement, but is submitted concurrently with the agreement package. Any Protégé applications that are submitted without a complete agreement package will not be kept on file and will have to be resubmitted with the agreement. The template for the Protégé application can be found on the Forms page.

When are the submission deadlines to submit a Mentor application and a Mentor-Protégé agreement?


NASA OSBP accepts Mentor applications at any time. Mentor-Protégé agreements have three annual deadlines for submission to the NASA Centers: January 15, May 15, and September 15. The centers will review and then either endorse or reject the agreements within 45 days. If the agreements are endorsed they will be sent to NASA OSBP, where within 30 days the agreement will go through a final review and will receive final approval from the Assistant Administrator if applicable. 

What are the required documents that must be submitted with the agreement?


Before submitting a Mentor-Protégé agreement, please insure that it contains all of the following:

  • Cover Letter
  • Protégé Application
  • Completed Agreement Template
  • Technical Proposal
  • Cost Proposal

What is the agreement approval checklist?


The agreement approval checklist is an internal form that is utilized by NASA to determine that all required elements were included in the agreement package. The checklist does not need to be submitted with the agreement.

What are the selection criteria for Mentor-Protégé agreement approval?

All proposed agreements will be evaluated by the NASA Centers and HQ based on the following criteria:

  1. Merit of the developmental assistance to the Protégé firm;
  2. Perceived benefit/value of the agreement to NASA;
  3. Percentage of hours associated with technology transfer;
  4. Subcontracting opportunities available to the Protégé;
  5. Utilization of HBCUs/MIs, PTACs, SBDCs; and,
  6. Proposed cost.

What is the limit on the period of performance for a Mentor-Protégé agreement?


An agreement may not be longer than 36 months, or 3 years from the date the agreement begins.

If I previously participated in the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program prior to the update, will that affect my future participation?


No, being a prior participant from the MP Program before it was updated does not affect any future participation. Previous Mentors are required to submit a Mentor application before submitting any new agreements. While Protégés are only allowed to participate in the new NASA MP Program twice, any participation prior to the update does not count toward that total.

What are examples of technical transfer?

The developmental assistance provided under a Mentor-Protégé agreement is expected to be about 70% technical transfer. Though this is by no means an exhaustive list, examples of technical transfer tasks may include:

  • Tooling design and fabrication
  • Quality management programs: ISO 9000, SEI/CMMI
  • Sensing and imagery
  • Environmental remediation system design
  • Metal machining
  • Product assembly techniques
  • Hazardous material control
  • Lean Six Sigma

What do the following acronyms mean?

NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
OSBP: Office of Small Business Programs
SDB: Small Disadvantaged Business
WOSB: Woman-Owned Small Business
VOSB: Veteran-Owned Small Business
SDVOSB: Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
HUBZone: Historically Underutilized Business Zone  
SBIR: Small Business Innovation Research
HBCU: Historically Black College or University
MI: Minority Institution of higher education
PTAC: Procurement Technical Assistance Center
SBDC: Small Business Development Center
ISR: Individual Subcontracting Report
SSR: Summary Subcontracting Report
COTR: Contracting Officer Technical Representative

If you have any further questions regarding the Mentor-Protégé Program please call 202-358-2088.

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