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NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Office of Small Business Programs, Where Small Business Makes a Big Difference

Steps to Participation

Below you will find the basic steps that are necessary to establish a NASA Mentor-Protégé agreement. If you need further information please call our office at 202-358-2088.

1. Establish a Counterpart

Mentors and Protégés are required to locate their own counterpart. To be eligible to participate in the Program, an entity must meet the following requirements:

To be a Mentor an entity must have an active and approved subcontracting plan negotiated with NASA, and be eligible for the award of federal contracts.

A Mentor must first apply and be approved to participate as a Mentor, by applying directly to the NASA Office of Small Business Programs. A template for the Mentor application may be found on the Downloads page.

To be a Protégé an entity must be one of the following:

  • Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB)
  • Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB)
  • Historically Black College or University (HBCU)
  • Minority Institution (MI)
  • Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB)
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)
  • Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Concern
  • NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Company
  • A company participating in the AbilityOne Program

A Protégé is not required to submit a Protégé application in advance of an agreement. There is a Protégé application, but it is only submitted concurrently with an agreement package, as one of the required documents.

2. Determine Developmental Assistance To Be Provided

Currently only credit agreements are available for participants in the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program. Under a credit agreement a Mentor receives credit on a one-to-one basis toward their small business subcontracting goals, as reported on the Individual Subcontracting Report (ISR).

Prior to filling out the agreement template the Mentor must perform a needs assessment of the Protégé to determine what type of developmental assistance is required. Typical examples of developmental assistance may either be related to technical transfer or business infrastructure. The dollar value associated with the technical transfer tasks should be approximately 70% of the proposed hours and cost. The remaining 30% may be related to business development tasks.

3. Submit Agreement for Approval

Before submitting the agreement, please insure that the agreement template, the Protégé application, and all necessary documents are thoroughly filled out. The Protégé application must be submitted concurrently with the agreement, and not in advance. The agreements are submitted to one of the NASA Centers for review and endorsement. There are three cycle deadlines to submit the agreements:

  • January 15
  • May 15
  • September 15

If the agreement is endorsed at the Center level it will be forwarded to the Office of Small Business Programs, NASA Headquarters, for final review and approval within 45 days after the submission deadline.

The agreement officially begins on the date of the incorporation of the agreement into a contractual vehicle. Once the agreement begins the Mentor may begin providing the developmental assistance outlined, and reporting credit received.

4. Fulfill All Reporting Requirements

The reporting requirements for the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program include:

  • Semiannual Reports
  • Annual Reviews
  • Protégé Post-Agreement Reports

All agreements are required to report on the status of the developmental assistance provided twice per year, beginning six months after the start of the agreement. Mentors and Protégé’s must each submit their own separately developed reports using the semiannual template available on the Downloads page.

NASA will also conduct annual reviews of every agreement and in this process part of the NASA Mentor-Protégé team may elect to meet with both the Mentor and the Protégé. Finally the Protégé is required, for the first and second year after the end of their agreement, to submit a Protégé Post-Agreement Report, with information regarding the status of their company since the end of their participation in the Program.

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