Foothill Scientific Associates

Foothill Scientific Associates 

“Public money ought to be touched with the most scrupulous conscientiousness of honor. It’s not the product of riches only, but of the hard earning of labor and poverty.” – Thomas Paine

The Opportunity
Federal contract opportunities in the biomedical space come primarily from 2 Agencies:

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

• National Institutes of Health (NIH)

• Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA)

• Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Department of Defense (DOD)

• Chem/Biodefense (CBD)

(Add symbol) Joint Program Executive Office – Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD)

(Add symbol) Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
• Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC)
• Naval Medical Research & Development
• Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

While there is funding available from other agencies (Department of Energy, USAID, etc.) together these listed DHHS and DOD agencies issued over $5Bn in contracts in 2016 (Source:
). While there are other divisions within these agencies that administer programs, for most biomedical companies, this is where the funding opportunities are. Of course, this is also where there is the most competition for contracts. FSA is a critical resource for companies that want to be in this space.

Rules of Engagement (The Short List)

1.A toe in the water approach doesn’t work in the Federal contract space. An organization must be committed to be successful.
2. Commitment is minimally defined as:

  1. Business Development: Human Resources, USG-specific marketing, travel to DC to meet with stakeholders
  2. Appropriately configured accounting systems: Ability to accurately capture costs and present them in USG format
  3. Exceptional Project Management
  4. Federal Acquisition Regulation compliance
  5. Registration in the System for Award Management (AKA “SAM”)
  6. Risk is the major factor in deciding who gets the award.

FSA Services:
Market Research

This is usually the first step for those companies without experience in the Federal program space. Prior to an engagement FSA will perform an initial check of opportunities for prospective contractors and provide a recommendation on whether it’s worth investing resources. If the answer is “yes”, FSA will set up systems that 
will automatically delivery information on relevant opportunities and provide a method for grading these opportunities to meet the Client’s capabilities. We will conduct a review of past awards and the conditions under which the funding was secured.

Business Development

FSA can act as the USG business development rep for the Client, either as the sole resource or in collaboration with the existing BD group. Our recommendation is that at least 5-10 hours/week be dedicated to this function.
Becauseof our on-going work in the sector, we provide efficiencies that improve the ROI ahead of the Client staffing this internally.

Cost Accounting

FSA has developed reliable, compliant cost accounting systems that we provide to Client’s in the course of working through them. These are Excel® based and serve either as the primary or adjunct to Agency’s cost templates. They have been used successfully in dozens of USG-funded programs.

Proposal Writing

The objective is to increase the probability of winning such that the cost of applying is a clearly justifiable expense. Our experience makes this possible.With proper appraisal, FSA can recommend which opportunities should be pursued and which should be tabled. We provide a user-friendly template for generation of Business and Technical proposals that will materially increase the likelihood of favorable review. We’ll guide the Client’s team through the submission, ensuring that all of the Factors for Award are covered.

Wild Card Bids

Contrary to much of the literature in this space, FSA believes that there is a place for wild card bids to solicitations. Even acknowledging that likely winners / qualified pool of winners have been chosen by the time the opportunity hits Fed Bizz Opps, it is possible to configure winning proposals if the Client shows well in key areas:

• Strong relevant past performance

• Bid template, Business & Technical Proposals in place

• Necessary accounting and information systems compliance

Two additional considerations: Incumbent strength and whether the Client meets any of the set-aside preferences; Woman-owned small business (WOSB), for example.

Contract Negotiation

There are characteristics unique to the USG that FSA can guide the Client through to signature on favorable terms. This includes competitive range negotiation and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) compliance.

Program Management

One of the best ways to reduce the USG perception of risk and increase the probability of award is through exceptional Program Management. FSA is that credentialed resource. We have a strong track record and our experience in USG biomedical programs is broad and deep, from Technical oversight to Finance and Performance Measurement (EVM).