Multi-Qubit Coherent Operations (MQCO) BAA Questions

#QuestionAnswerDate Posted
001 A member of our offering team has an ongoing collaboration with one of the capability providers listed in Appendix D of the MQCO BAA. If we wish to submit a proposal, may that member continue this collaboration between the time the BAA is published and the time the proposals are due? Yes, pre-existing collaborations may continue, but these relationships may not include any discussions or planning specific to material that will be included in a proposal to the MQCO program. Furthermore, you must submit an Organizational Conflict of Interest waiver request in accordance with section 3.A.1 of the MQCO BAA. September 3, 2009
002 A member of our offering team is in the same organization as one of the capability providers listed in Appendix D of the MQCO BAA. Should our team submit an Organizational Conflict of Interest waiver request, as explained in section 3.A.1 of the MQCO BAA.? Yes. However, refer to the second paragraph of Section 3.A to ensure that your offering team is eligible to participate as an offeror. September 3, 2009
003 Our team is interested in making use of one of the capabilities listed in Appendix D of the MQCO BAA. However, we think there is a different technical approach that may accomplish the same goal. May we make use of the IARPA provided capability, and simultaneously pursue alternative approaches? Yes. September 3, 2009
004 Suppose we decide in year 2 of the program that we wish to use one of the IARPA provided capabilities. Can this be arranged, or must it be included in the original proposal? Offerors should anticipate all elements required to successfully execute their proposed plans, including the capabilities described in Appendix D, and include these in their proposals. Should an unexpected turn occur during the program execution that could make advantageous use of a capability not included in the original proposal, including a capability described in Appendix D, the performer may submit a request for this capability for consideration and approval at that time. The request will need to be accompanied by detailed explanations and justifications, including all the risk elements associated with this new research direction. There is no guarantee that approval will be granted. In addition to an evaluation of the technical merits of the request, approval will also be subject to availability of funds. September 3, 2009
005 There are some technical areas that may see significant developments over the duration of the program, yet would be very risky to count on as a cornerstone of a proposal. If we choose not to include it in the proposal and our proposal is funded, would it be possible if a new technical direction becomes viable later in the program to add to the statement of work and receive additional funds to execute this new capability? IARPA understands that within this rapidly developing field there may be significant technological improvements within the next five years. Offerors should anticipate all elements required to successfully execute their proposed plans and include these in their proposals.

If a new technical direction becomes viable later in the program, the proposer may submit a request for a new statement of work for consideration and approval. The request will need to be accompanied by detailed explanations and justifications, including all the risk elements and additional funds required to execute this new capability. There is no guarantee that approval will be granted. Additional funding decisions must be decided on a case by case basis, will depend upon the availability of funds, may require further competitions, or in some cases may require a reshaping of the program.

September 3, 2009
006 Proposals for the MQCO BAA will be accepted up to August 14, 2010. What does the October 13, 2009 deadline mean? Section 4.A.1 of the MQCO BAA states that "Offerors are required to submit proposals by the time and date specified in section 4.C.1. [October 13, 2009] to be considered during the initial round of selections. IARPA may evaluate proposals received after this date for a period of up to one year from the date of initial posting on FedBizOpps. Selection remains contingent on availability of funds." September 3, 2009
007 Approximately how much will IARPA spend on each project that it funds? IARPA cannot give specific estimates. However, IARPA recognizes the significant challenges that performers will meet during the MQCO program, and that it will take significant resources to address them. See Section 5.A.5 of the BAA. September 3, 2009
008 Does the application of ITAR/Export Control to this program mean that foreign students are not allowed to participate? IARPA anticipates that research performed under this program will be fundamental research. However, as with all research, whether or not performed under a Federal contract, each organization is responsible for determining whether or not its proposed research has ITAR/Export Control implications that could limit the involvement of foreign students. September 3, 2009
009 Is it less likely that a proposal will be funded if it deletes, or significantly delays, one of the suggested milestones (purple background in tables 1.B.1.1, 1.B.2.1, and 1.B.3.1)? As stated in section 1.B of the BAA: "As the tables show, some of the milestones are required and have fixed schedules or schedules that should be proposed by the offeror. Other milestones in the tables are suggested, and their schedule for completion are to be proposed by the offeror. An offeror may determine that one or more of the suggested milestones are not suitable for their particular multi-qubit system design. If so, the proposal should fully explain the reasoning for removing the milestone(s). The proposal should also offer additional milestones as appropriate." September 3, 2009
010 May a subcontractor be a member of more than one offering/performing team? Yes/yes. However, individuals or organizations associated with multiple teams must take care not to commit more resources than can be effectively applied to the MQCO program. September 3, 2009
011 Section 6.B.5 of the MQCO BAA requires that a "courtesy soft copy of any work submitted for publication be provided to the IARPA Program Manager and the Contracting Officer Representative (COR)." This implies that the submission for publication and the providing of the courtesy copy may be concurrent. Is this correct? If not, what is the proper sequence and process for receiving permission to submit a work for publication? It is correct that the courtesy copy and submission for publication are concurrent. September 9, 2009
012 We are starting to prepare budgets to respond to the IARPA-BAA-09-06 MQCO. The solicitation says this is "a 3-Phase, 5-year effort that is intended to begin December 2009". As we prepare our budget, what should we use as a start date of the program? Should it be 12/1/09, or can we use 1/1/2010? While there is no certainty as to the start date of the MQCO program, a reasonable assumption is that it will be sometime in January, 2010. September 9, 2009
013 A member of our offering team currently is a subcontractor to one of the capability providers listed in Appendix D of the MQCO BAA. Should our team submit an Organizational Conflict of Interest waiver request, as explained in section 3.A.1 of the MQCO BAA? Yes. September 9, 2009
014 What is the process for requesting an OCI waiver? Are there any official forms or templates? Whose signatures are required? Proposers are expected to submit OCI Waiver Requests in accordance with the guidance included under BAA Section 3.A.1. While there are no OCI forms or templates (given the uniqueness of every situation), additional information describing IARPA's approach to managing OCI's can be found on its website at . September 9, 2009
015 Will the proposal submission address listed in the BAA accept deliveries via regular mail from the United States Postal Service? No. As stated in Section 4.C.2 of the BAA, "Deliveries must be made using one of the following commercial delivery services: UPS, FedEx or DHL." September 23, 2009
016 I've just identified a capability available at an OGA/FFRDC/UARC that would significantly enhance my proposal if IARPA would make it available. However, this capability is not listed in Appendix D of the MQCO BAA, and the August 22, 2009 deadline mentioned in section 1.C for requesting a new capability has passed. Is there any way to get access to this capability? Not at this time. It is possible that IARPA will engage new capabilities at OGAs/FFRDCs/UARCs once the MQCO program has begun, but these are contingent upon a future assessment of program needs and availability of funds. October 2, 2009
017 The information required in MQCO proposals Section 2: Summary of Proposal, F. Project Contributors and Section 3: Detailed Proposal Information, H. Detailed Management Plan (both described in section 4.B.1 of the MQCO BAA) is largely overlapping - are we really supposed to include it twice? For example, both ask for short biographical sketches and what each significant contributor is going to work on. Since we expect over a dozen key personnel, this will take at least two pages, each time we include it, which will count against our 35 page limit. Put another way, what's the difference between what we should include in each part? Some of the information in the summary portion of the proposal is a repetition of what is in the detailed portion of the proposal. The BAA has been amended to increase the page limit for Volume 1 of the proposal from 35 to 38 pages. October 2, 2009
018 Similarly, in section 1.A.7 of the MQCO BAA, on page 11 it is stated that "In addition to those requirements specified under section 4.B.1, the submitted proposal" should include: "15. A teaming plan, including each member's technical capabilities. This discussion should be cast in the context of Section 1.A.4. Teaming." This seems very similar to the two requirements discussed in the previous question. Is it asking for different material? As indicated in Section 1.A.7, the proposal should address characteristics of their teaming arrangements as detailed in Section 1.A.4. As indicated in Section 1.A.7, this is in addition to those aspects currently addressed under 4.B.1. October 2, 2009
019 The MQCO BAA explicitly asks for monthly technical and financial reports, as well as those reports specified in section 1.B. Should we propose reporting beyond these in Section 3: Detailed Proposal Information, D. Description of the deliverables associated with the proposed research results, enhancing that of Volume 1, Section 2: Summary of Proposal of the proposal? The description in the BAA of Section 3: Detailed Proposal Information, D. Description of the deliverables associated with the proposed research results, enhancing that of Volume 1, Section 2: Summary of Proposal does not set further reporting requirements beyond those specified in BAA Sections 1.B and 6.B.8. October 2, 2009
020 In Section 3: Detailed Proposal Information, D. Description of the deliverables associated with the proposed research results, enhancing that of Volume 1, Section 2: Summary of Proposal of the proposal we are supposed to "Describe the proposed approach to intellectual property rights, together with supporting rationale of why this approach offers the best value to the Government." Is this anything more than saying we will abide by the standard IP practices of our offering organization(s)? It is up to an offeror to decide what intellectual property approach they will propose. Offerors are advised that their approach to intellectual property rights is an evaluation criteria under Section 5.A. of the BAA. October 2, 2009
021 Is Section 3: Detailed Proposal Information, I. Resource Share the correct place in the proposal to include the description of what Government provided capabilities from Appendix D we are requesting? Yes. Offerors should also feel free to include a discussion of the Appendix D capabilities they intend to use in their description of their technical approach, to the extent that such discussion is important to clarify that approach. October 2, 2009
022 I am on two offering teams, and the budget for the work I will do for each will be on both proposals. However, the work for each is largely the same, and much of the budget for each would cover that work, which only needs to be done once. Is it okay to put the full budget on both proposals? Yes. October 8, 2009
023 The first paragraph of section 6.B.10.a in the MQCO BAA refers to "Appendix A to 32 CFR Part 28." Where can I find more information about this? This refers to Appendix A to Part 28 of Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations. It may be found online at October 8, 2009
024 I am completing the cover sheets for Volume 1 and Volume 2. Can you please define (4) Contractor's Reference Number? "Contractor's Reference Number" should actually be "Contractor Registration Number", which is available after registering on the US Government's Central Contractor Registration (CCR) site at October 8, 2009
025 Our team wishes to make use of one of the capabilities listed in Appendix D of the MQCO BAA. However, we feel that the results from that capability will not be available to us as soon as we would like, and therefore want to do some parallel development of our own. While our work would not yield performance on a par with the IARPA provided capability, it would allow us to proceed with some work while we wait for that capability to bear fruit. Is it acceptable to propose this interim solution as well as request the IARPA provided capability? Yes, see Question 3 above. Note that section 2 of the MQCO BAA states that "IARPA reserves the right to accept proposals in their entirety or to select only portions of proposals for award. In the event that IARPA desires to award only portions of a proposal, negotiations may be opened with that offeror." October 8, 2009
026 Does IARPA intend on applying Earned Value Management (EVM) requirements on those proposals whose costs exceed a prescribed dollar threshold? We will not be imposing Earned Value Management on contracts awarded under IARPA-BAA-09-06. October 8, 2009
027 My institution requires that funding for Ph.D. students be procured up front for the entire time it takes them to get their degree, three and a half years. Will IARPA be able to do this, or is funding restricted by phase? IARPA disburses funds to performers on an annual basis. From section 2 of the MQCO BAA, "Funding for optional years will be based upon performance, MQCO program priorities, the availability of funds and IARPA priorities." October 8, 2009
028 With regard to Volume 2, Section 2, Item 5 of the proposal as defined in section 4.B.2 of the MQCO BAA, we will be preparing a proposal with several subcontracts. Do you advise that we breakdown projected funding requirements by month for each Co-PI, or would you rather receive a cumulative breakdown of monthly spending for the entire proposal? Would you have a template that you would prefer that we use for this breakdown? Both. The monthly costs should be broken down by subcontract, but should also include cumulative monthly costs for the entire proposal. There are no preferred templates for this. October 8, 2009
029 From section 4.B.2 of the BAA, there is note that reads, "For IT and equipment purchases, include a letter stating why the offeror cannot provide the requested resources from its own funding. "Several of our co-PIs as well as our lead PI will be requesting equipment in their budget. We supply information about the equipment being requested in our budget justification along with quotes for this equipment. Do you need each project contributor who is requesting equipment to write this letter? Or do you only require one letter from the lead PI for all requested equipment? In regards to the text of this letter: since this equipment is being purchased to meet the goals of the proposed program, is this not a sufficient reason for requesting equipment on the budget? There is only one letter required which should be submitted by the team lead. IARPA expects that proposals will come from well qualified offerors who are already well equipped and experienced in all aspects of the program. In general, IARPA does not outfit performers with the equipment necessary for program success. However, IARPA understands that for certain key tasks to be successful, it may be necessary to purchase new equipment. Such requests for equipment purchases are acceptable, but an accompanying explanation should explain what special need is fulfilled in the context of your otherwise well equipped facilities. October 8, 2009
030 We are currently preparing a proposal for the MQCO BAA. In preparation of the forms to be filled in by the participating organizations, we would like to know whether to what extent do we have to provide the information requested in form SF238? Form SF328 is not required by the MQCO BAA, as amended. The latest amendments are available on the FedBizOpps web site, and linked to on the MQCO program web page on the web site. October 8, 2009
031 Will the funding for this effort be considered "contracted fundamental research" (budget category 6.1 "research" or budget category 6.2 "exploratory development") as defined in the Under Secretary of Defense memorandum dated 26 June 2008? As IARPA is not within the Department of Defense, it does not follow the 6.x nomenclature. October 8, 2009