U.S. Program May Help Small Businesses Connect Deep Tech With Big Government

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GSA says program may help federal agencies find help with small businesses who provide tech services in fields, such as quantum computing.

A U.S. program is aimed at connecting small businesses with federal agencies that are in the market to buy information technology platforms and services.

According to GovConWire.com, the Polaris governmentwide acquisition contract covers IT support services across emerging technology areas, including artificial intelligence, advanced and quantum computing, automation technology, edge computing, distributed ledger technology, cloud, data management, cybersecurity and information and communications technologies.

The Government Services Administration specifically seeks, “feedback from the small businesses information technology (IT) community and other interested stakeholders about Polaris, a new Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). Polaris will enable the federal government to obtain customized IT services-based solutions from highly qualified small business, HUBZone and women-owned small business (WOSB) firms.”

According to the announcement, the Polaris team previously released a request for information (RFI) and feedback on several topics through the Small Business GWAC Community of Interest. The responses helped provide the team with needed perspective.

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“Taking those responses into consideration along with ongoing conversations with customer agencies, GSA has developed this draft request for proposals (RFP). We encourage interested parties to review this draft solicitation and provide feedback using the attached Polaris Draft RFP Response Template,” according to the team. “We want to emphasize that these documents are in “draft” form and are subject to change. Additionally, some content and attachments have not been provided in this draft RFP. These may be shared in the future through the Small Business GWAC Community of Interest or on beta.SAM.gov.”

There is no maximum dollar ceiling on the master contract but has a minimum level set at $2,500.

Feedback to the draft solicitation must be submitted to [email protected] by 4 p.m. Central Time on January 29, 2021.

If interested, GSA recommends joining the Small Business GWAC Community of Interest on GSA Interact at: https://interact.gsa.gov/group/small-business-gwac-community-interest.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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