Procurement Innovation Resource Center (PIRC)
The GSA Procurement Innovation Resource Center (PIRC) is an internal resource center that provides guidance and tools to assist the GSA acquisition teams with incorporating innovation into procurements. PIRC was created to implement the new commercial solutions opening procedure detailed below as well as highlight other tools and resources for promoting innovation on procurements. The PIRC provides guidance to the GSA acquisition workforce for using unique contract vehicles for innovation solutions such as:
- Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) Procedure
- Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program
- Prize Based Acquisitions
- Challenge Based Acquisitions
- NTIS Joint Venture Program
It also highlights acquisition methodologies that can be utilized within FAR based or non-FAR based vehicles, including:
Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) Procedure
Section 880 of the FY17 NDAA authorized GSA to implement a pilot program to competitively procure innovative commercial items, technologies, and services using CSO procedures. CSO is new acquisition mechanism that provides a streamlined acquisition process and simplified contract terms that is designed to open up the field of competition so that the Government and taxpayers benefit from a large pool of solutions at a better cost and performance.
CSO is not governed by rules for contracts per the FAR. CSO is different from Other Transaction Authority (OTA). OTA is a legally binding procurement agreement between government and industry authorized for scientific research, technology development, and prototype projects.
GSA has issued guidance for this CSO procedure within GSAM 571—Pilot Program for Innovative Commercial Items. Links to the GSAM 571 as well as the PIRC CSO Guide and PIRC CSO Solicitation Template are provided below.
Laws and Regulations
- Section 880 of FY17 NDAA [pdf]
- GSAM 571 - Pilot Program for Innovative Commercial Items (Implementation of FY17 NDAA Section 880 CSO Authority)
Policies and Guidance
Templates and Resources
For any feedback on the PIRC CSO Pilot Program, please contact Kevin Funk at firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program
GSA recently launched a pilot program to award and manage SBIR Phase III contracts.
The SBIR program is a highly competitive awards-based program coordinated by the U.S. Small Business Administration that encourages domestic small businesses to explore their research/research and development (R/R&D) potential and provides an incentive for them to profit from its commercialization.
The program is structured in three phases; Phases I and II focus on R/R&D, while Phase III’s objective is to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from Phase I/II R/R&D activities.
Awarding SBIR Phase III contracts will assist GSA in delivering cutting-edge solutions directly to our partner agencies.
Visit GSA's Office of Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS) SBIR webpage for additional details on this pilot.
The pilot is being led by AAS’s Great Lakes Region (Region 5) and AAS’s Federal Systems Integration and Management (FEDSIM) teams.
Other Innovative Vehicles
PIRC also provides links to additional resources, training and tools for acquisition innovation such as:
- Laws and Regulations
- Policies and Guidance
- Templates and Resources