Despite recent challenges faced by the federal government, NASA has remained committed to developing our relationships with both large and small businesses nationwide. We plan to continue this commitment with the formation of the NASA Industry Forum (NIF), an agency-wide effort to share center-level information that concerns NASA and NASA’s contractors.
As I’ve mentioned before, NASA is a decentralized agency, with ten centers spread throughout the country. Our goal in the creation of this forum is to make sure the Office of Small Business Programs remains directly engaged with each Center’s areas of concerns while gaining insight into the issues faced by our contractors in order to discuss possible solutions or improvements.
The NIF will be comprised of both large and small business contractors from each of NASA’s Centers. During the meetings, which will take place no more than twice per year in Washington, D.C., NIF participants will have the opportunity to discuss their center’s business environment and any related issues. This forum is designed as a chance to exchange ideas and the NIF will not be requested or expected to reach consensus decisions, nor provide consensus advice or recommendations to the Agency.
With a considerably knowledgeable and dedicated forum created, there will exist the possibility that NASA Senior Management or Mission Directorates will address the NIF to discuss future missions of the Agency. The first meeting of the NIF is tentatively scheduled for mid-March, 2014, and I look forward to another avenue with which to enrich the NASA Small Business Program.