This year will bring unique challenges to the NASA Office of Small Business Programs, including the ongoing administration transition. While we are prepared to carry on serving the NASA small business community and the incoming leadership, I’d like to take a moment to thank former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. Since 2009, his recognition of the contributions that small businesses make to NASA has allowed us to grow our small business base and achieve critical mission successes. Both the agency and I will miss his steadfast leadership and we wish him nothing but the best moving forward.
We are ready to face the challenges of 2017 head on. It currently appears that NASA surpassed our negotiated FY16 Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) goal; however, we will fall short of achieving the statutory goals for Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone), Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), Service-Disabled Veteran–Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and overall Small Business goal.
In an effort to achieve these goals in the future, NASA developed a Small Business Improvement Plan for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on the following initiatives:
1. Advocacy: Promote small business programs through advocacy and collaborative efforts with internal and external partners/stakeholders.
2. Outreach: Promote small business awareness and participation, utilizing innovative techniques at non-traditional venues in geographically targeted areas, to enhance all categories of small business.
3. Small Business Sub-Category Improvement: Improve Agency performance in small business subcategories by identifying, increasing, and promoting small business prime contracting opportunities.
In addition to the above initiatives, we will continue to discover innovative ways of reaching our small business base. A prime example is our ongoing HBCU/MSI Technology Infusion Road Tour with the NASA Office of Education and the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). The Road Show is designed to assist educational institutions integrate new technology that supports the Agency’s mission while aiding NASA in making and exceeding our 1% goal for Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Serving Institution. I was excited to attend our first successful Road Show stop of the year last week at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
We will look back on 2016 with fond memories and face 2017 with determination. Happy New Year from all of us here at the NASA Office of Small Business Programs. We look forward to working with you.