About: How do I use the Collaboration Exchange?

As Technology changes, so does the contracting arena. Businesses are coming together in new ways to pursue new contracting opportunities on the Collaboration Exchange. Search SBIR/STTR and other solicitations by Technology Focus Area. See which opportunities are sparking the most activity. Then, decide how you want to collaborate using the tools on the site.

  • Express Interest in a Contracting Opportunity – When you express interest in a specific opportunity, you are letting other registered users know that your business is ready to collaborate. You will choose a potential contracting role (Prime, Subcontractor, or Collaborative Teaming) and specify which capabilities you seek or offer. Your business then appears in the collaboration pool. Registered users can choose to connect with you in just one click.
  • Collaborate: Exchanging Information with a Specific Company – Each solicitation features a collaboration pool with businesses ready to join forces. Review the list for candidates whose capabilities complement your own. With just one click, you can extend a virtual introduction on behalf of your company.

How to Use the Collaboration Exchange

Overview & Registration

Registration is easy! Registered Users gain access to a wealth of business development resources that can be used right away. As a registered user on the Collaboration Exchange, you can:

  • Survey the Business Landscape - View the level of activity on specific solicitations and decide which solicitations are of interest to you.
  • Set the Stage for Collaboration – Express interest in a specific solicitation, letting other registered users know that your business is ready to collaborate. Promote the capabilities or technologies your business brings to the table for each unique opportunity. Or, let other registered users know what capabilities your team is seeking in a potential partner.
  • Review and Decide – Only registered users can review the collaboration pool for each solicitation on the site. When other registered users Express Interest in a solicitation, they are ready to collaborate and win the business. Do they offer the capabilities your team needs? Does your business offer the technology that they are looking for?
  • Connect and Collaborate – When you choose to Collaborate with another business on the Collaboration Exchange, we will send them an email with your contact information and the specific solicitation you are viewing.

Who should register on this site?
The Collaboration Exchange is designed to help company leaders, business development managers and technical professionals to connect and to pursue contracting opportunities in new ways.

Account Basics

  • New Companies: The first person to register your company will create the company profile for your firm. As the Primary Account Manager, this individual has the ability to update and edit your company’s profile over time. Most firms choose to make a business development manager the Primary Account Manager. Contact a Collaboration Exchange Administrator in order to update Primary Account status.
  • Additional Team Members: Multiple employees may register as members of your company on The Collaboration Exchange. Often, these employees will represent different divisions or different business functions within the firm.
  • Individual Account Identity: Each individual user has a unique account on the Collaboration Exchange. If you Express Interest in a specific solicitation, your name appears as the point of contact. If you choose to send a Collaboration Request to another company, they will receive your individual contact information.

Company Profile
The company profile serves as an at-a-glance reference for registered users who want to learn about your firm.

  • Business Basics: Logo, website, primary contact, business classification (small business, large business, university, non-profit)
  • Technology Focus Areas: Specifies the individual focus areas in which your firm specializes
  • Business Overview: 100-word description that demonstrates your firm’s unique position
  • Technology Offerings: Details technologies offered for collaboration, commercialization or partnership efforts.

Identify

The Collaboration Exchange gives you the tools to identify the specific business opportunities for your company and to identify potential partners whose capabilities complement your firm’s own.

Sort by Technology Focus Area
The Collaboration Exchange features SBIR/STTR solicitations as well as user-submitted contracting opportunities. Opportunities are easily filtered by Technology Focus Areas. Technology Focus Areas include:

  • Cyber-Security
  • Small Spacecraft
  • Robotics & UAVs
  • Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance
  • Communications
  • Data Modeling & Analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Innovative Energy Applications

Using the radio buttons beside each Technology Focus Area narrows your search results to those specific categories. Results may be further organized by title, issuing agency, date, and number of replies.

What are “Replies”?
Replies is an indicator of the level of activity and collaboration occurring on a specific solicitation.

Replies indicate the total number of registered users who have publicly Expressed Interest in the specific solicitation. By expressing interest, they have chosen to provide basic information regarding their interest in the solicitation, including desired contracting role and capabilities sought or provided.

Search results may be further filtered using Replies so that you may view the most popular solicitations with ease.

Review a Specific Solicitation
Each solicitation listing provides the information you need to evaluate the opportunity and its potential fit for your firm. View the Description, Background, and use the hyperlinks to access the original solicitation.

Express Your Interest in a Solicitation
When you express interest in a specific opportunity, you’re letting other registered users know that your business is ready to collaborate. You’ll choose a potential contracting role (Prime, Subcontractor, or Collaborative Teaming) and specify which capabilities you seek or offer. Your business then appears in the collaboration pool.

  • Which Contracting Role Fits my Company? The Collaboration Exchange is about learning to do business in new ways. Most firms are familiar with traditional Prime and Subcontractor roles. Collaborative Teaming indicates that your business is seeking or offering capabilities, and is comfortable with detailing contracting roles later. The Collaboration Exchange encourages matches to begin with complementary capabilities. Specific contracting roles, outside of the traditional Prime/Sub relationship, can be determined after the initial decision to partner.

Review the Collaboration Pool for a Specific Solicitation
Businesses in the collaboration pool are ready to work in partnership on this specific opportunity. Depending on your firm’s needs, you may find a potential partner with the capabilities your firm needs…or, a firm looking for the technology applications that you’re able to provide.

  • Company Name is linked to each respondent’s basic Company Profile.
  • Date Posted allows you to sort by the latest responses to the solicitation.
  • Contracting Role indicates each respondent’s desired role for the solicitation.
  • Capabilities Sought/Provided is linked to each respondent’s expression of interest submission regarding capabilities for this solicitation.
  • Responses indicates the total number of Collaboration Requests that each firm has received.

Helpful Hint

You may send a Collaboration Request to another company without making a public Expression of Interest for the solicitation.

Exchange

Send a Collaboration Request
Use the Collaboration Exchange to notify potential partners of your interest in collaborating on a specific opportunity. Clicking the Collaborate button triggers an email from the Collaboration Exchange to the target company. The email contains:

  • Your Organization’s Name
  • Your Contact Information
  • The Solicitation Title for reference

You will receive a copy of each email so that you can track opportunities and monitor for replies.

Track Your Actions on the Site
Sound business development practices include the on-going monitoring of solicitations. The same applies to collaboration. As you return to the site and review specific solicitations, your actions on the site are stored in your account.

  • Collaboration Requests that you have submitted are shaded to remind you of your actions.
  • Responses to the collaboration pool deliver updated data upon each visit to the site.

Helpful Hints

  • Does your firm have multiple accounts on the Collaboration Exchange? When you send a Collaboration Request to another company, they will receive your individual contact information as provided during your account registration.
  • Did you receive a Collaboration Request email? Make courtesy a part of collaboration. A simple email to the sender acknowledging receipt of the request is highly recommended. While your firm may or may not pursue the lead, it is essential to acknowledge its receipt; every user plays a role in building positive community interactions via the Collaboration Exchange.

Submit an Opportunity

Collaboration depends on everyone’s contributions. Registered users may submit an opportunity for listing on the Collaboration Exchange.

  • Prime Contractors may submit a solicitation that requests specific capabilities in a small business subcontractor.
  • All registered users may submit contracting opportunities that fall within the Technology Focus Areas.

Opportunities submission is a simple process, guided by prompts on the site. The Collaboration Exchange will review all opportunities submissions for content and clarity prior to public posting in search results.