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This announcement constitutes a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NEXWC) under FAR 6.102(d)(2) and 35.106. A formal Request for Proposals (RFP), other solicitation, or additional information regarding this announcement will not be issued.

 FAR Part 35 restricts the use of BAAs, such as this, to the acquisition of basic and applied research and that portion of advanced technology development not related to the development of a specific system or hardware procurement. Contracts made under BAAs are for scientific study and experimentation directed towards advancing the state of the art and increasing knowledge or understanding. This announcement is not for the acquisition of technical, engineering, or other types of support services.

The Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, through the Living Marine Resources (LMR) program, is soliciting pre-proposals for efforts related to the need topic listed below. If invited, offerors will be asked to submit a full proposal.


The amount of passive acoustic monitoring data collected annually by the Navy's marine species monitoring program is significantly increasing, presenting the need to analyze the data efficiently. Existing, publically available, acoustic analysis software applications have improved over the years; however, there are still improvements that could be made to increase overall processing efficiency to identify, characterize, and catalogue acoustic signals of interest.

The LMR program is seeking pre-proposals that advance existing, publically available, passive acoustic analysis software applications to include additional features such as:

-using high performance computing (HPC) to process several tasks concurrently to increase computational efficiency, via anything from multicore desktop machines to enterprise-level and cloud-based servers that utilize CPU (Central Processing Unit) and/or GPUs (Graphical Processing Unit);

-incorporation of existing detectors, classifiers, and tracking algorithms (no development of new detectors, classifiers, or tracking algorithms) or creation of pathways and instructions for developers to write code in the appropriate format to allow for integration into the software;

-Tethys (Roch et al. 2013) integration to manage metadata related to acoustic analysis;

- Scalable data handling procedures to overcome the challenges of large amounts of complex data produced from HPC processing that is compatible with Tethys;

-end user guide, manual, and/or training workshop materials;

-acknowledgement process for developers to be given credit for the use of their detectors, classifiers, and tracking algorithms; and

-compiled version of the software that does not require licenses (or toolboxes) from other expensive software that can be prohibitively expensive for smaller labs and individuals.

 Pre-proposals should include a discussion about how the software will be maintained with both derived funding support and technical development support.

 M. A. Roch, S. Baumann-Pickering, H. Batchelor, D. Hwang, A. Širović, J. A. Hildebrand, C. L. Berchok, D. Cholewiak, L. M. Munger, E. M. Oleson, S. V. Parijs, D. Risch, and M. S. Soldevilla (2013), "Tethys: A workbench and database for passive acoustic metadata," Proc. IEEE Oceans, San Diego, CA, 5 pp.



Conditioned reductions in hearing sensitivity has been demonstrated in several marine mammal species (Finneran 2018, Nachtigall and Supin 2013, Nachtigall and Supin 2014, Nachtigall and Supin 2015a Nachtigall and Supin 2015b, Nachtigall et al 2016a, and Nachtigall et al 2016b).  These findings lead us to more questions on the implications and mechanisms of marine mammal's capability to reduce their hearing sensitivity. 

 The LMR program is seeking pre-proposals on investigating the extent of control marine mammals may have over reducing their hearing sensitivity, what anatomical and physiological mechanisms they may be using, the impact on temporary threshold shift (TTS) response, and an investigation into any additional species available in captivity.

Finneran, J. J. (2018). "Conditioned attenuation of auditory brainstem responses in dolphins warned of an intense noise exposure: Temporal and spectral patterns," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 143:2, 795-810.

Nachtigall, P. E., and Supin, A. Y. (2013). "A false killer whale reduces its hearing sensitivity when a loud sound is preceded by a warning," J. Exp. Biol. 216, 3062-3070.

Nachtigall, P. E., and Supin, A. Y. (2014). "Conditioned hearing sensitivity reduction in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)," J. Exp. Biol. 217, 2806-2813.

Nachtigall, P. E., and Supin, A. Y. (2015a). "Conditioned frequency-dependent hearing sensitivity reduction in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)," J. Exp. Biol. 218, 999-1005.

Nachtigall, P. E., and Supin, A. Y. (2015b). "Conditioned frequency-dependent hearing sensitivity reduction in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)," J. Exp. Biol. 218, 999-1005.

Nachtigall, P. E., Supin, A. Y., Pacini, A. F., and Kastelein, R. A. (2016a). "Conditioned hearing sensitivity change in the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 140, 960-967.

Nachtigall, P. E., Supin, A. Y., Smith, A. B., and Pacini, A. F. (2016b). "Expectancy and conditioned hearing levels in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)," J. Exp. Biol. 219, 844-850.


California sea lions commonly occur throughout the western coast of the continental United States of America, in Navy training and testing areas.  There has been limited research on underwater, temporary hearing threshold shift (TTS) in California sea lions (Kastak et al 2005). There is a need to conduct comprehensive TTS studies on California sea lions to determine appropriate criteria for impact modeling.

The LMR program is seeking pre-proposals that investigate frequency-dependent, underwater, TTS in California sea lions. Selected test frequencies should be based on equipment capability and most appropriate frequencies to characterize TTS across the spectrum of hearing in similar approach to what has been done with bottlenose dolphins, harbor porpoise, and harbor seals.  

Kastak, D., Southall B. L., Schusterman R.J., Kastak C.R. (2005). "Underwater temporary threshold shift in pinnipeds: effects of noise level and duration." J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 118(5):3154-63.


For more information on what is required in a proposal, how to submit a proposal, and how proposals are evaluated, refer to Appendix A (Proposal Submission and Evaluation Guide). Offerors need to adhere to the requirements outlined in Appendix B (Data Rights and Handling Procedures).

Proposed efforts involving interaction with and contact with marine mammals or endangered species may require research permits including but not limited to a Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) Research Permit, Endangered Species Act (ESA) scientific research permit, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and/or Department of Defense Animal Care and Use authorization. It is the expectation that all offerors will complete any necessary regulatory compliance permitting/consultations, necessary to conduct the research. If the offeror currently possesses a permit or other documentation, it should be mentioned in the pre-proposal and submitted as part of the full proposal. If your project involves developing or demonstrating a technology, an agreement with NAVFAC EXWC will need to be established to describe the ownership/use of the technology. Contract award may be delayed if appropriate regulatory documentation and agreements are not in place.


The pre-proposal submittal process is an email-based submission.  Pre-proposals should be submitted via email to There is no specific format required for the pre-proposal, however, the pre-proposal should be consolidated into one single file and should not exceed five pages in length (CVs are not included in the page limit). All pre-proposal submissions must be received before the deadline.


To be considered for funding in FY 2020, pre-proposals must be received no later than 11:59 pm, Pacific Daylight Time on 12 November 2019. Offerors will receive a confirmation email message acknowledging successful submission within 1 business day. It is the responsibility of the offeror to confirm receipt of the submission. If invited to submit a full proposal, these will be due 30 days after notification.


Following a 2-month evaluation and selection process, successful pre-proposal offerors will receive an email inviting submission of a full proposal. Unsuccessful pre-proposal offerors will receive an email, but will not receive a detailed description of the reasons for pre-proposal rejection, due to the anticipated volume of submissions. Awards to non-government entities (academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations, industry) will be in the form of contracts. A nominal award amount has not been provided because the scope of the need topics varies considerably. However, proposals less than $300K/year are more likely to be funded given the available budget of the LMR program in FY 2021. Proposals costing over $300K per year will still be considered, but we would expect a strong justification for the increased cost. The nominal duration of a project is expected to be 1-3 years, with a maximum of 5 years. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use realism of cost for the proposed effort as their metric, as this will be a critical element in the review process. Cost realism means that estimated costs are based on a coherent logic and are corroborated by authoritative or factual data. Otherwise, meritorious pre-proposals and full proposals will be rejected if cost does not accurately reflect the proposed scope of work.


The pre-proposals and full proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria, of approximately equal weight.

1.       TECHNICAL APPROACH: The scientific/technical merits and objectives in terms of meeting the stated need topic, as well as evidence that the science/technology is mature enough for applied research funding, and the performance criteria to measure success of the research effort.

•2.   2.    OFFEROR'S EXPERIENCE: For the pre-proposal phase, the offeror should clearly provide evidence or examples showing the offeror's (academic institution, organization, firm, etc.) experience related to the solution being proposed. The offeror's capabilities related to experience, techniques, or a unique combination of these that are integral factors in achieving the offeror's proposed objectives. This equates to past performance, and will be assessed based on both relevance and confidence. If invited to submit a full proposal, NAVFAC also requires the offeror to provide their EMR and DART ratings. Safety is an integral and important aspect in all NAVFAC work. If the offeror does not have an EMR/DART rating, they should state this and provide a narrative rationale. See NFAS 15.304.

•3.   3.    PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR'S AND KEY MEMBER'S RELATED EXPERIENCE: For the pre-proposal phase, the offeror should provide a summary table the with the names, highest degree, organization/affiliations, location, and years of experience for each Principal Investigator (PI) and key team member. Principle Investigators and key personnel should be identified in the pre-proposal as such. Provide a one-page CV for each Principal Investigator (PI) and key team member.  

•4.   4.    COST/PRICE: The cost relative to the proposed scientific/technical approach. For the pre-proposal phase this information may be limited to a total cost estimate by calendar year (Jan 1 - December 31). Assume for Year 1 of your project that effort will begin in October 2020 due to availability of funds and the time it takes to get a contract in place (Year 1 = 1 Oct - 31 Dec 2020). In addition to any other relevant travel required for the project, please include a trip for the PI to attend the In-Progress Review (IPR) meeting each year (Fall) in Ventura, CA to present on the progress of the project. The IPR meeting is 3 days and offerors are required to attend for the duration of the meeting. However, if you have an existing LMR project and costs to attend the IPR are already covered, please do not include these costs again. If invited to submit a full proposal, additional guidance on cost/price information will be provided.

•5.   5.    PROJECT BENEFITS: Expected benefits of the proposed project, key issues the proposed solution addresses, potential application of the results of the project, and advantages over current approaches.

•6.   6.    PRODUCT IMPLEMENTATION: Describe the intended product(s) and all associated deliverables, the requirements for implementing the proposed products of this effort, and the potential technical risks that may pose a challenge to successful implementation.


•1.   1.   An eligible pre-proposal or full proposal does not guarantee a contract. Multiple contracts may result.

 2.    An offeror is required to register with the system for award management (SAM). No contract award will be made to any offeror that is not registered. Registration may take up to three weeks. SAM may be accessed at Registration is not required for proposal submission, but must be completed prior to initiation of award negotiation. To avoid delays in the award process, applicants are encouraged to initiate SAM registration early in the submission and review process. Non-government awardees will also need to provide a DUNS (Dunn & Bradstreet) number ( and CAGE (Commercial and Government Entity) code ( before an award can be made.

 3.     The preceding data should be sufficient for completing a pre-proposal.

 4.    There are no solicitation documents applying to this BAA. Request for a solicitation package will not be acknowledged. Those interested in participating in the BAA must follow the instructions to submit a pre-proposal.

 5.       There is no commitment by the Navy either to make any contract awards or to be responsible for any money expended by the contractor before a contract award.

 6.       For need topics that may be applicable to other Federal Government activities, NEXWC will be sharing qualified pre-proposals to seek demonstration sites and/or funding. Some Federal Government activities may employ civilian contractors to determine the applicability of an offered technology to specific projects. Technical and cost pre-proposals and full proposals submitted under this BAA will be protected from unauthorized disclosure in accordance with FAR 3.104-4 and 15.207. The cognizant Program Manager and other scientific experts will perform the evaluation of technical proposals. Restrictive notices notwithstanding, one or more support contractors may be utilized as subject-matter-expert technical consultants in accordance with FAR 37.204. However, pre-proposal and full proposal selection and award decisions are solely the responsibility of Government personnel. Each support contractor's employee having access to technical and cost pre-proposals and full proposals submitted in response to this BAA will be required to sign a non-disclosure statement prior to receipt of any pre-proposal or full proposal submissions. An offeror may require the non-government personnel to execute a supplemental non-disclosure agreement by including a copy of their institutional NDA with their proposal. However, note that a failure to come to an agreement may impact the ability to make an award. Please review FAR 37.204 and NFAS 15.303(d)(4). Eligibility notification will be sent to all offerors who have submitted a pre-proposal, after the Review Committee reviews all pre-proposals submitted by the solicitation cut-off date.

 7.       For questions regarding this BAA, contact NAVFAC EXWC at (805) 982-4853 or (805) 982-5872 or via this email address: Correspondents are advised not to include Personally Identifiable Information (PII), business proprietary, or competition-sensitive information via email. Offerors will receive an automated email message acknowledging successful submission. If the offeror does not receive a notification of pre-proposal receipt, the offeror should call or e-mail NEXWC by using the phone number or e-mail address provided in this section.

 8.       Historically Black Colleges/Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) will be recognized according to DFARS 226.3. All responsible sources from academia and industry may submit proposals. No portion of this BAA will be set aside for HBCU and MI participation, due to the impracticality of reserving discrete or severable items of this research for exclusive competition among the entities. Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) including Department of Energy National Laboratories, are not eligible to receive awards under this BAA. However, teaming arrangements between FFRDCs and eligible principal bidders are allowed so long as they are permitted under the sponsoring agreement between the Government and the specific FFRDC.

 DFARS 235.017-1 allows DOD FFRDCs which function primarily as research laboratories to apply. Naval laboratories and Warfare Centers as well as other DOD and civilian agency laboratories are not eligible to receive awards under this BAA and should not directly submit proposals in response to this BAA. If any such organization is interested in one or more of these program areas, they should contact the NEXWC program office to discuss its interest. As with the FFRDCs, these organizations may team with other responsible sources from industry and academia that are submitting proposals under the BAA. University Affiliated Research Centers (UARC) are eligible to submit proposals under this BAA unless precluded from doing so by their DOD UARC contract or an organizational conflict of interest.

 9.       Do not call the Contracting Office for verification. The pre-proposal is not received by the Contracting Office.

William J. Hepler, Division Director ACQ72, Phone 8059823872, Email

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