The Clinical Research Management System (CRMS) contract opportunity is a great opportunity for the small business contractors on the Chief Information Officer – Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3) IDIQ. The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) should be looking to re-compete its CRMS contract late this spring. Currently, Digital Infuzion is the incumbent, and it’s been engaged with NIAID in related capacity since at least 2002.
What does this contract do?
The CRMS supports the data and clinical research process needs of NIAID’s divisions and offices. The NIAID CRMS streamlines information management by bringing together 23 components from four NIAID divisions into an integrated platform: Division of AIDS (DAIDS); Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID); Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT); and the Vaccine Research Center (VRC). Through this platform, NIAID is better able to advance its research efforts to contribute to the understanding, treatment, and prevention of diseases.
Under this CIO-SP3 task order, Digital Infuzion provides services to continue developing, maintaining, and operating the system. A few of the identifiable tasks include:
- Optimize the current CRMS system by enhancing browsing experiences and improving the applications’ performance times;
- Develop web service schemas to exchange CRMS data with other federal systems; and
- Deploy Apache “Solr”-based document library systems to provide faster access to CRMS documents. Solr is an open-source enterprise search platform, written in Java. Its major features include full-text search, hit highlighting, faceted search, database integration, NoSQL features, and rich document handling.
Who’s Who in the Zoo
Digital Infuzion will not be alone in its likely pursuit of the new task order. The following companies – all CIO-SP3 Small Business contract holders that have substantial work with NIH – may have the client knowledge and technical capability to win.
|Contractor Name||NIH Prime Contract Obligations by Fiscal Year ($M)|
|22nd Century Team||
|Grove Resource Solutions||
While these CIO-SP3 small-business primes have benefited greatly by working for NIH, this list is much shorter if we only look at the companies who have performed work for NIAID: Digital Infuzion, Seamon Corporation, and AINS, Inc. It is worth noting, however, that CTIS was the original prime developing DAIDS-ES, with Digital Infuzion serving as a subcontractor. Additionally, while ASRC Federal has not been a major player in the NIH market, it may see this as a stable growth opportunity; ASRC Federal is a small business that competes like a large, giving them a potential advantage in this competition.
Analysis of the Opportunity
NIH awarded this task order in 2013 through CIO-SP3 SB. It has spent $39.7 million since then – just under $8 million per year. The task order is set to expire at the end of September 2018, meaning that the acquisition planning cycle is likely to start late this spring.
Until NITAAC, the NIH contracting authority, shifts Digital Infuzion to the ‘other than small business’ classification, that company will possibly be able to compete for this and other small business set-aside task orders. That requires the choice by the customer to make the change to a contractor that’s worked with it for over 15 years. Unless that happens, the incumbent will maintain a meaningful competitive advantage.
- While 23 CIO-SP3 SB primes have performed prime work with NIH in some capacity, very few of these companies have performed work within NIAID.
- This task order has averaged just under $8 million per year and has consistently received that amount each year. This task order is well funded and consistently so.
- The CRMS touches four of NIAID’s divisions (DAIDS, DMID, DAIT, and VRC), providing potential access to stakeholders across the institute OR potential leverage of those related customers into the larger organization.
Keep an eye out for this RFP since it should be hitting the CIO-SP3 streets within the next few months. Stay focused. Do your capture homework. There are some great opportunities out there. Good hunting!
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