MsET recently created the Stennis Business Consortium (SBC), a new type of initiative for the Stennis Space Center community that will launch a series of quarterly meetings Wednesday, March 30. The SBC, patterned after other successful similar efforts at NASA and Navy facilities across the country, will focus on information exchange among government agencies, prime contractors and small businesses.
The response to the inaugural meeting has been greater than expected, with enough early registrants to warrant a change to a larger venue. The meeting will be held at 2:00 pm in the auditorium of StenniSphere in Building 1200 at Stennis. Registration is required.
SBC meetings will initially feature updates from the larger Stennis agencies and prime contractors onsite and how to do business with them. The agencies at Stennis award hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts; SBC will allow agencies to identify small businesses that meet contract goals and can compete on set-asides. In 2010, NASA contract dollars at Stennis reached nearly $288M in 2010, a figure that does not include the other 32 agencies on-site.
Prime contractors can find businesses to help them meet their small business goals, provide niche technologies, or form strategic alliances on upcoming contracts or Small Business Innovation Research bids. While many purchases will involve prime contractors, in some cases small businesses will take the lead with larger contractors as partners.
Plans are that, over time, other agencies and contractors from the region will participate in SBC meetings as well.
Laurie Jugan is the MsET Program Coordinator and was instrumental in creating the SBC. She comes from a small business background and knows the importance for small companies to focus efforts efficiently.
"With so many agencies at Stennis, it can be very inefficient to hunt down who to talk to at an agency and repeat the process for each one and then for each large business. What this forum will do is make it easier for any business to find where they can best fit in," she said.
"The concept for the SBC is not new. Other NASA and Navy Centers have similar organizations," said MsET President and CEO, Charlie Beasley. "Where these groups exist, they serve to enhance communications between agencies and local businesses. Companies get better information and can be prepared for the bid process, and the government agencies and prime contractors get more participation in the competitive process."
Organizations supporting the program, in addition to MsET, are the Louisiana Technology Transfer Office (LTTO) and the Magnolia Business Alliance (MBA).
At the inaugural meeting, recently appointed NASA Stennis Procurement Officer Robert Harris will provide an overview of NASA Stennis activities. Small Business Specialist Michelle Stracener will provide information on how the Marshall Space Flight Center facilitates their quarterly business meetings. She will also provide some information on expected procurement activity. Other agencies on the agenda include NASA's Shared Services Center (NSSC), the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC) and Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO), and NOAA's National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).
Prime contractors on the agenda include Jacobs Facilities Operations Services Contract (FOSC), Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technical Services, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).
Attendance at the meeting is free; however, registration is required. Visit the MsET website at www.mset.org to register.
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Charlie Beasley, President and CEO
Mississippi Enterprise for Technology