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Tutorial 11: NOAA

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The mission of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also called NOAA, is "science, service and stewardship from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean. This mission has three key components: first to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans and coasts; next to share that knowledge and information with others; and finally to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. To implement this mission NOAA is organized around six Line Offices: the National Weather Service; the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service; the National Marine Fisheries Service; the National Ocean Service; the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations; and lastly, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. It is this last Line Office called Oceanic and Atmospheric Research from which most of NOAA's longer term, experimental research is derived.

The NOAA SBIR program resides within NOAA's Technology Partnerships Office, or TPO. The NOAA TPO oversees both the Small Business Innovation Research program and the Technology Transfer program. NOAA SBIR seeks highly innovative products and services with excellent commercial potential. All SBIR proposals must directly benefit NOAA's mission, while remaining responsive to market demands. SBIR topics are based on the Strategic Research Guidance Memorandum released annually by NOAA's Chief Scientist. The 2017 SRGM highlights some of NOAA's recent R&D successes and provides guidance to facilitate the evolution of NOAA's future research.

There are five research priorities resulting from the 2017 SRGM: (1) Integrated Earth System Processes and Predictions; (2) Environmental Observation; (3) Decision Science, Risk Assessment and Risk Communication; (4) Integrated Water Prediction; and (5) the Arctic. A few of these priorities are discussed below.

NOAA has predictive responsibilities for enhancing scientific understanding, making predictions and projections, and ensuring informed decision making. Therefore, process studies, as well as model resolution and scaling are important priorities for Integrated Earth Systems. Under Environmental Observation, NOAA optimizes the sensing elements and platforms that conduct sustained and experimental observations ranging from solar flares to undersea earthquakes. These observations are essential to NOAA's environmental intelligence mission. Meeting NOAA's strategic goals also requires that the agency expand its capacity in Decision Science, Risk Assessment and Risk Communication – another of the SRGM priority areas. The current focus is on how NOAA assesses and communicates risk and how that information is rationalized and used by the decision maker.

The NOAA SBIR program provides up to $120,000 in Phase I to conduct a feasibility study and up to $400,000 for Phase II research conducted over a two-year period. Typically, between 15 and 25 Phase I projects are awarded each year and 50% of the Phase I awards receive a Phase II award. Starting with the FY19 solicitation, the NOAA SBIR program office will make new awards as grants. The SBIR solicitation is typically released annually in mid-October with proposals due in mid-January. The solicitation contains topics that relate to the goals described. Before starting to work on your proposal, please review the guidelines in the solicitation carefully. When preparing your proposal, it is important to ask yourself "Is my work innovative and relevant to NOAA's mission? Can I commercialize this product? Are all required documents and requested information included before I submit this proposal?" Once submitted, a NOAA-wide selection panel reviews the content of the proposals. Phase I awards are typically made in June.

To learn more about the NOAA SBIR program contact Mr. Vince Garcia, at, the NOAA SBIR Program Manager.

Course 2 Tutorial 11
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA/DOC)


(1) True/False? NOAA is organized around six Operating Administrations (OA).

(2) True/False? Most of NOAA's longer term experimental research is aligned with the line office called Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.

(3) NOAA's Phase II SBIR awards are:

(4) True/False? Starting with the FY19 solicitation, NOAA's SBIR awards will be provided as grants.

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