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3rd Annual Outreach Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions

The Small Business Programs Office (SBPO) from NASA/JPL hosted the 3rd annual Outreach Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Minority Institutions (MI).

This two-day outreach event took place on August 1-2, 2018 at JPL in Pasadena. It was an opportunity for the HBCU/MI’s to present their capabilities to the JPL research community.

Day 1 consisted of presentations from NASA’s Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP), Minority University Research and Education Programs (MUREP) and NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR). In addition, JPL’s Human Resources and Education Office shared their presentations. The HBCU/MI’s presented their capabilities and previous collaborations with JPL and NASA centers.

Day 2 consisted of HBCU/MI’s exhibiting on the mall at JPL for the rest of the research community to enable the opportunity to meet one-on-one.

To be considered for next year’s event, please email for more information.

SLM Contract Furniture meets with JPL SBPO

SLM Contract Furniture met with the Small Business Programs Office at JPL on Thursday, July 19, 2018. They have held a national GSA and BPA contracts for many years, and is a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).

SLM specialized in providing turnkey furniture solutions for federal clients and large prime contractors for over 15 years. They represent Swiftspace, a truly unique manufacturer of patented mobile workstations that arrive fully assembled (right out of the box) and can be relocated without special labor or new parts! A single workstation can be locked into place and ready to go in a matter of minutes. Multiple workstations can be configured into office space, a conference room, or collaboration space to fit the customer’s needs.

For more information, visit SLM Contract Furniture.

Suit X visits JPL

JPL's Small Business Office and the Facilities and Logistics Division hosted a demonstration on Thursday, June 21, 2018. Suit X demonstrated the four models of exoskeletons, which support legs, back, shoulders, or all three. This revolutionary tool is designed to assist people who perform repetitive motion tasks, as well as provide more efficiency, while enabling the individual the freedom to easily remove the suit or wear the suit while maneuvering equipment, such as forklifts and golf carts.

For more information, visit Suit X

Small Business Opportunity Fair 2018

Picture of patrons attending the Small Business Opportunity Fair held in Pasadena, California.
Picture of patrons attending the Small Business Opportunity Fair held in Pasadena, California.
Picture of patrons attending the Small Business Opportunity Fair held in Pasadena, California.

The Small Business Programs Office (SBPO) from NASA/JPL along with the City of Pasadena and the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce hosted a small business outreach event on May 22, 2018. The event highlighted exhibitors from Government Agencies and Large Businesses to allow small businesses to network with these organizations. Throughout the event, there was a presentation from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Mentor Protégé and Joint Venture programs as well as a presentation on “Social Media for Your Business”. In addition, a representative from the JPL Small Business Council hosted a panel discussion on “How to Do Business” and the panel participants include NASA Armstrong, JPL and the City of Pasadena. The event also included a successful matchmaking where small businesses were able to meet one on one with representatives from the Government Agencies and Large Business. There were over 400 attendees at this very successful outreach event.

JPL Small Business Industry Awards 2018

The FY2017 JPL Small Business Industry Awards ceremony took place on March 14, 2018 at the von Karman Auditorium at JPL.

This event recognized the accomplishments of those individuals and small businesses that have made a positive impact on JPL’s projects and missions. Their continued dedication, support and commitment to excellence in FY2017 was very much appreciated by JPL.

Picture of Steve Simpson receiving the “Small Business Advocate Award
Picture of Lew Soloway receiving the “Small Business Advocate Award

Congratulations to the JPL Employees, Steve Simpson and Lew Soloway for winning the “Small Business Advocate Awards” and Small Business Winners shown below. Awards presented by Deputy Director for Engineering and Science, Jordan Evans.

Picture of a representative of the Bear Fight Institute and Triton Fun accepting the Special Thanks and Recognition (STAR) Award.

STAR (Special Thanks and Recognition) Award
Bear Fight Institute and Triton Fun

Picture showing representatives of Millennium Engineering & Integration with their Thomas H. May Legacy of Excellence Award.

Thomas H. May Legacy of Excellence Award
Millennium Engineering & Integration

Picture showing representatives of Columbus Technologies and Services, Inc. with their Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award.

Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award
Columbus Technologies and Services, Inc.

In-Bound Freight Optimization

JPL has enacted a new inbound freight program that JPL believes will provide added convenience and cost savings to our business relationship. Currently, JPL’s standard shipping terms are “Prepay and Add”. Under this new program, subcontractors will be requested to ship goods to JPL using a JPL FedEx or UPS account number. This arrangement will eliminate the need for subcontractors to pay for the shipping in advance and bill JPL.

All pertinent shipping instructions, including account numbers, will be detailed in the Purchase Order below the line items. In the event a purchase order is received stating “Prepay and Add” freight terms, please verify with the JPL Subcontracts Manager that this was the intent.

Contact Ross Sharp with any questions, concerns or need help with UPS or FedEx.

New Subcontracting Module added to the NASA Vendor Database (NVDB)

The subcontracting module is now available as a separate option for registrants. By joining the subcontracting module, prime contractors can find subcontracting partners. For firms looking for subcontracting opportunities, this module will provide a potential list of NASA partners. As with the regular NVDB, the subcontracting module is open to both large and small companies. Both current and new registrants must opt in to join the module.

After registering in the NVDB, log into your account, open “Manage My Vendor Record”, click on the new second tab, “Subcontractor Details”, and select “Yes” in the drop down menu to join. Fill in the capabilities text box.

NASA Vendor Database

New Newsletter Publishing Schedule

The Small Business Programs Office (SBPO) will now issue the newsletter every other month beginning January 2018. We welcome your feedback to serve our audience better. Below is our publishing schedule for 2018:

  • Jan. & Feb. 2018 – Publish Date March 15, 2018
  • March & April 2018 – Publish Date May 15, 2018
  • May & June 2018 – Publish Date July 13, 2018
  • July & Aug. 2018 – Publish Date Sept. 13, 2018
  • Sept. & Oct. 2018 – Publish Date Nov. 15, 2018
  • Nov. & Dec. 2018 – Publish Date Jan. 15, 2019

If you would like to receive the newsletter, and currently do not, please email your request to

Mentor Protégé Agreement

Transpacific Technologies Inc. (TTI), a Pasadena based engineering firm, recently executed a Mentor Protégé agreement with JPL. TTI will support multiple projects spanning from flight related engineering test and design, to the upgrade of the Deep Space Network’s (DSN) downlink and uplink hardware.

Under this agreement, TTI will support work being done for future spacecraft missions in developing and evaluating descent and landing radar instruments. These elements will enable safe and reliable soft-landing capabilities for the upcoming Mars 2020 mission, and future missions. We will work with Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission to provide data analysis and visualization.

TTI will also support work being done for NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) in replacing older down-link receivers with new multi-band digital receivers. These subsystem elements are used by NASA’s Deep Space Network, which is an extensive worldwide instrument for command, control, and communication with NASA’s fleet of robotic spacecraft exploring our solar system. From these deep space missions, the DSN captures all of the data used for scientific study and the delivery of the amazing imagery that we see in the news and on the Internet.

Transpacific Technologies Inc. is a certified HUBZone, and Women-owned Small Business. Our company has been supporting JPL since its inception and brings forth a combined 56 years of direct NASA/JPL experience.

SBPO Small Business Spotlight of the Quarter: Motiv Space Systems

RoboMantis, Motiv’s unmanned ground robot

Motiv is currently developing the robotic arm for Mars 2020 rover

Motiv Space Systems was founded in 2014 with the goal of serving the space community with innovative robotics and motion control solutions. Motiv’s early work centered on supporting NASA with efforts on advanced space based motion control. Their business base has since grown to include a broad number of space robotics, sensors, electronics and mechanisms projects.

The Motiv team has significant history developing flight hardware and they continue to explore new opportunities to expand their portfolio and their team. In addition to the Mars robotic arm, Motiv is proud to be developing several other components and systems for JPL missions. Motiv’s flight motor controllers have been selected for several flight missions and are enabling new mission capabilities. Motiv is also supporting JPL missions with other critical electro-mechanical systems such as filter wheels and camera zoom/focus mechanisms, which are also under active development.

After licensing and commercializing JPL’s RoboSimian robot, Motiv has developed RoboMantis to tackle an even greater array of missions. RoboMantis is a uniquely capable robot designed to perform work in hazardous environments and it is set to revolutionize mobile robotics with applications ranging from disaster response to planetary exploration.

Most notably Motiv is supporting JPL through the development and delivery of the robotic arm for the Mars 2020 mission.

The President and CEO of Motiv, Chris Thayer, states that they are honored to support JPL over the past few years and they look forward to continuing that relationship for years to come!

Motiv’s dynamic and diverse team is located in Pasadena, just a few miles from the JPL campus.

Visit them at