A market survey is being conducted to determine if there are adequate Small Business, SBA certified HUBZone, SBA-certified 8(a), Women-Owned, or Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) contractors available for a proposed project who meet the specific criteria outlined below.

This is a SOURCES SOUGHT NOTICE ONLY. This is not a solicitation Announcement or Request for Quote. It does not constitute any commitment by the Government. No award will result from this notice. The purpose is to conduct market research to gain knowledge of potentially qualified sources and to determine the capability of Small Business and/or Large Business companies to provide the supplies/services described below. Responses to this Sources Sought Notice will be used by the Government to make an appropriate acquisition decision. Department of Agriculture (ARS) requests responses from ALL socioeconomic categories in order to gain a more complete understanding of the market for these products and service.

The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) will not award a contract on the basis of responses or pay for the preparation of any information submitted. Respondents will not be notified of the results of this notice. After completing an analysis of the responses, the Government will determine whether to limit competition to 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, Women-Owned, or other small business firms, or to proceed with issuing an unrestricted solicitation, inviting full and open competition.

The NAICS code for the expected acquisition is 334516, with a Size Standard of 1,000 employees and the PSC Code is 6640. Any subsequent procurement will be conducted as a commercial item purchased in accordance with FAR Part 12 and as a Simplified Acquisition Procedure in accordance with FAR Part 13.

The Department of Agriculture (ARS) has the need for the following products:

001) Portable Green Fluorescent Protein and Chlorophyll Fluorescence Detection Equipment

Scope of Work:

The USDA-ARS Cereal Corps Research Unit (CCRU) in Madison, WI is seeking sources for a portable green fluorescent protein and chlorophyll fluorescence detection equipment to enhance vegetable genetic, and breeding research.

Background:  

GFP (green fluorescent protein) and chlorophyll fluorescence is being widely used in plant biology studies such as screening for positive transgenic plants in gene editing/genetic transformation, detection biotic and abiotic stresses, screening for photosynthetic performance, and plant disease resistances. The Vegetable Crops Research Unit (VCRU) at USDA-ARS Madison location hosts a dozen research scientists working on genetic improvement of various horticultural crops. A number of labs are using GFP chlorophyll fluorescence-based techniques in vegetable improvement research. A portable chlorophyll fluorescence detection equipment is in urgent need in both laboratory and field studies. We are seeking to purchase such an instrument to facilitate our genetics/genomics research that will be accessible for all labs in VCRU (and USDA-ARS labs at Madison, WI location).

Technical Requirements: 

  • The equipment will allow real-time imaging with a high-resolution CCD camera of chlorophyll and GFP fluorescences. Typical measurements may include:
    • Steady-state GFP fluorescence
    • FV/FM
    • Kautsky induction
    • Quenching analysis
    • Light curve
  • Portable, able to image leaves, small plants, leaf segments, seeds, roots, tissues on plates in both field and laboratory conditions.
  • Comes with user friendly software and interfaces.
  • Able to measure large leaves (for example cucumber) through available accessories (for example, leaf clip mechanisms).
  • The system should be powered from the power supply or run on rechargeable battery (when used in the field).
  • Technical specifications
    • Minimum imaging area should be no less than 35×35 mm
    • Able to measure multiple Chl fluorescence parameters (e.g., F0, FM, FV, F0’, FM’, FV’, QY(II)), Abs PAR-value, or parameters derived from fluorescence emission (e.g., NPQ, FV/FM, FV’/FM’, Rfd, qN, qP), PAR-absorptivity, photosynthetic electron transport rate (PS), and others
    • Excitation Light Sources: Measuring pulses: orange (620 nm), blue (455 nm), Actinic / saturating light: white – blue (455 nm)
    • Saturating Pulse Intensity: Blue: >5,000 µmol(photons)/m².s
    • Actinic Light Intensity: Blue: > 1400 µmol(photons)/m².s
    • User friendly software with automated control of the system, allow user defined protocols and image processing tools; compatible with Windows 10 or higher operating system
    • Electric requirements: 100-240 VAC, 50-60Hz.

Travel:

The vendor is responsible for any associated travel cost for installation and/or necessary on-site training of the equipment.

Security Requirements:

Installation should be completed during regular business hours (8:00 am to 5:00 pm), Monday through Friday.

Evaluation Factors: 

Lowest price, technically acceptable. The government intends to award a firm-fixed price award based on the lowest price technically acceptable product. The lowest priced product will be evaluated first; if not found acceptable, the next lowest priced product will be evaluated, and so on until an acceptable product is identified. The government will not review higher priced products if the lowest priced product is determined to be technically acceptable. For a vendor’s products to be considered technically acceptable, they must meet all of the technical requirements identified in the solicitation.

The key technical requirements under review for each quote will be:

  • Imaging area
  • Saturating pulse intensity and actinic light intensity
  • Ability to expand applications with customized filters and LED panels for other fluorescent proteins
  • Available software capability

Key Deliverables:

  • Portable Green Fluorescent Protein and Chlorophyll Fluorescence System
  • Leaf Clip
  • Tripod
  • Battery Pack
  • Delivery
  • Installation
  • Training

Delivery:

Delivery, installation, and training to provided USDA-ARS CCRU located at 502 Walnut Street, Madison, WI 53726 within 60 days of contract award.

The vendor shall provide all items F.O.B: destination. Location of the Government site is aboard USDA-ARS Madison, WI and will be identified in the contract. The Government anticipates award of a Firm Fixed Price contract.

Capability Statement:

Companies who have the experience, as well as an interest in doing business with ARS, should submit a Capabilities Statement which, for this notice, is not expected to be a proposal, but rather short statements regarding the company’s ability to demonstrate their expertise and experience in relation to the areas specified in this notice.

Companies should also indicate whether they are a Small Business, SBA-certified HUBZone, SBA-certified 8(a), SDVOSB, or Women-Owned Small Business.

To be eligible, all vendors must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) with a current and active registration. A DUNS (Dun and Bradstreet) number is required in order to register in SAM. A vendor can contact SAM by calling 1-866-606-8220 or e-mail at www.sam.gov. NO EXCEPTIONS. Vendor must include their DUNS# on their capability statements.

Finally, to be eligible, all vendors must be NDAA 889 Certified. If they do not currently have a NDAA 889 Certification, then they must complete the attached NDAA 889 Certification form and submit it to aaron.dimeo@usda.gov so that they can be added to the list of NDAA 889 Certified vendors.

Submitting a Capability Statements:

Responses should be submitted via email to aaron.dimeo@usda.gov by Monday, September 13, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. CST. Telephone inquiries will not be accepted.

Disclaimer:

This notice does not obligate the Government to award a contract or otherwise pay for the information provided in response. The Government reserves the right to use information provided by respondents for any purpose deemed necessary and legally appropriate. Respondents are also advised that under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of information or provide feedback about any of the information received.  After review of the responses received, the Government may issue a pre-solicitation synopsis and solicitation. No proprietary, sensitive, confidential or classified information shall be included with your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation.