DOE Unsolicited Proposals

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has operational responsibility of the DOE Unsolicited Proposal (USP) Program.

An unsolicited proposal is a written proposal for a new or innovative idea that is submitted to an agency on the initiative of the offeror for the purpose of obtaining a contract with the Government, and that is not in response to a request for proposals, Broad Agency Announcement, Small Business Innovation Research topic, Small Business Technology Transfer Research topic, Program Research and Development Announcement, or any other Government-initiated solicitation or program. Per FAR 15.603, a valid unsolicited proposal must:

  1. Be innovative and unique;
  2. Be independently originated and developed by the offeror;
  3. Be prepared without Government supervision, endorsement, direction, or direct Government involvement;
  4. Include sufficient detail to permit a determination that Government support could be worthwhile and the proposed work could benefit the agency’s research and development or other mission responsibilities;
  5. Not be an advance proposal for a known agency requirement that can be acquired by competitive methods; and
  6. Not address a previously published agency requirement.

Valid unsolicited proposals will be reviewed by DOE technical personnel within the appropriate program areas in accordance with FAR 15.607 where a decision will be made to proceed further with making an award to the offeror, or to reject the proposal from further review and consideration. Advertising material, commercial products or commercial service offers or contributions are not unsolicited proposals and will be immediately rejected from further consideration.

Funding of USPs is considered a noncompetitive action and DOE is under no obligation to fund a meritorious USP due to funding limitations or other program priorities.

It is highly recommended that interested proposers first read The Guide for Submission of Unsolicited Proposals to fully understand the applicable program regulations, USP program requirements, and instructions for submission. The Guide for Submission of Unsolicited Proposals is directed towards helping individuals, businesses, or other organizations in submitting USPs for review and consideration.  It offers an overview of the USP process and describes the DOE policies and procedures related to the preparation, content, submission and evaluation of a USP. Failure to submit a USP in accordance with the Guide may result in the submitted unsolicited proposal being rejected from further evaluation by the DOE.

Questions relating to the DOE Unsolicited Proposal Program may be directed to

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