REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FAQ 2023 (LAST UPDATED 9/28/23)


104. Our staff/researchers want to submit proposals. Can they execute the work due to delays in DOE approving their involvement?

We encourage them to submit proposals. CyManII and DOE want/need great proposals. Nevertheless, there is risk of not being approved by DOE. Which is true for everyone who works with CyManII regardless of citizenship.


103. A industry partner wants be sure that some amount of technology and privacy will be protected. Can the CRADA be modified to accommodate our industry partner?

The scope of sharing can be negotiated though may affect selection. More access for members in the protected CyManII infrastructure the better.


102. Populating our cost summary and are unsure if we are doing this correctly. Rates for employees should be based on salary and benefits only. Labor overhead is then a multiplier on the underlying employee rate. Is this correct?

Also, we are unclear on how the cost sharing is meant to be entered in the cost summary. When we enter hours of work per role it only populates the Funding Requirement Column and does not drive the Cost sharing column. Seems the hours per role should drive the Total Costs. How seriously should we take these pre-populated formula in the spreadsheet?

  1. Rates for labor employees should be based on salary.  
  2. Fringe benefits would be included in Indirect Cost; total direct labor times the fringe rate.
  3. Labor overhead is total direct labor and fringe benefits times the labor overhead rate.
  4. You don’t have to use the pre-populated formulas.

101. Can our team member participation in the ITT be done remotely, or will we need to be relocated in San Antonio (or wherever)?

Absolutely. The TTI is designed for predominately distributed technical team members – we stood up CyManII in the summer 2020 … No relocation required, yet likely some travel to beautiful San Antonio.


100. Our organization believes that some contracting vehicles would be easier/more efficient than others, especially with respect the FAR/DFAR auditing requirements. Can we specify the type of vehicle we prefer?

Yes, though any arrangement needs to be approved by DOE and consistent with CyManII’s cooperative agreement with DOE. Describe your preferred vehicle in the management volume. If selected for award, we will work out the details before any agreement is signed.


99. Our membership agreement was updated to 25K per year. How do we reflect the cost share for the submission? Do we only cost share the difference? Meaning whatever the 20% turns out to be subtract that from 25K.

You can include all of the $25K as cost share to the extent that it is part of the project/work that you’re proposing.


98. We are responding to TA4 Research with the ICS use case and I understand that a minimum of 10% of the overall project budget must be in TA5. With regards to the Table 4. “Awards per Topic Area” and our budget, is the TA5 budget already in the $440K ceiling on Table-4, or does the ceiling increased by a minimum of the 10% TA5 (per the $340K cap in Table-4)?

2) Our research involves the development of algorithms and software which utilize parallel processing executed on GPUs or HPC. In the ICS use case, the parallel processing could be performed either with a dedicated GPU computer in the control room containing multiple GPUs, or thru the cloud to a GPU cloud farm. One of our team members is Nvidia, a leader in GPU processing and they have agreed to provide access to their GPU Cloud farm for the software development and testing. GCAS also has dedicated GPU computers for development and testing. My question is: Since all work must take place in CyManII’s infrastructure, and elements of other environments can be incorporated into CyManII’s Shared Research and Development Infrastructure as appropriate, does CyManII’s Trusted Technical Infrastructure have the needed GPU-based computers and tools available for software dev/research? If not, then how should the use of Nvidia’s GPU cloud farm and/or GCAS’ GPU development computers be written into the proposal?

  1. No, the amounts in the Award Ceiling table in Section 3, page 14, refer only to DOE provided funds.
    You can use cost share to cover some/all of of the 10% of total project cost for TA5.
    There are no ceilings on cost share amounts.
  2. Yes, we can extend CyManII’s TTI into an appropriate FedRamp-qualified cloud.Important details, like credential-access, can be worked out (post selection/award).

97. Do you have stand-alone (non-cloud) GPU computers in the TTI? Or should we provide them?

Yes, though they’re three years old, and yes updated hardware would be valuable.


96. In the Award Ceiling table in Section 3, page 14, does the ceiling refer to total project cost?

No, it refers to the ceiling on DOE provided funds. There are no ceilings on cost share amounts.


95. In the Award Ceiling table in Section 3, page 14, does the ceiling refer to total project cost?

No, it refers to the ceiling on DOE provided funds. There are no ceilings on cost share amounts.


94. Do you have stand-alone (non-cloud) GPU computers in the TTI? Or should we provide them?

Yes, though they’re three years old. Yes, updated hardware would be valuable.


93. We are responding to TA4 Research with the ICS use case and I understand that a minimum of 10% of the overall project budget must be in TA5. With regards to the Table 4. “Awards per Topic Area” and our budget, is the TA5 budget already in the $440K ceiling on Table-4, or does the ceiling increased by a minimum of the 10% TA5 (per the $340K cap in Table-4)?

2) Our research involves the development of algorithms and software which utilize parallel processing executed on GPUs or HPC. In the ICS use case, the parallel processing could be performed either with a dedicated GPU computer in the control room containing multiple GPUs, or thru the cloud to a GPU cloud farm. One of our team members is Nvidia, a leader in GPU processing and they have agreed to provide access to their GPU Cloud farm for the software development and testing. GCAS also has dedicated GPU computers for development and testing. My question is: Since all work must take place in CyManII’s infrastructure, and elements of other environments can be incorporated into CyManII’s Shared Research and Development Infrastructure as appropriate, does CyManII’s Trusted Technical Infrastructure have the needed GPU-based computers and tools available for software dev/research? If not, then how should the use of Nvidia’s GPU cloud farm and/or GCAS’ GPU development computers be written into the proposal?

  1. No, the amounts in the Award Ceiling table in Section 3, page 14, refer only to DOE provided funds.
    You can use cost share to cover some/all of of the 10% of total project cost for TA5.
    There are no ceilings on cost share amounts.
  2. Yes, we can extend CyManII’s TTI into an appropriate FedRamp-qualified cloud. Important details, like credential-access, can be worked out (post selection/award).

92. Must all work be done in CyManII’s Trusted Technical Infrastructure?

That is CyManII’s and DOE’s strong preference to maintain accessibility for technical team members, facilitate collaboration, ensure replicability, and ensure secure protection of all work. However, if a different arrangement is need to access special hardware or software platforms, please put that request in the management volume and indicate how your proposed arrangement will maintain accessibility for technical team members, facilitate collaboration, ensure replicability, and ensure secure protection of all work.


91. In case we wish to include some references into our proposal, does the list of references count towards the 5 page limit?

2. Proposal narrative template requires us to list deliverables of our project. This list of deliverables is already populated with some standard CyManII deliverables, which must be in that list. Should we keep those explicitly in our proposals (which means all applicants would have them in their proposals), or can we remove those standard deliverables and just focus on listing the deliverables specific to our proposals (keeping the standard deliverables would not be informative to proposal reviewers since all proposals would have them, but I can also see the reason to keep them in the final proposal as well)?

3. In regards to the content in the 5-page technical volume. Your template has “D. Deliverables” giving the list of required deliverables for the project. Are we supposed to: 1) reiterate this list as part of the 5-page volume, 2) elaborate upon the items, or 3) simply acknowledge their existence?

  1. Yes, if included in the technical volume. Technical reviewers will only evaluate the material in the technical volume.
  2. We recommend that you review the Evaluation and Selection Criteria (Section 7) and the details for TA5 in the RFP to determine what deliverables you want to list.
  3. Acknowledging their existence by reference to RFP is sufficient.

90. Some of the briefing information made it sound like you were only allowed to choose one area (i.e. TA2 or TA3), which would then restrict the maximum cost budget. Is that correct?

Not quite. Each proposal can address only one Topic Area (use case). A proposal should address the Technical Areas (TA1-5) that are appropriate. Note that TA5 is required in each proposal. Our apologies for overusing the word “area” in the RFP. See also answers to Questions #12 and #26 on this page.


89. Can CyManII provide a summary of foundational R&D for this RFP?

Yes, please see the slides HERE.


88. Can you also confirm if non-members can submit and if selected, become members?

Yes, non-members can submit proposals and if selected they must be approved by Governing Board and DOE to become members.


87. Are there any specific nationalities, not USA citizens, not allowed to participate in the RFP projects?

No, however DOE has a sensitive country list and these will take longer to get reviewed and approved. See Q/A #104 for additional information.


86. My university already is already a funded part of the CyManII institute, if we would receive a project from this RFP, would it be funded as an amendment to the current subaward or would a separate sub-award be sent?

The preference is to amend the sub-award as/if appropriate.


85. With a direct funding vehicle model for all organizations on a team, how do we submit the budgets directly to CyManII without having a prime organization (no subcontracts)? Will all the budgets be submitted by one leading organization together with the proposal?

Submit them together bundled and explained in the mgmt volume


84. What is the contract type for this project? Firm fixed price, time and materials, milestone invoicing, or something else?

There’s no restriction per se. However, given the CyManII approach to collaboration across technical team members regardless of home organization and particular subcontract, time and materials is the most common contract type for CyManII projects.


83. Please indicate what are the type of contract vehicles available for CyManII RFP 3, DE-EE0000946 – Cybersecurity in Energy Efficient Manufacturing.

There’s no restriction per se. However, given the CyManII approach to collaboration across technical team members regardless of home organization and particular subcontract, time and materials is the most common contract type for CyManII projects.


82. Will the lead organization responding to the RFP receive the funding from CyManII for all the participant organizations on a team (as subcontracts)? Or are we assuming a direct funding vehicle for each participating organization from CyManII (which implies no overhead for the lead organization)?

Either mechanism is acceptable; the latter likely being more cost efficient.


81. What is the process for obtaining CyManII credentials and approval to be on the technical team. As someone submitting a proposal for this RFP, do I (and my colleagues) need these credentials and approval?

Getting credentials is possible once your organization is a member of CyManII. “And an individual’s access is approved by COI review and DOE.” Both companies and individuals are vetted. Credentials are not required for submitting a proposal.


80. Pages 45 and 48 merely mention the CyManII Secure Defensible Architecture (SDA) and the CyManII Cyber-Physical Passport without giving any specification or technical detail.

Two follow-up questions:

  1. Is this tookchain accessible to the public, and, if so, then how may we access it? Or does access require a security clearance of some kind?
  2. Since all three of the Industrial Use-Cases in your RFP call for implementation of, or alignment to, this toolchain, then while writing our proposal, how do you want us to deal with the ambiguity of referring to this toolchain without fully understanding what it is and what we should align to?
  1. The toolchain is not public. Access requires CyManII credentials and approval to be on the technical team. It is not classified.
  2. To deal with the ambiguity and lack of access to details, consider making reasonable assumptions for modern development toolchains.

79. I see that fonts and font sizes in the editable versions of various portions of our proposal package (see attached) do not match what CyManII wants (specifically: RFP says Calibri or Times New Roman font, with size not smaller than 12). Can you please advise what to do, because things will look different if I change font sizes, especially in the summary – it will become more than 1 page we are allowed to apply for just one IUC (which makes sense). Can we erase other (non-relevant) IUCs from the summary page and thus gain some extra space in the summary document?

  1. That’s relative to the page limited elements only.
  2. You can apply to multiple IUCs with separate proposals.
  3. Yes, you can delete the non-relevant elements of the summary page.

78. Do the Award Ceiling amounts listed in the RFP on Page 14 include cost share amounts, or are cost share amounts added on top of the award ceiling amounts? For instance, if we were to address IUC 2 TA 4 (Award Ceiling of $200,000), which would be the correct calculation of the budget within the award ceiling?

  1. $160,000 (funded by CyManII) + $200,000 * 20% (cost share) = $200,000 (project value @ Award Ceiling)
  2. $200,000 (funded by CyManII @ Award Ceiling) + $250,000 * 20% (cost share) = $250,000 (project value)
  1. Ceiling amounts are the DOE provided funds.
  2. Scenario (2) applies

77. Could a smart grid digitization for cybersecurity effort be considered a manufacturing industrial environment (TA1) under IUC2?

No, unless it refers to the manufacture of the infrastructure for the grid.


76. I was unable to locate any detail about the CPP, for example, in the 2023 Roadmap. Could you point me to a section or page number?

Reference pages 45 and 48 in the public Roadmap.


75. TA5 says “A minimum of 10% of the overall project budget must be in this TA.” Does this mean that it is allowed to move the budget above the 10% to other TA? Is there flexibility to move the specified budget from one TA to another TA if we proposed for more than one TA? If allowed, up to what % of the specified budget can be reallocated from one TA to another TA?

The intent of TA5 to ensure robust project management and integration with our agile scrum teams. we believe 10% is a minimum target for TA5, if you believe other technical tasks will benefit from agile development hours then feel free to cost it. You should scope each TA to meet the desired outcomes. The limits are the in RFP Document. These are reasonable targets and not absolutes.


74. If our proposal team is missing a key cybersecurity partner, does the Institute have folks they’d prefer or would recommend we work with?

CyManII cannot recommend any specific partner or vendor. You may submit a proposal to the Technical Area of your expertise and in the award process you may be paired with another entity.


73. Could you please confirm if non-US citizens are eligible to participate in the proposal submission process?

Non-citizens can participate at the proposal stage, but before receiving any money, or accessing CyManII systems, they must be approved by DOE. See Q/A #104 for additional information.


72. The description of the Cost Summary Form on page 16 notes that: “The CyManII cost summary form shall be completed detailing total project costs. One Budget Justification form from each organization expecting an agreement with CyManII shall be submitted.” Is the Budget Justification form different than the Cost Summary Form, or are those terms being used interchangeably? If different, what guidance is there on completing the Budget Justification form, and is there a template?

The Cost Summary form is the short version used in the proposal process. The Budget Justification form is the longer version and is used when the “organization expecting an agreement with CyManII” (i.e., they have been selected).


71. In RFP TA 4, there are four research topics. Should the proposal address all four topics? Or can we select any of four for the proposed effort?

RFP page 8 (TA4 research): “…the project should showcase the following new innovations.” Is this an AND or an OR gate? That is, should we showcase all of the four innovations to be successful or just one of it?

Yes, all four research topics could be selected/showcased OR a subset.


70. What specific TRLs are acceptable for funding?

TRLs 2 through 6.


69. What is the role of CyManII within each IUC project in regards to collaboration?

CyManII will have integrated teams that work together. CyManII will be involved in all projects and help form the final teams.


68. If CyManII technologies are required to be incorporated, will CyManII ensure resources to help do so?

CyManII has some resources for integrating technologies. As you can, indicate in your proposal estimates of essential levels of support from CyManII.


67. Do you have manufacturing facilities already identified for IUC TA1?

We have a potential facility called Cyber Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in the Port San Antonio. What we want is a realistic environment. For example, if you don’t have an environment accessible and you want to propose say in TA2, then that’s acceptable.


66. How will review panels for the RFP be formed? i.e. what are the conflict of interest protocols to ensure fair review of proposals, without bias toward current leadership/membership of CYMANII?

We have an internal process for selecting the technical review panel. The panel is reviewed by DOE and approved by CyManII’s Governing Board. CyManII follows best practices for technical review panels.


65. Can cost share be a combination of labor, materials and experimental hardware?

Yes.


64. Is the $4.7M a one time, total grant amount or can up to that amount be awarded multiple times?

CyManII does not award grants, we award subcontracts. $4.7M is the estimated total amount for this RFP.


63. Could the same company/consortium be awarded multiple grants?

CyManII does not award grants. A company/consortium could be selected for multiple projects that would be combined into one sub-award. The diversity of our teams and collaborations is important to CyManII and DOE.


62. Would the 20% cost share for the project contribute towards the $25/year in-kind cost share for the required Collaborative Membership at CyManII?

Yes.


61. IUCs 1 and 3 both refer to incorporation of CyManII technologies in TA2, 3, and 4. Is there interest in awarding to vendors with additional cybersecurity technologies to be integrate with CyManII current technologies such as SDA, CPP, and CEEQ?

Absolutely, yes.


60. Is there a minimum amount or project size required? For example, can we make a proposal amounting to $100K or would that be too small?

No, there is no minimum amount for the total cost. And the total cost could all be cost share. CyManII and DOE seek to maximize the impact of the public-private partnership for U.S. manufacturers.


59. We are a small company. Can we submit a proposal as single company, or do we have to be part of a consortium?

Yes, you can submit as a single company.


58. How many projects do you expect to award as part of this RFP?

This will depend on the proposals received and the results of their technical evaluation. The diversity of our teams and collaborations is important to CyManII and DOE.


57. Will we be able to access a recording of this as we prepare our proposals?

The recording is on the RFP video page HERE.


56. Many people on this call will not have access to the “membership agreement” to assess what the protocols for formation of the review panels will be such that fair reviews can be assured. Can you provide some additional explanation beyond simply “…look at the membership agreement?”

Membership agreements is between the institutions. Please contact your institution. This information is provided on an institution-by-institution basis, not to individuals.


55. Can private corporations be awarded or can only a educational institute?

There is no restriction on the type of organization that’s awarded other than being a U.S. entity.


54. Is there and preference to small businesses?

DOE and CyManII value the involvement of small and medium manufacturers though all proposals must pass through the same technical evaluation.


53. Are awards intended to increase OT cybersecurity offerings in the US marketplace and drive jobs in the space or industrial company adoption?

The intention is to enhance industrial adoption and improve U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.


52. What is the expectation at the end of the 15 months? Would the results need to be ready to be published or could it still be a work in progress/implementation ongoing?

The expectation is to have complete demonstration by the end of month 15. Should a no-cost extension be required at the end of 15-months, CyManII and DOE will consider that option.


51. For all IUCs, is it required that the awardee specifically implement them in a small or medium manufacturer’s production environment?

No, yet CyManII and DOE value the involvement of small and medium manufacturers.


50. Can you propose a use case that is not in your list?

The funding available in this RFP is for what is listed in the call.


49. Can you further explain what you mean by “production-level environment?” in some of the FAQ answers? Could this be production level manufacturing equipment in a lab instead of a manufacturing facility?

Yes – a relevant degree of realism is what CyManII and DOE value. Yes, a lab might be sufficient, yet a more realistic environment is valued more per se.


48. Can you elaborate on work being done in your environment?

Please see links to CyManII’s Roadmap and research publications on CyManII’s RPF/projects page HERE.


47. Could you elaborate on the “shared secured environment”?

The Trusted Technical Infrastructure (TTI) is a typically remotely accessible digital R&D environment that requires 2-factor authentication with CyManII credentials. It also includes access to CyManII’s physical assets in its Shared Research and Development Environment capabilities.


46. Does development have to happen in the “secured environment” can we use our own labs, dev space and resources for the development of the project?

All work must take place in CyManII’s infrastructure. Elements of other environments can be incorporated into CyManII’s Shared Research and Development Infrastructure as appropriate.


45. To add to the question for selection, where does software dev/research fit in?

CyManII’s Trusted Technical Infrastructure has the typical tools available for software dev/research.


44. Will there be a validation and validation test of any software development?

Any proposed capability should include a discussion of verification and validation in the context of a/the use case.


43. Is it possible to get a draft copy of the CRADA cited in the Intellectual Property provisions section of the RFP?

Send an email to the RFP@cymanii.org and we will respond with the appropriate paperwork.


42. You mentioned that the bidding organization must be a U.S. entity, can the research be done in Europe?

No, all work must be done within the U.S.


41. We are members – foreign owned, with U.S. locations. Can we bid to do work in US?

Yes, as long as the work will be done in the U.S. through a U.S. entity.


40. Do we have to be a member to participate in the RFP?

No.


39. Do all researchers/project members have to be U.S. Citizens? Can you please elaborate on the U.S. citizenship answer a bit more?

No, DOE does not require that. DOE must review/approve every person (and organization) involved in CyManII, regardless of citizenship.


38. If our HQ is in the U.S., are we able to have workers in the EU to manage the project?

No.


37. Is the roadmap we should look at the 2023 one? How do we access it?

See the public 2023 roadmap available HERE.


36. Do the Award Ceiling amounts listed in the RFP on Page 14 include cost share amounts, or are cost share amounts added on top of the award ceiling amounts? For instance, if we were to address IUC 2 TA 4 (Award Ceiling of $200,000), which would be the correct calculation of the budget within the award ceiling?

(1) $160,000 (funded by CyManII) + $200,000 * 20% (cost share) = $200,000 (project value @ Award Ceiling)

(2) $200,000 (funded by CyManII @ Award Ceiling) + $250,000 * 20% (cost share) = $250,000 (project value)

Ceiling amounts are the DOE provided funds. Scenario (2) applies.


35. Could a smart grid digitization for cybersecurity effort be considered a manufacturing industrial environment (TA1) under IUC2?

No, unless it refers to the manufacture of the infrastructure for the grid.


34. I was unable to locate any detail about the CPP, for example, in the 2023 Roadmap. Could you point me to a section or page number?

Please reference pages 45 and 48 in the public roadmap.


33. If our proposal team is missing a key cybersecurity partner, does the Institute have folks they’d prefer or would recommend we work with?

CyManII cannot recommend any specific partner or vendor. You may submit a proposal to the Technical Area of your expertise and in the award process you may be paired with another entity.


32. Could you please confirm if non-US citizens are eligible to participate in the proposal submission process?

Non-citizens can participate at the proposal stage, but before receiving any money, or accessing CyManII systems, they must be approved by DOE. See Q/A #104 for additional information.


31. The description of the Cost Summary Form on page 16 notes that: “The CyManII cost summary form shall be completed detailing total project costs. One Budget Justification form from each organization expecting an agreement with CyManII shall be submitted.” Is the Budget Justification form different than the Cost Summary Form, or are those terms being used interchangeably? If different, what guidance is there on completing the Budget Justification form, and is there a template?

The Cost Summary form is the short version used in the proposal process. The Budget Justification form is the longer version and is used when the “organization expecting an agreement with CyManII.” (i.e., they have been selected).


30. Can I rewatch the webinar recording from September 6, 2023?

Yes. You can watch the recording HERE.


29. TA5 indicates a minimum of 10% of total project cost is to be budgeted for this TA. Is TA5 required to for all proposals? And if so, what is the intended purpose of the 10%? Can we propose more than 10% for TA5?

Yes, TA5 with a minimum of 10% total cost is required for all proposals.

The purpose of the 10% is to achieve the outcome of teams fully integrated across CyManII, disciplined agile/scrum R&D, and good project management.

CyManII will evaluate and/or address TA5 needs to meet these outcomes for each project’s success.

Yes, you can propose more than 10% for TA5, which might for example include access to subject matter experts or software/hardware development engineers – See Page 5 of the RFP for details.


28. It appears that the first IUC is sometimes called Industrial Control Systems and sometimes Energy Controllers. Can you please clarify if they’re same, different, or a typo?

It’s a typo; please replace reference to “Energy Controllers” with “Industrial Control Systems” in reading and responding to the RFP.


27. What constraints and opportunities are there to work with DOE’s National Labs that are already members of CyManII (ORNL, INL, and SNL as managing members, and NREL as strategic member)? My understanding is that these National Labs are directly funded by DOE to support the foundational work of CyManII’s team and any selected projects with their respective capabilities. Does this mean any Lab resources requested by a proposed project are already covered by DOE funding and should not be costed in the proposal? What level of detail should be provided in the proposal for known Lab resources we want to use, or unknown resources that we could use if they are available to the project?

To simplify contracting with DOE National Labs and to provide equitable Lab access to all CyManII partners and projects, the current suite of partner Labs are directly funded by DOE to support CyManII. The use of these limited Lab resources are prioritized by CyManII Executive Leadership based on impact from the mix of required foundational work, institute infrastructure, and individual RFP projects selected. Specificity in proposals for the requested Lab resources helps with prioritization and planning. However, the CyManII team will assist the selected projects in aligning Lab resources required for success during negotiations. National Labs that are not already members of CyManII can be part of proposed projects, but specific resources and cost estimates are required to be part of the proposal since DOE is not currently paying for their support.


26. The guidelines say, “A proposal may apply for a single IUC- specific technical area, or multiple technical areas.” (p14). Is it possible that one proposal would be selected only for part of the proposed scope? In other words, if the proposal was covering say 4 TAs for the same IUC could it be selected only for 2 out of 4, or the selection is for either 4 or none?

Yes, all TAs could be selected OR partial selection.


25. The RFP cover page specifies “Anticipated Award Date: November 17, 2023.” However, section 3.2. mentions “Maximum of 15 months with work expected start November 1, 2023.” Can you please clarify what we should use as the starting date?

Work will start no earlier than November 1 depending on award negotiations and DOE approval.


24. We have few collaborators at USA, who can surely help you in your requirements. Can I connect you to them?

Thank you for your comments. Currently, we are accepting responses/teaming opportunities via the website. Please click HERE for more details.


23. For CyManII proposal preparations, what should we do to be within your secure environment?

Performance of the work/research proposed in response to the RFP. Development of these concepts will be done within our secure environment

Our Trusted Technical Infrastructure (TTI) is where all of our technical work is performed, stored, and documented.

For example:

  • Administrative functions like email, file shares,
  • Documentation & Management tools like Jira for scrum team backlogs, Confluence Wiki for results/documentation,
  • SRDI for technical development and hardware/software testing.

TTI is remotely accessible using CyManII’s managed credentials, which support our high-distributed research efforts.


22. We would like CyManII to consider extending the submission deadline by two weeks. Getting the partners, commitment letters, etc is difficult to obtain in approx. 6 weeks from the issue of the RFP, particularly if manufacturers are involved. This is based on past experience with our own RFPs. 8 weeks from RFP issue seems to be a good submission deadline.

Consider adding contingent elements in your proposal. For example, contingent manufacturers to be determined within 2 weeks of submission.


21. Can current CyManII Technical Team Members be involved in the proposal?

Yes, except CyManII’s Executive Team.


20. Where can I find the latest information on Cyber-Informed Engineering (CIE), referenced in the RFP?

Full CIE library for DOE can be found HERE.
Current CIE Implementation Guide can be found HERE.


19. Can I obtain an editable version of the RFP Appendices (A-G)?

Yes, please click HERE to download the RFP Appendices.


18. Page 4-5 states that “IUCs will provide industrial environments together with practical business constraints and facilitate rapid learnings translatable to commercialization.” Is there industrial environments already selected or is TA1 for each ICU meant to have applicants provide an industrial environment to conduct the R&D with?

The RFP is part of the process of selection the Industrial Environments. If you have a compelling environment that you think aligns with the use case requirements, please propose it under TA1. However, you are not required to propose a TA1 Environment.


17. Page 5 states that Technical Area (TA3) “provides the capabilities to deploy CyManII solutions into industrial environment…” Does this mean we need specific knowledge and experience in deploying CyManII solutions or the capability to learn these solutions and optimize them within a given Industrial Integration space?

Either are acceptable which aligns with the Evaluation Selection Criteria in section 7 in the RFP.


16. Page 7 states, “The project should deploy the developed solution in a production-level industrial environment so impacts can be measured with respect to the TA2 solution’s effectiveness.” What does “production-level Industrial environment” mean? Does this mean you must have a actual manufacturing facility to conduct the research on for this ICU?

No, a facility that is producing product for commercial sale is not required, but solutions demonstrable in a production-level environment are preferred.


15. There are a number of vulnerability instances mitigated during a time-limited production run of the ICS system. Does this mean you have to have a cyber event as part of the R&D and be able to show how you mitigated it?

A Red team style assessment is not necessary for the purposes of this RFP. However, we will for looking for evidence-based approaches to preemptive, proactive, or reactive mitigation technologies. In your proposal, we are looking for how you may approach measuring the efficacy of mitigation strategies. Be reminded, this was a notional metric and not required. CyManII’s philosophy is to mitigate cyber weaknesses, and thereby subsequent vulnerabilities. Refer to the IEEE CWE Publication for additional information on cyber weaknesses.


14. For the purposes of this use case, example impact metrics may include, but are not limited to: Energy – We assume you want some example of process improvement metrics for this T/A? Will we have to identify those metrics in our RFP response or can we state that after a blue printing workshop as part of the R&D the metrics will be developed for approval by “CyManII?

Representative examples are adequate for the proposal.


13. Does “reflect an industrial environment…” on Page 9 mean utilizing the actual manufacturing environment, or is building a representative environment for the project acceptable? Can we use a simulated model with IIoT sensors as our example to demonstrate capabilities?

Solutions demonstrable in a production-level environment are preferred.


12. Can we submit an ICU proposal for individual/multiple TA’s and also submit for the same ICU for the entire project? If another company has TA 1 for one of the ICU’s and we want to bid on just one of the TA’s, how would we know what the industrial environment would be to answer how the solution would be created? Page 14 states, “proposal may apply for a single IUC-specific technical area, or multiple technical areas.” Can you provide more clarity on how companies could just apply for one TA area under every ICU if they do not know the TA Industrial Environment?

You can submit for individual/multiple TA’s, but each proposal can only cover one IUC. Proposals for individual TA’s should focus on capability and consider the guidance in Appendix B “Technical Volume” of the RFP.


11. Can you provide more descriptions of technique, including CyManII’s Secure Defensible Architecture (SDA), Cyber-Physical Passport (CPP) and Cyber Energy Efficiency Quantification (CEEQ)?

Please refer to the CyManII’s Roadmap for additional details on CyManII’s concepts including SDA, CPP & CEEQ. In addition, be reminded that development of these concepts will be done within our secure environment following our scrum approach in collaboration with other CyManII members.

  1. SDA is called SMA (secure manufacturing architecture) in the Roadmap.
  2. CEEQ, SMA, and CPP (search “passport”) are mentioned in the public version of the Roadmap.

10. Based on our questions about an Industrial Environment, how would an applicant be able to provide a quote on the other TA tasks without knowing the Industrial Environment and the equipment for the Energy Controllers Industrial or the Secure Digitalization Industrial use cases?

Applicants are only responsible for the TA budgets of their individual submission. Pre-award adjustments are possible.


9. Where is more information on the “CyManII Technical Innovation Infrastructure and Institute Approach”? The Roadmap document has sections that are blank and state for CyManII members only, are these blank areas relative to the RFP? If so, how do we obtain the blanked-out areas from the Roadmap.

Our technical publications are available for additional information. Yes, the blank areas provide additional technical detail that is relevant to the RFP, but are not required for a submission. Due to our Cooperative Agreement with the United States Department of Energy, the full roadmap is only available to Collaborative, Strategic, and Managing level members of CyManII.


8. Where can I download CyManII’s Research Publications?

You can download the research publications HERE.


7. Where can I download the CyManII Roadmap?

You can download the Roadmap HERE.


6. Where can I download the Intellectual Property Provisions?

You can download the provisions HERE.


5. Can I get draft copies of the MSRA and Project Agreements?

Yes, please request copies at rfp@cymanii.org.


4. Are the research topics in TA4s limited to what the RFP specifies for each IUC, or can they be broader (while also following the roadmap)?

The priority is on the topics as stated in the RFP for TA4


3. For the Secure Digitization Industrial Use Case, can the lead organization of the proposal be a large enterprise that will work with a small manufacturing enterprise to digitize their industrial environment (TA1)?

Yes.


2. Is the 5 page limit for each TA, or would this be 5 pages total even if our team is submitting to all 5 TAs?

It’s a 5 page limit per proposal. All TA’s included within the 5 page limit.


  1. How can I download the Cost Summary Form from the CyManII 2023 RFP?

Download the Cost Summary Form HERE.