The National Academies

ACRP 11-08 [RFP]

Task Order Support for ACRP Insight Events

Posted Date: 8/29/2019

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
(additional topics may be selected or funds allocated to future event-projects by the AOC)
Contract Time: 36 months
Authorization to Begin Work: 12/1/2019 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Marci A Greenberger
   Phone: (202) 334-1371
   Email: mgreenberger@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 10/15/2019
Fiscal Year: 2020

The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) provides practical solutions to challenges faced by airport industry practitioners. Not all challenges lend themselves to applied research or to published solutions due to their dynamic or unsettled nature, lack of maturity, or because the state of knowledge or practice is still evolving. Nonetheless, the airport industry would benefit from a deeper understanding and dialog on many of these challenges even if an immediate solution is not practical. Established in 2015, ACRP Project 11-08, ACRP Insight Events convene airport-industry leaders and subject-matter experts (SMEs) in various fields to encourage discussion and promote broader and deeper insight on topics of significance to airport operators.
Consistent with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the definition of a convening event, such as an ACRP Insight Event, is intended to create a communal environment that fosters dialogue across sectors, institutions, and industries. Insight Events are selected by the ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC).  Expectations are that each event will take place within 12 months of AOC funding authorization.  The Transportation Research Board (TRB) will seek approvals from the Executive Committee of the Governing Board (GBEC) of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and will follow established TRB guidelines for the conduct of each event.
ACRP research cannot produce policy recommendations, or advice to federal agencies or to Congress. ACRP applied research projects publish contractor-authored reports. ACRP Insight Events are convening events of the National Academies and we may publish summaries of the events. ACRP cannot publish recommendations from an Insight Event. The sole purpose of an ACRP Insight Event is to gather airport-industry leaders and SMEs in various fields to encourage discussion and promote broader and deeper insight on topics of significance to airport operators and their stakeholders.
An ACRP Insight Event may result in webinar-style video recordings, web content, podcasts, infographics, or meeting notes. Other products, such as event summaries, a forum or workshop in brief, or proceedings, are possible through an Academies report review and then published by the National Academies. Guidelines for such products are strict and rigid.
Although ACRP Insight Events do not produce solutions themselves, they illuminate issues that need attention. Each ACRP Insight Event will have topic experts on the planning committee to design and develop activities for the event. Usually, planning committee members are selected based on each individual’s expertise, but other considerations may be a factor. Government officials and industry associations may serve in ex officio capacity on planning committees.
Among other outcomes, ACRP Insight Events may lead to opportunities for further work appropriate for ACRP research projects. For example, the activities of an ACRP Insight Event may result in one or more ACRP problem statements, which may lead to funding an ACRP applied research project, legal study, or synthesis of practice.
ACRP needs a mechanism to procure consultant services that is responsive to the AOC’s needs for a quick-response capability to convene ACRP Insight Events. The mechanism involves prequalification and selection of a small number of service providers who can respond quickly and competitively, with requisite capabilities, to task-orders for specific events. This request for statements of interest, qualifications, and availability will be used to establish task-order contracts to undertake events in FY 2020 through 2023.
The objectives of this project are to select two to four task-order contractors as the means to develop a flexible, ongoing, quick-response to conduct numerous ACRP Insight Events as described above. Services to be provided include logistical support, background topic research, group facilitation, event promotion, rapporteur services, communications, web content, outreach and promotion, onsite event support, and final product delivery.
As specific topics are selected and authorized by the AOC and released for development, the selected task-order contractors will be invited to prepare an event proposal (i.e., a research plan, staffing plan, and budget) to carry out an ACRP Insight Event on that specific topic. The proposals will be evaluated by a subcommittee of the AOC and used to select a team under the task-order contract. Task-order contractors preparing event proposals may add subcontractors or consultants to their teams for the purpose of completing a specific event. Along with responses to this request for qualifications, proposals are also requested on the two events for FY 2020.
The AOC may select topics for ACRP Insight Event at any time during the year. The following two topics were selected by the AOC for FY 2020. They also serve to illustrate the range of topics likely to be presented in future years to task-order contractors.
Descriptions of the background and specific scope envisioned for each of these FY 2020 topics are included in this announcement and proposers should also propose on these two events and append their response to this request with the proposals for the first two topics.   At a minimum, event proposals should follow the fixed event tasks shown below and also include a detailed research plan, an event-specific staffing plan, and a budget. The event proposals should also include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member and a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total costs) for each task as shown in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" http://onlinpubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf.
ACRP Insight Event topics for FY 2021 through FY 2023 programs have  yet to be determined, and  may entail a variety of airport-related topics including operations, design, construction, engineering, maintenance, human resources, administration, policy, planning, environment, safety, and other areas related to the concerns of airport operating agencies. One to four topics are expected each year and all are expected to be convened within 1 year of the date selected. Each will have an event budget allocated as appropriate to the topic and the constraints of overall program funding.
Responses to this request for statements of interest, qualifications, and availability should offer multidisciplinary teams capable of conducting ACRP Insight Events in a wide variety of airport-related subject areas. Subcontract and consultant arrangements that may be arranged for individual event assignments should not be specified, except if they are to be maintained throughout the life of the task-order agreement or if they will be used to accomplish the fixed project tasks designated in this invitation. For future tasks, the selected task-order contractors will compete for specific event as they are identified.  Selected contractors are expected to have significant in-house expertise and the ability to assemble additional expertise and SMEs as needed for each new event and will be expected to submit event proposals in response to each new solicitation. If selected, a contractor may use ad hoc subcontract services as needed for individual event and proposals responding to individual event.
Proposers are hereby invited to express interest in assisting ACRP staff conduct these and future ACRP Insight Events by submitting a statement of qualifications and availability.  Respondents are expected to address all of the elements listed below.  Responses should highlight specific experience and background of key personnel as they relate to these and future ACRP Insight Events and the National Academies convening events, in general.
The essential features generally required in proposals for ACRP research projects are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information Required for Preparing Proposals" (see General Note 2). A response to this request shall include the following sections, in the following order: (1) Cover Page, (2) Summary Page, (3) Table of Contents, (4) Discussion Demonstrating Understanding of an ACRP Insight Event (see below), (5) Qualifications of the Research Team (see below), (6) Accomplishments of the Research Team (see below), (7) Other Commitments of the Research Team (see below), and (8) Plan for Participation for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises.

The following items are not required: Item 4, Research Plan; Item 8, Equipment and Facilities; Item 9, Time Requirements; and Item 10, Itemized Budget, as described in the brochure.
Respondents shall also provide the following specific supplemental features:
  •      A discussion that clearly demonstrates the proposer's understanding of an ACRP Insight Event and the use (i.e., advantages and limitations) of the National Academies' convening events as they relate to findings, products, and publications on topics of significance in the airport industry. This section of the proposal must be limited to five pages and shall be Item 4 in the response.
  •      The qualifications and experience of the Principal Investigator, rapporteur(s), and other key (returning) team members. Information on each team member must be limited to one page per team member. This shall be Item 5 in the response.
  •      Relevant accomplishments by the Principal Investigator, rapporteur(s), and other members of the research team that clearly relate to services required to conduct such convening events and that illustrate experience with the type of work and environment that will be involved with this project. This section must be limited to three pages and shall be Item 6 in the response.
  •      A list of other anticipated time commitments for the Principal Investigator and key staff during the proposed contract period of calendar years 2019 through 2023. This section shall be Item 7 in the response.
Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting ACRP Insight Events. The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the project objectives. Responses to this request for qualifications are expected to describe general plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals for specific event are expected to provide a topic-specific plan in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the subject, its issues, timing, and the soundness of their approach to meeting the project objectives.
Task 1. Prepare a prospectus for each ACRP Insight Event. A form will be provided that will include the title, subject, and a brief statement of task for the event. The form provides an opportunity to recommend the general composition (e.g., perspectives or disciplines) of the planning committee, explain the need for the project, and describe one or more anticipated products from the event. The need-statement should explain the context and issues to be covered, how the event will contribute to airport industry knowledge and practice, including the scope (i.e., breadth and depth) of the subject to be addressed, how the range of views on the subject will be represented, and how the event will be organized to permit these views to be heard. Develop a preliminary budget for the venue, arranged services, rapporteur, background research, pre-event or onsite support, or travel costs necessary to conduct the ACRP Insight Event and indicate the responsible party (i.e., contractor, ACRP, event participant, or other group or individual) for each expense.
NOTE: ACRP will submit the prospectus to the GBEC of the National Academies for approval. 

Task 2
.  Conduct a systematic and thorough search of all types of published literature in order to identify the depth and breadth of good quality references and SMEs relevant to the assigned topic of the event. Include relevant domestic and foreign literature, published and unpublished reports and articles, research findings, summary findings of collected survey data, contacts and statements from airport industry organizations, known or recognized topic-specific thought leaders in the airport industry, and other information relative to the topic of the event. Provide an annotated bibliography and a separate list of SME contacts from these results.
Task 3.  Assist and support the ACRP with nominee recruitment and formation of a SME planning committee for the event.
NOTE: ACRP attempts to balance functional disciplines (i.e., knowledge and experience) with organizational and audience characteristics (i.e., type or size of airport or consultancy) to assemble a group of practitioner-experts who have significant, relevant perspectives on a particular topic. Because the National Academies encourage diversity, ACRP will seek to address geographic, gender, and ethnic characteristics in composition as well. The ACRP goal is to form a small committee of diverse individuals who can discuss and plan the project-topic effectively, objectively, and credibly. A discipline should not reflect a specific (named) individual; rather the discipline is the point of view (e.g., perspective) reflected of a group of individuals in the industry. Individuals may have experience or characteristics that reflect more than one discipline. Regardless, ACRP focuses on the knowledge or experience needed for a complete discussion on the topic, not the people nominated; and should also seek balance regarding the type and size of organizations represented on the planning committee, without regard for the opinions that may come from these organizations.
Task 4.  Prepare a planning committee appointment matrix. The matrix should include a list of interested and available nominees, which disciplines they represent, their qualifications and experience, and relevant diversity traits.
NOTE: ACRP will submit the planning committee appointment matrix for the National Academies' approval.
Task 5
. Provide the background qualifications of an experienced rapporteur that is being proposed.
NOTE: ACRP Insight Events consist solely of discussions, individual presentations or papers, or abstracts of individual presentations or papers. Each such presentation or paper must be attributed to the appropriate presenter or author. A rapporteur reports on the proceedings of the ACRP Insight Event and ensures that discussions of the event are clearly recorded so that they can then be of genuine practical value to the rest of the industry. A proceedings report may not include a summary of, or other commentary upon, the discussions at the event and must be reviewed by an independent panel of experts, which may include planning committee members.  It may not be released to the public until review has been completed to the satisfaction of the ACRP.
Task 6
. Schedule and conduct an in-person meeting with ACRP and the appointed planning committee to discuss and decide on event activities; potential speakers, presenters, or individual authors; other invitees or participants; rapporteur qualifications and responsibilities, a project-event timeline; anticipated products; and a tentative program agenda.
NOTE: Activities may include discussion meetings, forums, webinars, live web/audio conferences, workshops, roundtables, and symposia.  An ACRP Insight Event may prepare in advance micro web content, informational videos, a bibliography or compilation of relevant publications, infographics, or other background material to aid or stimulate discussion. Final products may include audio/video recordings of the event or posted presentations attributed to individual authors. Other published products such as proceedings, summaries, meeting notes, and a forum or workshop in brief are possible through the National Academies report review and publication process.
Task 7
. Based upon the results of Task 6, finalize the budget and indicate the financially responsible party for all event expenses.
Task 8. Coordinate with ACRP to set a date for the event, reserve a venue, and secure an appropriately sized hotel block. Contact potential speakers, presenters, or individual authors, selected by the planning committee in Task 6, and determine interest, availability, and requirements (i.e., honoraria or travel, if any) for participation in the event. Confirm speakers as they respond to recruitment efforts. Determine requirements and arrange for all other logistical services necessary to conduct the ACRP Insight Event as approved in Task 6.
Task 9. Develop a topic-relevant industry outreach strategy that identifies major airport influencers, SME and other thought leaders, specialized or niche perspective communities, interested state and federal agencies, and potential audiences for the event. The strategy should describe clear methods, specific techniques, potential partner organizations, and resources to develop participant invite lists and tactics to disseminate final event products. Include draft text and graphics and layout design for pre-event communications and web content.
Task 10. Submit the results of Tasks 7, 8, and 9 to ACRP and conduct a web meeting with ACRP and the planning committee to discuss and approve.
Task 11. Implement the approved industry outreach strategy on behalf of ACRP including (1) coordinate participation and contributions with confirmed speakers, presenters, and individual authors; (2) obtain papers and presentations in advance of the event; (3) compile participant biographical information; (4) assemble topic-background content (i.e., annotated bibliography, etc.); (5) collect individual authored papers and presentations; (6) produce event information packages, name badges, etc.; (7) produce other pre-event materials and information as necessary and appropriate; (8) complete an event website; (9) launch approved communications with selected industry practitioners; and (10) send invitations and arrange for follow-up with desired participants.

Task 12. Assist ACRP staff in conducting the Insight Event.
NOTE: ACRP anticipates that most venue services, technology services, travel, and certain onsite service delivery costs related to the event will be paid by ACRP. These may include costs for a meeting room; refreshments; meals; video/audio recording; web broadcast; honoraria; registration; travel for AOC, planning committee, invitees, speakers, presenters, authors, or other participants; and pre-printed materials. ACRP expects the contractor to provide rapporteur services, pre-event planning, onsite logistical support, task deliverables, and background web-content development. Proposals should clearly describe and set out costs for items that will be paid for by contractor.

Task 13
. Prepare a summary of events to be published.  Prepare other material, such as speaker presentations from the event for publication or posting on TRBs website, as appropriate.

Task 14. Conduct a follow-up survey of attendees to gauge participant satisfaction.  Responses will be used to plan future Insight Events, therefore, questions should focus on event format and style.  


ACRP Insight Event—Future of Aviation
 A variety of developments are converging to reshape many aspects of how airports operate including, landside access, automation and electrification of airside vehicles, electrification of aircraft, evolving regulations, customer experience, air traffic management, security, space tourism, biometrics, and sustainable fuels, among others. Airport industry practitioners and other stakeholders would benefit from a convening event to discuss how, taken together, these developments will impact the planning, design, and operation of airports. The objective of this effort is to conduct an ACRP Insight Event to foster dialog among thought leaders on issues and trends impacting the future of aviation. The outcomes of the Insight Event will be a proceedings document, including themes to be considered in future updates to ACRP’s research roadmaps.
Project 11-08/20-02 ACRP Insight Event—On-Demand Aviation Services for Passengers and Goods
Aviation is beginning to see a trend similar to that experienced in ground transportation, namely, the use of transportation network companies (TNCs) offering on-demand transportation services for passengers and goods. Yet air transportation is different from ground transportation from both a technology and regulatory perspective, and since the trend is in its infancy, little information is available for formal research. Airport industry practitioners and other stakeholders would benefit from a convening event to discuss how such trends could impact business and personal aviation and how airports might position themselves to be ready for these trends.
The objective of this effort is to conduct an ACRP Insight Event to foster dialog among thought leaders with respect to the “Uberization” of aviation.  The outcomes of the Insight Event will be a proceedings document, and potential ideas to be added in IdeaHub for future ACRP research.

Proposals (15 single-bound copies) are due not later than 4:30 p.m. on 10/15/2019.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, all copies of the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected. Proposers may choose any carrier or delivery service for their proposals. However, proposers assume the risk of proposal rejection if the carrier or delivery service does not deliver all the required documents by the deadline.

Delivery Address:

ATTN: Christopher J. Hedges
Director, Cooperative Research Programs
Transportation Research Board
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for the ACRP to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement (pdf). A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at http://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (updated March 2018). Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected. This brochure is available here.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

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