The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Program Office for Innovation and Industrial Base Expansion (IBx) is a pivotal initiative designed to strengthen and innovate the U.S. public health industrial base. Conceived in response to the challenges witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, IBx aims to foster collaboration across ASPR, federal entities, academia, and the private sector.
Its primary mission is to formulate and execute strategies that ensure the nation is adequately equipped, from personal protective gear to essential medical supplies such as pharmaceuticals, therapeutics, and vaccines. Recognizing the profound vulnerabilities exposed during the pandemic, IBx endeavors to not only address the current deficiencies but also to instill resilience and adaptability across the entire medical supply chain for future challenges.
In recent times, the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency has underscored a critical vulnerability in the United States’ supply chain: the production of Man-Made Fibers (MMF). With a glaring gap between the current annual domestic production capacity at 31.2K Metric Tons Annually (MTA) and peak demand shooting up to 68.4K MTA, there’s a pressing need to address this disparity to ensure national resilience in times of global crises.
Why MMF Expansion is Vital for the US
MMF, with its diverse applications in everything from clothing to medical equipment, form the backbone of numerous industries. The pandemic has exposed the risk of relying excessively on global MMF supply chains. Ensuring the U.S. possesses a constant and reliable domestic MMF source is not just an economic imperative but also crucial for strategic preparedness.
The U.S. Government’s requirement is clear: boost the domestic manufacturing capacity to meet an ambitious range of 60,000 to 150,000 metric tons annually. Achieving this won’t be about merely increasing production numbers. It requires a paradigm shift in production methodologies. Recognizing the urgency, the ASPR Office of Industrial Base Management and Supply Chain (IBMSC), under the aegis of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has updated its Request for Proposal (RFP). In a marked departure from the previous solicitation, the new criteria now emphasizes:
- Production Scale & Efficiency: Meeting the ambitious targets demands optimization in the production process.
- Sustainability: With global consciousness tilting towards environmentally-friendly production methods, MMF production must also embrace sustainability, especially in terms of biodegradability.
- Innovation: From advanced polymer chemistry to cutting-edge automation, the future of MMF lies in innovation.
- Global Competitiveness: Scaling up should not compromise on quality. The MMFs produced should be globally competitive in terms of quality, pricing, and sustainability.
Important Points for Prospective Vendors:
- Every vendor looking to participate will need to submit a comprehensive 5-year Strategic Business Plan. This blueprint will be instrumental in gauging the vendor’s vision for long-term growth, profitability, and sustainability.
- The Period of Performance (PoP) will span 36 months post the Contract Award.
- The government is inclined towards awarding multiple contracts, but this is contingent on the quality of proposals received.
- Large Businesses must include a Small Business Subcontracting Plan in line with FAR 52.219-9.
- The crucial date for vendors to mark is August 25, 2023, 5:00 P.M. Eastern Time (ET). Proposals should be submitted electronically to [email protected] with the subject line, “RFP 75A50223R00003.”
This move by the U.S. government is a clarion call for industry leaders, innovators, and manufacturers to step up and reshape the future of MMF production in the country. With the lessons of the pandemic still fresh, this initiative serves as a strategic step towards fortifying domestic capacities and ensuring that the nation is better prepared for any future global uncertainties.
If your company has considered applying for ASPR-IBx, EverGlade Consulting is the right partner to help make that a reality. EverGlade Consulting is a national consulting firm connecting public sector needs with private sector solutions. We offer services ranging from Pursuit, Proposal and Post-Award support to comply with federal regulations at agencies including BARDA, ASPR, NIH, DTRA, JPEO, DOD, DOE, and DARPA.