MIT Lincoln Laboratory was recently selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the national winner of the prestigious Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence in the Research and Development category. This award recognizes, by category, a single large prime contractor who has excelled in their utilization of small businesses as suppliers and subcontractors.
MIT Lincoln Laboratory is a Department of Defense (DoD) federally funded research and development center working on problems critical to national security. The Laboratory's core competencies are in sensors, information extraction (signal processing and embedded computing), communications, cybersecurity, integrated sensing and decision support.
Program activities extend from fundamental investigations through the design process and finally to field demonstrations of prototype systems. Emphasis is placed on transitioning systems and technology to industry.
Lincoln Laboratory awarded $432 million in subcontracts in fiscal year 2012, $234 million of which went to small businesses. More than 3,400 individual small businesses received awards/orders ranging in value from under $100 to more than $18 million.
The Laboratory has exceeded its total and individual small business percentage goals in every category each year for the last five years. Some categories, such as woman-owned small business, have been exceeded by orders of magnitude. In the last five years, Lincoln Laboratory has awarded $934.7 million to small businesses.
This level of small business program success is driven by a commitment to small businesses at all levels within the Laboratory. The Small Business Liaison Officer (SBLO), Michelle Simoes, oversees the entire small business program including vendor outreach efforts, networking events, coordination with procurement, contracting and technical officials, and reporting, tracking and compliance with the Laboratory's prime contract small business subcontracting plan requirements. She is assisted by Elaine Swenson, alternate SBLO. In the past 12 months, the Laboratory developed and implemented a number of critical small business initiatives.
"The small businesses we partner with love what they do, which makes my job easier," Simoes says. "As well as fulfilling the government's needs, we also support the growth and prosperity of small businesses, which leads to a boost in the economy. We all play a role in helping the bigger picture."
National Small Business Week recognizes outstanding small business owners and advocates for their achievements and contributions to the nation's economic and social vitality. Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of Small Business Week. This year ranks the 50th proclamation and the 60th year of the SBA.