Mr. Hill’s focus is on making SBIR/STTR contract execution simpler, faster, and easier – while the number of awards has increased, Phase I time to award & time without funding between phases has decreased. Recently, CCOE executed 79 fully-funded Phase I contracts in just 23 days.
As the chief of the Navy’s Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Contracting Center of Excellence (CCOE) at Naval Air Warfare, Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), Lakehurst, Thomas Hill, J.D. has led the way in the development of processes, procedures and training to standardize efforts in support of the Navy’s SBIR/STTR program.
Mr. Hill has worked in acquisition positions for over 40 years with the last 17 years as Director of Contracts where he manages of staff of approximately 100 employees. Mr. Hill’s leadership has helped to improve employee retention rates, and implementation of processes and procedures to assure timely and effective performance of the group, leading to an increase of annual obligations the group manages from $200 million to $2.1 billion with an active contract workload exceeding $12 billion.
One key to the success of the Department’s COE has been Mr. Hill’s focus on encouraging his team to seek out innovative ways to use the authorities resident within both the SBIR/STTR program and federal acquisition regulations. The Lakehurst COE has developed multiple solutions to make contracting simpler, faster, and easier. In fact, in the two-year period from 2017 to 2019, while the number of awards increased by 26%, the Phase I time to award decreased by 15% and the time without funding between Phase I and Phase II decreased by 33%.
A testament to their abilities was the recent execution of 79 fully funded Phase I contracts in 23 calendar days and the breakthrough development of a process that allows for the use of the Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) contracting structure. The BOA will support seamless contracting actions for a period of 5 years, reducing administrative burden and improving the customer experience. The spectacular process improvements, noteworthy development of best practices and a desire to continuously improve are a testament to the dedication and professionalism of Mr. Hill as one of the SBIR/STTR community’s strongest supporters.
Mr. Hill has been a champion of innovatively using existing authorities to support quicker contracting for SBIR/STTR contracts, including directly enabling the execution of the Navy’s Technology Acceleration Pilot. This program has reduced proposal requirements by 75%, decreased the time for evaluation, selection and payments from 120 days to 30 days, and increased proposal submissions from 12 for traditional topics to 115 for Technology Acceleration Topics for the recent 19.3 Topics release!
Leading by example, Mr. Hill created the environment that led to the Lakehurst contracting center being recognized as the Navy’s CCOE. The reputation of Lakehurst has resulted in other Department of Defense (DoD) organizations emulating its way of accomplishing SBIR/STTR contracts. Mr. Hill’s dedication to and concern for small business and their challenges were drivers in his creation of a contracting organization that supports faster, easier, simpler contracting thereby improving the customer experience which encourages small businesses to seek participation in the Department’s SBIR/STTR program.