INL News Release                        
June 7, 2011

Misty Benjamin, 208-351-9900,
Ethan Huffman, 208-526-0660,

INL invites small businesses to discuss innovative information management solutions

IDAHO FALLS — Idaho National Laboratory will host a forum to identify the business community's capabilities to bring creative solutions to information management services at the lab.

INL supports an innovative laboratory environment and this forum will bolster lab decision-makers' awareness of industry practices and possibilities that may come into play in future improved services.

The tight federal budget, new investment opportunities and policy improvements merge with the lab’s strategy to continue to reinvent the information management services model to best support INL missions. Optimally, any revisions in the service model would be effective for INL fiscal year 2012.

The Focus-On forum will be held June 7 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Idaho Falls. More than 50 small businesses and potential teaming partners have registered to participate in the one-day meeting to share information and explore possibilities. Attendance is by invitation only as much of the discussion will be vendor proprietary. The meeting invitation (an Information Management Managed Services Expression of Interest) was issued in early May.

The INL Small Business Program targets, shapes and retains small businesses in supporting the needs of the lab. This results in growth for the small businesses and provides specialized skills to INL. Stacey Francis, INL Small Business Program manager, believes that bringing businesses together provides an opportunity not only for partnerships to form, but allows for collaboration between large and small businesses that results in potential innovative solutions for INL.

"One of the challenges for small businesses bidding for subcontracts is that they may not have all the expertise or capabilities required for a job," Francis said. "By teaming with other businesses, both small and large, the small business may augment its skills." And, if nothing else, INL learns a lot from engagements such as this Focus-On forum. 

The lab encourages small and large business partnering. If an acquisition is targeted for small business and the bidding teams have small and large business partners, the small business must be the lead on the team. The advantage from Francis' perspective is that a small business has more options. The company may choose to produce a proposal on its own or work with other companies to create a solution to address information management services at INL. 

INL is one of the DOE's 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation's leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

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