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NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Office of Small Business Programs, Where Small Business Makes a Big Difference

Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP)

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The NASA Mentor-Protégé Program encourages NASA prime contractors to assist eligible protégés, thereby enhancing the protégés’ capabilities to perform on NASA contracts and subcontracts, fostering the establishment of long-term business relationships between these entities and NASA prime contractors, and increasing the overall number of these entities that receive NASA contract and subcontract awards.

Eligibility Requirements

The mentor and protégé must both meet the established eligibility requirements in order to participate in the MPP, as defined in NFS 1819.72 and summarized below. A list of approved mentors is available for review below.


All approved mentors are eligible to participate in the program and must resubmit a renewal application every 6 years to verify their continued eligibility. Mentor applications can be submitted at any time during the year with or without a Mentor-Protégé Agreement (MPA). In accordance with NFS 1819.72, a mentor must be:

  1. A large prime contractor performing under a NASA contract with at least one approved Federal subcontracting plan, as required by FAR 19.7 (the Small Business Subcontracting Program), and
  2. Eligible for the receipt of Government contracts.


To participate as a protégé, an entity must meet one of the eligibility requirements as defined in NFS 1819.72 and must maintain that status for the life of the agreement. If the protégé self-certifies that it meets the eligibility requirements, a separate written self-certification of its small business status must be provided with the MPA. (Note: If protégé eligibility expires prior to the end of the agreement period, the agreement may still be approved for the remaining duration of the POP but must include the condition that any credit received is subject to the protégé’s recertification.)

A protégé may not participate in the NASA MPP more than twice. In addition, a protégé may have only one NASA mentor at any given time. In accordance with NFS 1819.72, the following entities are eligible to be chosen as protégés:

  1. Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs)
  2. Woman-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs)
  3. Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) concerns
  4. Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs)
  5. Service-Disabled Veteran–Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs)
  6. Historically Black College or University (HBCUs)
  7. Minority Institutions
  8. Small businesses with an active NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II contract
  9. Companies participating in the AbilityOne program

Benefits of Participation

The MPP has the ability to uniquely transform a small business or minority-serving institution and enhance its capabilities to win contracts and subcontracts as a direct result of its participation. Some of the potential benefits of the program include the following:

For Mentors:

  • Develop long-term business relationships with small business concerns.
  • Develop a qualified small business subcontracting base.
  • Accrue credit toward small business subcontracting goals.

For Protégés:

  • Receive relevant technical and developmental assistance.
  • Qualify for sole-source contracts from mentors.

For All Participants:

  • Cultivate teaming opportunities with their partners to win new contracts and/or subcontracts.
  • Engage the MPP as a marketing tool.
  • Foster networking opportunities.

Types of Agreements

Credit Agreements

  • In a credit-based MPA, a mentor receives credit on a one-to-one basis toward its subcontracting goals. The credit is reported on the Individual Subcontract Report for the specific contract, as identified prior to the approval of the agreement.

Award Fee Pilot Program

  • In the Award Fee Pilot Program, a mentor is eligible to receive an award fee at the end of the agreement period based upon the mentor's performance in providing developmental assistance to its protégé. Only NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II protégés are eligible to participate with mentors in the pilot program.

NASA Responsibilities

  • NASA Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs) act as liaisons between the mentor and the Contracting Officer (CO). A signed endorsement letter from the COR must be added to the agreement package before submission to the CO.
  • NASA Contracting Officers are responsible for adding approved Mentor-Protégé Agreements to existing contracts through a contract modification. A signed letter endorsing the MPA must be added to the complete package before submission to the relevant Center’s SBS.
  • NASA Center Small Business Specialists are responsible for the overall administration and management of their respective Centers’ MPAs. As the Center’s MPP point of contact, the SBS is responsible for reviewing and endorsing all agreements received at the Center before forwarding the complete applications for final approval to the Office of Small Business Programs at NASA Headquarters. Additionally, the SBS ensures that all agreements endorsed by the Center fulfill the requirements of NFS 1819.72.
  • NASA’s Mentor-Protégé Program Manager (PM) at OSBP coordinates and manages the program from the Headquarters perspective with participating Centers to ensure successful program execution.
  • The Office of Small Business Programs is responsible for overall NASA MPP administration, policy, and oversight. The OSBP will review all mentor applications and conduct an annual MPA performance review that highlights the progress and accomplishments gained under the approved MPA.

More information on MPP small businesses can be found atégé-program.

Agreement Evaluation

The evaluation of all proposed agreements will be based on the following criteria:

  • Perceived benefit and/or value of the agreement to NASA
  • Merit of the developmental assistance to the protégé
  • Developmental assistance cost ratio
  • Potential subcontracting opportunities available to the protégé
  • Utilization of HBCU/MIs, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), and SBA Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
  • Proposed cost

How To Participate

Below, you will find the basic steps necessary to establish a NASA mentor-protégé agreement.

  1. Locate a partner—Mentors and protégés are required to establish their own counterparts. Each company has its own internal processes and procedures for locating partners. These processes are not mandated by NASA.
  2. Determine developmental assistance to be provided—Prior to filling out the agreement template, the mentor must perform a needs assessment of the protégé to determine what type of developmental assistance is required. Typical examples of developmental assistance may be related to technical transfer or business infrastructure. The dollar value associated with the technical transfer tasks should be approximately 70 percent of the proposed hours and cost. The remaining 30 percent may be related to business development tasks.
  3. Submit agreement for approval—The agreements are submitted to one of the NASA Centers for review and endorsement. If the agreement is endorsed at the Center level, it will be forwarded to the OSBP at NASA Headquarters for final review and approval within 3 weeks of receipt. The agreement officially begins on the date of the incorporation of the agreement into a contractual vehicle via a contract modification signed by the contracting officer. Once the agreement begins, the mentor may start providing the developmental assistance outlined and reporting credit is received.
  4. Fulfill all reporting requirements—The reporting requirements for the NASA MPP include the following:
    • Semiannual reports
    • Annual reviews
    • Protégé post-agreement reports

Approved NASA Mentors

AECOM Technical Services, Inc.

Shawn Ralston
Small Business Liaison Officer

Aerojet Rocketdyne

Andrew P. Volpendesta
Small Business Liaison Officer

Assurance Technology Corporation

Michael Renfroe
Contracting Officer

The Boeing Company

Adriana Ocampo
Mentor Protégé Program Manager

CH2M Hill

Willie Franklin III
Small Business Program Manager


Michelle McKiver
Mentor-Protégé Program Coordinator

Engility Corporation d/b/a TASC, Inc.

Tracey Thompson
Small Business Liaison Officer

Enterprise Services, LLC

Jeff Henderson
Executive Director

Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems, Inc (HSSSI)

Mary Ann Grant
Program Manager

Honeywell International, Inc. (Aerospace Division)

Cruz Andino
Small Business Liaison

Jacobs Technology, Inc.

Karen Dahlman
Acquisition and Subcontracts Manager

KBRWyle Technology Solutions, LLC (d/b/a KBRWyle)

Deborah Harman
Small Business Liaison Officer

L-3 Communications Logistics Solutions

Division Name: L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace, LLC
Curtis Newton
Business / Contracts Administrator

Leidos Innovations Corporation

Charles McVicker
Subcontract Management, Manager

LJT & Associates, Inc.

Matthew Kilroe
Director of Contracts

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Susannah L. Raheb
Supply Diversity Government Program Manager

Millenium Engineering and Integration Company

Daniel Deans
Vice President, Corporate Development

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Tizoc Loza
Corporate Mentor-Protégé Program Manager
Jenifer Scoffield
Small Business Liaison Officer
Northrop Grumman Innovative Systems
Propulsion Systems Division

PAE Applied Technologies, LLC

Jennifer D'Eath
Procurement Manager

Raytheon Company

Crystal King
Supplier Diversity Business Lead

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

Liz Tomka
Mentor-Protégé Program Manager

Sierra Lobo, Inc.

Chuck R. Stidham
Director of Contracts

Sierra Nevada Corporation

Velinda Highfill
Small Business Administrator, Sr.

SGT, Inc.

Chemise Smith
Small Business Liaison Officer

Southwest Research Institute

Dr. Mihir Desai

Teledyne Brown Engineering

Dwight Mosby, Ph.D.
Deputy Program Manager

URS Federal Technical Services, Inc.

Amanda Curtis
Business Office Manager

Vencore Services and Solutions

Cindi Minter
Sr. Subcontracts Administrator

Wyle Laboratories, Inc.

Helen Lawley
Director of Contracts and Procurement

SBIR and STTR Phase II Companies

NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program
Phase Two Selections

NASA Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
Phase Two Selections


How many agreements may a Mentor and a Protégé have?

A Mentor is not limited in the amount of NASA Mentor-Protégé agreements they may have at the same time, whereas a Protégé may only be in one active NASA Mentor-Protégé agreement at a time. Additionally, a Protégé may not participate in the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program more than twice.

If I currently participate in another Federal Agency’s Mentor-Protégé Program, may I participate in the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program at the same time?

The NASA MP Program is completely separate from any other Federal Agency’s MP Programs, and thus Mentors and Protégés may participate in one or both of them at the same time, as long as the Protégé has the resources to be mentored under two different Programs.

How long is a Mentor approval valid for?

A Mentor approval letter is good for six years from the date of the letter. Six years after the date of approval the Mentor must resubmit their Mentor application with the updated information and go through the approval process again.

If a Mentor is disbarred or suspended from government contracts for any reason, their Mentor approval is automatically withdrawn and they may no longer participate in the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program.

Does a potential Mentor need to apply by division, or is there a corporate-wide approval?

Mentor approval may be corporate-wide, provided that Mentor applications are filled out with information at the corporate level. Once the application is submitted with corporate information and approved, all divisions of the company are eligible to participate as a Mentor.

What should a Mentor consider when selecting a Protégé?

The Mentor is solely responsible for selecting a Protégé with whom they believe they can develop a successful relationship. Mentors should consider the following when selecting a Protégé:

  • A previous, established association is highly recommended between the Mentor and Protégé;
  • Protégé’s geographic proximity to the Mentor;
  • How the assistance aligns with the Protégé’s strategic vision;
  • Protégé’s attitude regarding being mentored;
  • Commitment to the relationship by both parties;
  • Capabilities of the Protégé and how they interface with the Mentor;
  • Stability of the Protégé’s management and financial status;
  • Protégé’s past performance;
  • Results of any contract/subcontract work between the Mentor and Protégé;
  • Subcontracting expectations, and;
  • Ensure that potential protégés have not participated in the NASA M-P Program more than two times previously and that they are not currently receiving developmental assistance under an active NASA M-P agreement.

Where is a listing available of all NASA SBIR Phase II awardees?

The link to NASA SBIR Phase II companies may be found here.

What is the Protégé application?

The Protégé application is a separate application for potential Protégé companies that details information about the company, including employee base and contracts received. However, it differs from the Mentor application in that it is NOT submitted in advance of an agreement, but is submitted concurrently with the agreement package. Any Protégé applications that are submitted without a complete agreement package will not be kept on file and will have to be resubmitted with the agreement.

What are the required documents that must be submitted with the agreement?

Before submitting a Mentor-Protégé agreement, please insure that it contains all of the following:

  • Cover Letter
  • Protégé Application
  • Completed Agreement Template
  • Technical Proposal
  • Cost Proposal

What is the agreement approval checklist?

The agreement approval checklist is an internal form that is utilized by NASA to determine that all required elements were included in the agreement package. The checklist does not need to be submitted with the agreement.

What are the selection criteria for Mentor-Protégé agreement approval?

All proposed agreements will be evaluated by the NASA Centers and HQ based on the following criteria:

  1. Merit of the developmental assistance to the Protégé firm;
  2. Perceived benefit/value of the agreement to NASA;
  3. Percentage of hours associated with technology transfer;
  4. Subcontracting opportunities available to the Protégé;
  5. Utilization of HBCUs/MIs, PTACs, SBDCs; and,
  6. Proposed cost.

What is the limit on the period of performance for a Mentor-Protégé agreement?

An agreement may not be longer than 36 months, or 3 years from the date the agreement begins.

If I previously participated in the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program prior to the update, will that affect my future participation?

No, being a prior participant from the MP Program before it was updated does not affect any future participation. Previous Mentors are required to submit a Mentor application before submitting any new agreements. While Protégés are only allowed to participate in the new NASA MP Program twice, any participation prior to the update does not count toward that total.

What are examples of technical transfer?

The developmental assistance provided under a Mentor-Protégé agreement is expected to be about 70% technical transfer. Though this is by no means an exhaustive list, examples of technical transfer tasks may include:

  • Tooling design and fabrication
  • Quality management programs: ISO 9000, SEI/CMMI
  • Sensing and imagery
  • Environmental remediation system design
  • Metal machining
  • Product assembly techniques
  • Hazardous material control
  • Lean Six Sigma

What do the following acronyms mean?

NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
OSBP: Office of Small Business Programs
SDB: Small Disadvantaged Business
WOSB: Woman-Owned Small Business
VOSB: Veteran-Owned Small Business
SDVOSB: Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
HUBZone: Historically Underutilized Business Zone  
SBIR: Small Business Innovation Research
HBCU: Historically Black College or University
MI: Minority Institution of higher education
PTAC: Procurement Technical Assistance Center
SBDC: Small Business Development Center
ISR: Individual Subcontracting Report
SSR: Summary Subcontracting Report
COTR: Contracting Officer Technical Representative

If you have any further questions regarding the Mentor-Protégé Program please call 202-358-2088.

Templates and Forms

NASA Mentor-Protégé Contacts

NASA Headquarters (HQ)

Ames Research Center (ARC)

Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC)

Glenn Research Center (GRC)

Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
and Headquarters Acquisition Branch

Johnson Space Center (JSC)

Kennedy Space Center (KSC)

Langley Research Center (LaRC)

Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

NASA Management Office at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC)

Stennis Space Center (SSC)