Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Health Technology for Miners

The MINER Act of 2006 established the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research within the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The Office develops new technologies, applications, and awards competitive contracts and grants to institutions and private industry to manufacture mine safety equipment. The Office also has the authority to award contracts to private laboratories to test the performance of products as they relate to new mine technology or equipment.

The Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) “Development and Demonstration of Mine Safety and Health Technology” (Solicitation- 2011-N-13046) was released on December 3rd by the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research with $4 to $6 million expected to be funded for the duration of this BAA. NIOSH estimates that the typical project under this solicitation will require between $200,000 and $300,000 although proposals for other amounts up to $500,000 will be considered. It is estimated that approximately 10 to 15 awards will be made.

The agency is looking to develop a next generation of “Self-Contained Self-Rescuer” (SCSR) to enable voice communication equipment to be worn in the mine in emergencies. The new design is needed to enable miners to have the ability to communicate among themselves or between other miners and personnel on the surface using an enhanced mine communication system. There is also interest in developing a next generation SCSR to improve durability and wearability.

All potential applicants are eligible. In answer to this combined synopsis/solicitation, concept papers and full proposals need to be submitted between December 3, 2010 and March 31, 2011. However, it is advised that concept papers are encouraged prior to submitting a full proposal.

For more information, go to or contact Cynthia Y Mitchell, Contracting Officer at (412) 386-6434, email