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OMSHR For You: Funding Seekers

Three Current Funding Opportunities

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Development and Demonstration of Robotics Technologies and Systems to Support
Self-Escape or Rescue Efforts

Solicitation Number: 2014-N-15806


The Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR) at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a requirement to conduct research, exploratory development, testing, or evaluations of new technologies to improve mine safety, or to adapt technologies from other industries for application in mining environments. The primary interest of this Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is to promote the modification or final development of practical robotics technologies or systems that can be adopted by the mining community in a short period of time to support self-escape or mine rescue efforts.

OMSHR is interested in robots that can:

  • be lowered through the boreholes and then navigated through the mine providing visual and atmospheric information to the operator on the surface.
  • explore several thousand feet ahead of the rescue teams and provide visual and atmospheric information to the rescued team at the fresh air base.
  • provide a "pack mule" capability for the rescue teams on a fully or semi-autonomous basis.

OMSHR is interested in explosion protection technologies that can be applied to robots to minimize or eliminate the possibility of explosion with minimal impact on the mobility and weight of the robots. The proposed solution can be either a general solution or incorporated with a solution to one of the three topic areas described previously.

Read the full solicitation and apply online at FedBizOpps. 

Deadline for responses: May 14, 2014



Broad Agency Announcement: Mine Ventilation and Safety Research and Capacity Building

Solicitation Number: 2014-N-15795


The Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, NIOSH, is soliciting proposals from universities or colleges specifically focused on mine ventilation to conduct work that addresses: research, exploratory development, testing, or evaluations of new innovations and technologies to improve mine health and/or safety.

Significant flexibility will be given in defining proposed research areas. As such, all basic or applied mine-ventilation research topics that have an impact on health and/or safety will be considered. Topics may be applicable to all types of underground mining or may be pertinent to only a specific mining method or mineral commodity. Sample research areas include but are not limited to:

• Using booster fans in coal mining,
• Ventilating large-opening mines,
• Modeling air and methane movements in gobs,
• Modeling mine fires and explosions,
• Controlling dust,
• Controlling methane liberations,
• Preventing/controlling frictional ignitions,
• Preventing/controlling mine fires,
• Preventing/controlling spontaneous combustion in gobs,
• Managing contaminated air and smoke from fires in belt airways,
• Removing airborne contaminants, e.g. dpm, through ventilation, and
• Cooling underground workings in hot mines

Contract awardees are expected to produce graduates with doctoral and/or master's degrees in mining or minerals engineering with a specialization in mine ventilation, as well as new knowledge in mine ventilation. Additionally, NIOSH seeks contract awardees that are tenured or in tenure track faculty positions in the area of mine ventilation.


Read the full solicitation and apply online at FedBizOpps.

Deadline for responses: May 30, 2014


OMSHR RFP: Mining Industry Surveillance System

 Solicitation Number: 2014-N-15802


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR) has a requirement for a mining industry surveillance system for the design of sampling plans and survey methodologies to use when conducting the next round of the survey in the United States mining industry. The contractor will also be asked to consult on the design of the survey questionnaire for each of the three mining sectors, coal, metal and nonmetal, and stone and sand and gravel. Surveillance of occupational injuries, illnesses, and exposures has been an integral part of the work of NIOSH since its creation by the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. Surveillance activities at OMSHR are focused on the mining workforce. To improve its surveillance capability related to the occupational risks in mining, OMSHR is planning to conduct ongoing national surveys of mines and mine employees - the Mining Industry Surveillance System. A firm fixed price contract award is intended.

Request for Proposal (RFP) No. 2014-N-15802 will be issued on an unrestricted basis to full and open competition. The solicitation will be issued on or about April 09, 2014. Proposals will be due on or about May 15, 2014. Organizations interested in receiving a copy of the solicitation may submit a written request to DHHS/PHS/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NIOSH-Pittsburgh, Office of Acquisition Services - Branch 4, Post Office Box 18070, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0070.

Written requests submitted to Facsimile Number 412-386-6429 will be accepted. No telephone requests will be accepted. Please cite the solicitation number in a request. Offerors may obtain a copy of the RFP via the internet at All responsible responsive sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency.

The solicitation is now posted, and the due date is extended from May 08, 2014, to May 15, 2014.

Read the full solicitation and apply online at FedBizOpps.

Responses Due: May 15, 2014






What has OMSHR looked for in past Broad Agency Announcements?


Sample 1:


Broad Agency Announcement for Refuge Alternative Concepts for Deployment Near the Working Faces of Coal Mines - Expired April 16, 2013

In early 2013, the NIOSH Office of Mine Safety and Health Research was looking for innovative concepts for refuge alternatives near the face area of coal mines. These concepts were to:

  • Provide miners with enough confidence to use refuge alternatives in emergency situations when escape is not practical;
  • Provide a simple method of employing the refuge alternative;
  • Provide enough breathable air supply to increase the likelihood of miners surviving for extended periods of time in the refuge alternative;
  • Address heat and humidity concerns within the refuge alternative;
  • Provide communication to the refuge alternative; and
  • Consider the psychological and ergonomic issues associated with confinement.


Want to see the full text of this expired BAA?

NIOSH BAA 2013-N-14957 on Expired April 16, 2013


Sample 2:


Broad Agency Announcement for Development and Demonstration of Mine Safety and Health Technology - Expired March 21, 2013

In early 2013, the NIOSH Office of Mine Safety and Health Research released a new funding opportunity in the form of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). NIOSH considered the following five topics, which are listed in no special order, to be areas of elevated interest; but as described in this solicitation, other topics are also appropriate for consideration:

  • Technology for Detection of Hazardous Conditions
  • Battery Technology
  • Technology to Reduce Float Dust
  • Through-the-Earth Communication
  • Rapid Drilling for Mine Rescue


Want to see the full text of this expired BAA?

NIOSH BAA 2013-N-14974 on Expired March 21, 2013



Sample 3:


Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for
Development and Demonstration of Mine Safety and Health Technology

Solicitation Number: 2014-N-15776

Expires January 22, 2014


NIOSH’s Office of Mine Safety and Health Research is soliciting concept papers to conduct research, explore development, undertake rigorous testing, or evaluate or adapt technologies to improve mine safety in the following six areas:
  • Post-Event Hazardous Conditions Detection: A deployable, hardened, battery-powered, intrinsically safe monitoring system that can survive an explosion or fire.
  • Battery Safety: Onboard technologies that can detect and measure conditions that could lead to short-circuit of large format lead-acid batteries, monitor battery during recharge cycles, or monitor and control heat buildup that can lead to thermal runaway.
  • Float Dust Reduction: Sensing technologies to determine the dispersion of float coal dust and measure and differentiate rock dust in the airstream.
  • Through-the-Earth (TTE) Communication: Noise datasets suitable for evaluating TTE performance and alternative antenna configurations to improve system performance once deployed.
  • NO2 and CO Personal Monitor: A personal monitor that is renewable and can measure acute exposure to nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide in real time.
  • Rock Dusting: Technology to ensure adequate and uniform distribution of rock dust onto coal mine surfaces.

Inquiries: via e-mail sent to Contracting Officer, Cynthia Mitchell:

Total Amount of Funding: $2M to $5M for the duration of this BAA.

Estimated Amount of Awards: $200,000–$300,000, with a ceiling of $650,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 8 to 14.




Information on Contracts





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