48 CFR § 35.008 - Evaluation for award.
(a) Generally, an R&D contract should be awarded to that organization, including any educational institution, that proposes the best ideas or concepts and has the highest competence in the specific field of science or technology involved. However, an award should not be made to obtain capabilities that exceed those needed for successful performance of the work.
(b) In R&D contracting, precise specifications are ordinarily not available. The contracting officer should therefore take special care in reviewing the solicitation evaluation factors to assure that they are properly presented and consistent with the solicitation.
(c) When a small business concern would otherwise be selected for award but is considered not responsible, the SBA Certificate of Competency procedure shall be followed (see subpart 19.6).
(d) The contracting officer should use the procedures in subpart 15.5 to notify and debrief offerors.
(e) It is important to evaluate a proposed contractor's cost or price estimate, not only to determine whether the estimate is reasonable but also to provide valuable insight into the offeror's understanding of the project, perception of risks, and ability to organize and perform the work. Cost or price analysis, as appropriate (see 15.404-1(c)), is a useful tool.