[Deadline Extended] Request for Proposals: Feasibility study for establishing a ICT Innovation hub and Excellence Centre in Cahul

New Request For Proposals (RFP): Feasibility study

RFP Number:           ATIC-2019-003
Issuance Date:         31.07.2019
Deadline for Offers:  13.08.2019

Extended Deadline: 04.09.2019

Description:              Consultancy Services, Feasibility study
For:                          Feasibility Study for Establishing a ICT innovation hub and Excellence Center in Cahul
Funded By:              Government of Sweden
Issued By:                National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC)

Section 1: Introduction and Instructions to Offerors                                             
 
 
1.1       Introduction
 
The National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC) is soliciting proposals from eligible and responsible firms to offer consulting services as described in the Annex 1.
 
About the Industry:
Moldova’s ICT sector employs more than 20,000 people and pays some of the highest salaries in the country, ($1,500/month for software developers), providing opportunities for young people to find quality jobs at home in Moldova. The recent impressive growth of the sector has reached a plateau, in part due to lack of qualified candidates in the workforce pipeline. With a total value of exports of$164 mln of exports in ICT and BPO in 2018 (a 50% increase in comparison with 2017), the sector has become the most promising driver of Moldova’s economic development, with the Moldovan Government introducing innovative new policies conducive to technology-based businesses and investors - the Law on IT Parks.
 
About ATIC
 
THE MOLDOVAN ASSOCIATION OF ICT COMPANIES (“ATIC”) is the business Organization uniting 45 companies. Umbrella Organization gathering over 5000 employees
Being established in 2006, ATIC is the action leading association and the voice of the Moldovan ICT industry that promotes the development of the ICT sector in Republic of Moldova through viable partnerships between companies, similar organizations, government, state institutions and international organizations. The association was founded to represent the industry on different policy and legislative issues and to facilitate the exchange of best-practices between members. ATIC mission is to protect and promote the Association members’ interests as well as facilitate a more favorable ICT business climate.
 
Vision:
The ICT sector will become an enabler of the Moldovan economy and
Moldovan Association of ICT Companies will actively contribute into the process of making Moldovan ICT sector the growth engine focused on principles of fair competition, transparency, free and open market in line with international regulations, by creating a better business, educational and social environment for the ICT players of Moldova. ATIC will actively promote the interests of its members by getting involved into the spheres of regulation, education, capacity building, competitiveness enhancement to have ICT lead the industry and become a part of any system and process to ensure its development.
 
Mission: 
Moldovan Association of ICT Companies promotes the development of the ICT sector in the Republic of Moldova through viable partnerships between companies, similar organizations, universities, state institutions, international organizations in order to enhance the development of the sector and members capacities, enlarge the market, improve the ICT workforce capacities, protect current investments in the country and participate in the decision making and regulatory process on the national and international level. ATIC will actively promote the interests of the members, by helping delivering the benefits of the ICT sector, while meeting the legitimate concerns of the members.
 
Since ATIC is a non commercial association, that intends to promote the interests of private companies as well as lauch of innovative programs for the ICT sector in the Republic of Moldova, ATIC will further focus on industry, and not particular companies problem solving. It will not look to generate profits, but will work on attracting grants and necessary private funds to achieve the maximum result.
The attractiveness of the association is in the fact that it should further represent a platform for dialogue, problem solving, collaboration and consulting on industry development issues.
The platform will be open not only for its members, but to all the public and interested actors, but will mainly focus on the priorities defined and approved by its members based on evaluation forms. Active involvement of the members is crucial to the success of the association.
ATIC will focus on improving its weak areas to create an added value for its members and community as a whole. Where needed, in order to grow its potential and its capacity, ATIC will attract additional sources of funding and follow to develop innovative and useful projects.
ATIC will collaborate with all main stakeholders and keep contact with all major donors.
ATIC will collaborate with like minded organizations within the country and internationally.
During the past 10 years, ATIC has been one of the main drivers to support the private ICT Sector do a better business in Moldova, has stood as the voice of the industry and has acted as an implementing partner related to various educational initiatives such as Digital Education in every First Grade, Robotics Program in 140 schools, Smart Education implemented in partnership with KOICA, Improving the Quality and Relevance of education in ICT Vocational Institutions in partnership with ADA, Aleg Cariera IT as a national campaign to attract more students to ICT, Tekwill- a project developed in the form of a public private partnership to mitigate the human capital Gap and develop entrepreneurship.
About Tekwill
 
The ICTEC Project started as a USAID program implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC). In 2016, the Government of Sweden joined the program and expanded the operations and content programs of Tekwill. The project is implemented as a private-public partnership (though Global Development Alliances instrument (GDA)), between the Moldovan Government, private industry, academia and donors. The private partners include multinational companies, IBM and Microsoft, and also Moldovan Association of Private ICT Companies (ATIC) members that are local (operated) ICT companies. The private partners bring significant new resources, ideas, software, technologies and development activities, such as trainings, practical assignments, and mentorship. The private sector partners will have the chance to use the center to communicate with the university, SMEs, startups, professionals and contribute to the curricula improvement answering the market needs, as well as the improvement of the IT and entrepreneurship ecosystem that will lead to the economic growth of the country. The Government of Moldova supports this project at the highest level of the Prime Minister, and the partners include Ministry of ICT, Ministry of Education, and E-Government Center.
Tekwill is the place to be where people connect with ideas, resources, science and industry to enhance excellence in information technology.
Tekwill brings prestige and influences the tech sector, the host university (UTM), and to Moldova by directly contributing to the entrepreneurship ecosystem. In addition, Tekwill aims to improve the skills needed within the IT sector, thereby creating high quality and well-paid jobs, and deterring the emigration of talented young people. By enabling the tech sector to continue to grow, Tekwill encourages local startups and existing companies to expand and attract international IT companies to invest in Moldova.
Located in the heart of the Technical University of Moldova (UTM), Tekwill is a 4,000m² hub that has everything one would ever need for ongoing growth, from co-working spaces, tech labs (IoT, 3D printing) and community events.
Tekwill is built on the belief that to be competitive economically in the years to come, Moldovan startups and innovators must begin adopting and creating industry-disrupting technology today. Therefore, this message was coded into our name; "Tek" – for technology and "will" – for our future. The organization regularly gathers local and international tech leaders to empower the development of Moldova's startup ecosystem by facilitating results-oriented innovation and collaboration.
Tekwill is where people, community, ideas, resources, science, and industry meet to identify, facilitate, and enhance excellence in information technology. Driving the Moldovan ecosystem, as a leading connecter and networking facilitator, organizing and supporting local and regional tech-related events.
Tekwill contributes to the economic development of Moldova by providing:
  • World-class education and training facilities, with up to date curricula, lecturers and laboratories;
  • Associated business development assistance;
  • Relevant research and development capabilities
 
Based on the success of Tekwill, the European Delegation expressed its interest to develop a regional Center for Innovation in Cahul.
 
About the assignment:
The EU has proposed to finance the establishment of a regional ICT centre for innovation in Cahul. The overall objective of the EU support is to support inclusive economic development in Moldova by increasing the potential of the digital economy and enhancing regional competitiveness and its business and investment environment. The project is part of the EU Single Support Framework for Moldova 2017 – 2020: Sector 1: Economic development and market opportunities, including sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
 
For a full project proposal with well described components and targets set, a feasibility study is needed. ATIC will be responsible for administrating the tendering process for feasibility study and drafting the full project proposal based on its findings in a close cooperation with Embassy of Sweden and EU Delegation. The feasibility study will provide relevant information for proposal: needs assessment of the particularly selected region, its main stakeholders, potential leverage from the public/private authorities, region potential, link with current existing initiatives, inclusion of various stakeholders, commitment of the local public authorities.
The proposed timeframe for the assignment related to the development of a regional ICT Innovation center covering Cahul, answering the needs of the Moldovan citizens based on the draft Commission Decision ENI/2019/042- 243, regarding the Annual Action Programme 2019 in favour of the Republic of Moldova and its action entitled "EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul", it is proposed that the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) implements the following activities:
· Activity 1. Support the creation of a Regional Innovation and Technology Centre in Cahul (“EU4Innovation Centre”);
· Activity 2. Support a campaign and development of a program to promote technology, problem solving and creative solutions in learning and improve the attractiveness of STEM;
· Activity 3. Developing a seed funding and acceleration program for digital and innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs, strengthening their capacity building and investment readiness.
and in line with the strategy for Sweden’s reform cooperation with Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and Turkey,
 
The full description of the study required is expressed in Annex nr 1 of the RFP. The study will look into assessing the possibility and premises of creating an up and running center for innovation in partnership with local stakeholders such as Cahul State University,
Cahul Pedagogical College, Cahul Business Incubator, and other potential beneficiaries/stakeholders present in the region. The Center is expected to be an up an running self-sustainable initiative based on best existing regional and local examples addressing the human capital gap in the area of the ICT, creating an ecosystem to boost startup reallocation/support or envision regional growth through ICT.
The study should take into consideration the private public partnership model approach including all major actors/players on the market to support this initiative. Strong local public authorities support is expected.
The Center will help to solve the skills needs of the ICT sector, thereby creating high quality, well-paid jobs, and deterring the emigration of talented young people.
The Center will enable the sector to continue to grow, taking into account the regional context, by encouraging local start-ups, allowing existing companies to expand, and attracting international ICT companies to invest in Moldova.
The Center will bring prestige and influence to the sector, to the host university, and to Moldova by enriching the network of Tekwill type centers.
The Center will directly contribute to the creation of the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The study should take into consideration some objectives put in front:
· especially how to encourage women/girls to participate in entrepreneurial activities (this should not be mentioned last)
· offering education and assistance in capacity building for teams willing to develop and grow a business in ICT
· offering orientation to individuals who see themselves as future entrepreneurs
· identifying different mindsets to create teams and work together on building products
· linking people, linking ideas to people, funds, mentors, investors
· assist successful projects in exiting the market
· encourage and assist projects, products, teams to be present on the international camps, meeting with investors, etc
· get affiliated to international hubs, innovation centers, camps (such as google camp).
.
 
 
1.2       Questions and Requests for Clarifications
 
Questions regarding the technical or administrative requirements of this RFP may be submitted no later than August 7, 2019, 18:00 local Chisinau time by email to achirita@ict.md, cc cdamaschin@ict.md. Questions must be submitted in writing; phone calls will not be accepted. Questions and requests for clarification—and the responses thereto—that ATIC believes may be of interest to other offerors will be circulated to all RFP recipients who have indicated an interest in bidding.
 
Only the written answers issued by ATIC will be considered official and carry weight in the RFP process and subsequent evaluation. Any verbal information received from employees of ATIC or any other entity should not be considered as an official response to any questions regarding this RFP.
 
1.4       Offer Deadline
 
Offerors shall submit their expression of interest to participate and propose offers until August 13, 2019 via e-mail to cdamaschin@ict.md, cc achirita@ict.md.
Offerors shall submit their offers in hard-copy and/or electronically.
Hard-copy offers must be received no later than August 13, 2019, 17:00 at the following address: 
In attention of Mrs. Ana Chirita,
Strategic Projects Director
Str. Studentilor 9/11
Emailed offers must be received by the same time and date at the following address:
In attention of Mrs. Ana Chirita, 
Strategic Projects Director
Corina Damaschin, cdamaschi@ict.md (Project Assistant)
Offerors are responsible for ensuring that their offers are received in accordance with the instructions stated herein. Late offers may be considered at the discretion of ATIC. 
 
1.5       Protocol for Submission of Offers
 
  1. Hard Copy Submissions:
 
Each offeror must submit its proposal in two separate volumes:  the Technical Volume and the Cost Volume.  The following number of copies is required in each submission:
1.         Technical and Cost Volume:  Three (3) original hardcopies and one (1) electronic copy on CD of the technical volume, per the instructions below.
2.         All offers and related documents must be enclosed in sealed envelopes with the name and address of the offeror and the RFP number (“RFP No. ATIC-2019-003”) clearly marked on the outside.  The Technical Volume and the Cost Volume must be submitted together.   If multiple envelopes must be submitted due to the size of a proposal, offerors must ensure that each envelope is sealed and clearly marked with the information described above.
B.        Electronic Submissions:
The Offeror must submit the proposal electronically with attachments compatible with MS Word, Excel, or Adobe Portable Document (PDF) format in a Microsoft environment. Those pages requiring original manual signatures should be scanned and sent in PDF format as an email attachment.
All offers must be prepared in English, Romanian or Russian.
 
1.5.1    Technical and Cost Volume
 
1.5.1    Technical Volume
 
The Technical Volume should describe in detail the offeror’s proposed plan for providing the services and commodities described in the technical specifications found in Annex 1. It should demonstrate a clear understanding of the work to be undertaken and the responsibilities of all parties involved. The plan should include details on equipment, personnel, and subcontractors that the offeror will make available to carry out the required activities. The plan should also provide details on the anticipated delivery schedule, including an estimated completion date.
 
At a minimum, the Technical Volume must contain the following required completed documents:
For Consulting companies:
1. Letter of Transmittal (see Section 3)
6. Past Performance Information
9. Staffing capacity to undertake the current project
10. Copy of official registration or business license
11. CV of Team Members planned to be assigned
For independent consultants:
1. CV
2. Past performance information
3. Offer
4. Concept of delivery of the assignment
Subcontracting arrangements:  If the execution of work to be performed by the offeror requires the hiring of subcontractors, the proposal must clearly identify the subcontractor(s), contact information of subcontractor(s), and the work they will perform.  ATIC will not refuse a proposal based upon the use of subcontractors; however, ATIC retains the right to approve or reject the specific subcontractors selected.
All electronic copies of documents in the Technical Volume must be in PDF, Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel format.  
The information contained in the Technical Volume should not contain any cost- or price-related information.
 
 
1.5.2    Cost Volume
 
Taking into consideration the complexity of the work, the cost proposal is used to determine which proposals represent the best value and serves as a basis of negotiation before award of a subcontract.
 
It should offer a clear understanding upon the amount of work, different types of activities (if applicable), but offer a fixed price for the assignment taking into account all details.
 
In case the Offeror’s cost proposal exceeds the equivalent of EUR 50.000, the Offeror shall provide a bank guarantee in amount of 10% per model in annex No.3 below. The bank guarantee must be annexed to Cost Volume.
 
The cost proposal shall also include a budget narrative that explains the basis for the estimate of every cost element or line item. Supporting information must be provided in sufficient detail to allow for a complete analysis of each cost element or line item. ATIC reserves the right to request additional cost information if the evaluation committee has concerns of the reasonableness, realism, or completeness of an offeror’s proposed cost.
 
 
1.6       Validity Period
 
Offers must remain valid for at least 60 calendar days after the offer deadline.
 
1.8       Eligibility of Offerors
By submitting an offer in response to this RFP, the offeror certifies that it and its principal officers are not debarred, suspended, or otherwise considered ineligible for an award. ATIC will not award a contract to any firm that is debarred, suspended, or considered to be ineligible.
1.9       Evaluation and Basis for Award
An or multiple awards will be made to the offeror whose proposal is determined to be responsive to this solicitation document, meets the eligibility criteria stated in this RFP, meets the technical, management/personnel, and corporate capability requirements, and is determined to represent the best value to ATIC. Best value will be decided using the trade-off process.
This RFP will use the trade-off process to determine best value. That means that each proposal will be evaluated and scored against the evaluation criteria and evaluation sub-criteria, which are stated in the table below. Cost proposals are not assigned points, but for overall evaluation purposes of this RFP, technical evaluation factors other than cost, when combined, are considered approximately equal to cost factors. If technical scores are determined to be equal or nearly equal, cost will become the determining factor.
In evaluating proposals, ATIC will use the following evaluation criteria and sub-criteria: 
 
Evaluation Criteria
Evaluation Sub-criteria
Maximum points
 
Concept and approach to the assignment
20 points
 
Timeframe
20 points
 
Past performance information
20 points
 
Overall cost proposal provided
40 points
Total Points – Technical and Cost Approach                                   100 points
 
 
1.10     Negotiations
 
Best and final price quotations are requested from all offerors. It is anticipated that awards will be made solely on the basis of these original quotations. However, ATIC reserves the right to conduct negotiations and/or request clarifications prior to awarding a subcontract. 
 
1.11     Terms and Conditions of Subcontract
 
This is a Request for Proposals only. Issuance of this RFP does not in any way obligate ATIC or to award a subcontract, nor does it commit ATIC to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a proposal.
 
 
 



Section 2. Background, Scope of Work, Deliverables and Deliverable Schedule
 
 
2.1      Technical Specifications
 
As specified in Annex 1, ATIC is looking to subcontract one or several companies to deliver consulting services as stated in Annex 1 (Specifications).
 
 
2.2       Delivery Requirements
 
 
The delivery location for the items described in this RFP is ICTEC, str. Studentilor 9/11.  As part of its response to this RFP, each offeror is expected to provide an estimate (in calendar days) of the delivery and execution timeframe (after receipt of order). The delivery estimate presented in an offer in response to this RFP must be upheld in the performance of any resulting contract.
The delivery estimate presented in any offers in response to this RFP must be honest, accurate, and upheld in the performance of any resulting subcontract or order.
 
 
 
  1. PAYMENT AND FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS
 
3.1 Subcontract Price
 
The Subcontractor shall complete all work (including furnishing all labor, material, commodities, equipment, and services) required under this subcontract for the fixed price of             TBD                 . This price shall include all equipment, commodities, shipping costs, licenses, permits, administration costs, labor costs, materials, overhead, profit, and all other costs.
 
The Subcontractor will be paid the installment amounts listed under the column named “Payment Amount” only upon successful completion and acceptance by ATIC of all corresponding deliverables listed in the column named “Corresponding Deliverable Name.”
 
 
3.2 Payment Terms
 
ATIC will pay the total price through a series of installment payments as provided in Article 9 above, after Subcontractor’s completion of the corresponding deliverables and ATIC’ acceptance thereof. The Subcontractor may submit invoices for deliverables that have been accepted and approved by the authorized ATIC representative. ATIC will pay the Subcontractor’s invoice within fifteen (15) days after the following conditions have been fulfilled:
a)     the Subcontractor has delivered a proper invoice
b)     ATIC has issued an inspection certificate
 
Payment will be made in MDL or EUR based on the location of the company providing services, paid via wire transfer to the account specified in the Subcontractor’s invoice. Payment of unpaid balances will be made upon completion and final acceptance of all works and deliverables by ATIC. Any invoices for services rendered and deliverables submitted—but not accepted by ATIC—will not be paid until the Subcontractor makes sufficient revisions to the deliverables such that ATIC may approve the deliverables and thus the invoice.
      
3.3 Invoice Requirements
 
The Subcontractor shall present an invoice to ATIC only for services and/or commodities that have been accepted by ATIC. The invoice must be an original invoice, submitted to:
 
ATIC
Attention: Accountant Office
National Association of ICT Companies
 
To constitute a proper invoice, the Subcontractor’s invoice must include the following information and/or attached documentation. This information will assist ATIC in making timely payments to the Subcontractor:
 
  1. Subcontractor legal name, subcontract number, invoice date, and invoice number.
  2. Deliverable(s) number, description of approved deliverable(s), and corresponding value.
  3. Bank account information to which payment shall be sent.
 
3.4 Cooperating Country Fees, Taxes, and Duties
 
The Subcontractor is responsible for payment of all applicable taxes, as prescribed under the applicable laws, associated with wages/salaries/compensation for services rendered by individuals employed by the Subcontractor and who are directed to work as required under this Subcontract.  The Subcontractor is liable for payment of all applicable taxes associated with revenues (profit), and other such taxes, fees, or dues for which Subcontractor is normally responsible as a result of operating its business.
3.5 Set-Off Clause
 
ATIC reserves the right of set-off against amounts payable to Subcontractor under this subcontract or any other agreement in the amount of any claim or refunds ATIC may have against the Subcontractor.
 
 
 
  1. Intellectual Property Rights
 
The ownership of all copyright and other intellectual property rights in respect of any data compilations, research, spreadsheets, graphs, reports, diagrams, designs, work products, software, or any other documents, developed in connection with this subcontract will exclusively vest in or remain with ATIC, which shall have all proprietary rights therein, notwithstanding that the Subcontractor or its employees may be the author of the intellectual property. All documents relating to the intellectual property or otherwise connected with this fixed price subcontract, the services, or duties must be returned or delivered to ATIC at the time of the expiration or termination of the subcontract. The Subcontractor agrees not to publish or make use of any of the intellectual property, or documents relating thereto, without the prior written approval of ATIC and proper attribution.
 
 
  1. Modifications
 
Modifications to the terms and conditions of this subcontract, including any modification to the scope of work, may only be made by written agreement between authorized personnel of both Parties as stipulated in Article 16 of this subcontract. Each Party shall give due notice and consideration to any proposals for modification made by the other Party.
 
  1. Assignment and Delegation
 
This subcontract may not be assigned or delegated, in whole or in part, by the Subcontractor without the written consent of ATIC. Absent such written consent, any assignment is void.
 
  1. Termination
 
ATIC reserves the unilateral right to terminate this fixed price subcontract at any time, paying for all deliverables completed at the time of termination and a pro-rata share of any deliverable in progress.
 
In the event that the Subcontractor fails to make progress so as to endanger performance of this fixed price subcontract, or is unable to fulfill the terms of this fixed price subcontract by the completion date, the Subcontractor shall notify ATIC forthwith and ATIC shall have the right to summary termination of this fixed price subcontract upon written notice. 
 
Section 3: Letter of Transmittal                                                                                        
 
The following cover letter must be placed on letterhead and completed/signed/stamped by a representative authorized to sign on behalf of the offeror, as part of the Technical Volume:
 
To:                   National Association of ICT Companies
                        Str. Studentilor 9/11     
                       
Reference:       RFP No. ATIC-2019-003
 
 
To Whom It May Concern:
 
We, the undersigned, hereby provide the attached offer to perform all work required to complete the activities and requirements as described in the above-referenced RFP. Please find our offer attached.
 
We hereby acknowledge and agree to all terms, conditions, special provisions, and instructions included in the above-referenced RFP. We further certify that the below-named firm—as well as the firm’s principal officers and all commodities and services offered in response to this RFP—are eligible to participate in this procurement under the terms of this solicitation.
 
Furthermore, we hereby certify that, to the best of our knowledge and belief:
·        We have no close, familial, or financial relationships with any ATIC or above mentioned project staff members;
·        We have no close, familial, or financial relationships with any other offerors submitting proposals in response to the above-referenced RFP; and
·        The prices in our offer have been arrived at independently, without any consultation, communication, or agreement with any other offeror or competitor for the purpose of restricting competition.
·        All information in our proposal and all supporting documentation is authentic and accurate.
·        We understand and agree to ATIC’ prohibitions against fraud, bribery, and kickbacks.
 
We hereby certify that the enclosed representations, certifications, and other statements are accurate, current, and complete.
 
Authorized Signature:                                                                                                      
 
Name and Title of Signatory:                                                                                            
 
Date:                                                                                                                               
 
Company Name:                                                                                                              
 
Company Address:                                                                                                                
 
Company Telephone and Website:                                                                                   
 
Company Registration or Taxpayer ID Number:                                                                
 
Does the company have an active bank account (Yes/No)?                                                     
 
Official name associated with bank account (for payment):                                                     



Annex 1: Detailed Specifications and Requirements                                                                                                                       
 
Background:
Based on the draft Commission Decision ENI/2019/042- 243, regarding the Annual Action Programme 2019 in favour of the Republic of Moldova and its action entitled "EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul", it is proposed that the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) implements the following activities:
· Activity 1. Support the creation of a Regional Innovation and Technology Centre in Cahul (“EU4Innovation Centre”);
· Activity 2. Support a campaign and development of a program to promote technology, problem solving and creative solutions in learning and improve the attractiveness of STEM;
· Activity 3. Developing a seed funding and acceleration program for digital and innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs, strengthening their capacity building and investment readiness.
 
The Programme objective will be achieved through measures targeted at: (i) Support to the creation of a Regional Innovation and Technology Centre; (ii) Support to the National Moldovan Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) promotion campaign and development programmes; and (iii) developing a seed funding and acceleration programme for ICT related start-ups.
This Programme is in line with the Eastern Partnership priorities, the revised Association Agenda and the objectives of the 2017-2020 Single Support Framework (SSF) for Moldova and Chapter 18 of the European Union – Moldova Association Agreement. It will also support the implementation of the Eastern Partnership's "20 Deliverables for 2020", as they relate to economic development. The proposed activities will support the implementation of the priorities identified in the European Joint Development Cooperation Strategy (Joint Programming Document), the National Strategy "Digital Moldova 2020", Strategy for enhancing IT industry competitiveness.
 
 
ATIC Board of Directors has expressed its interest to explore existing possibilities, stakeholders, opportunities in developing and supporting an innovation center in Cahul, thus determining the best suited model and define major actions/activities related to the component nr 1 stated above.
 
 
Assignement:
 
Responsible companies are invited to provide consulting services in assessing and determining the creation of a regional innovation and technology center in Cahul, thus determining the following aspects:
1.     Prior project experience and support provided to Cahul region (in the form of grants, programs, budgetary support, etc) particularly in the area of tech education, entrepreneurship, startup support, and the area of ICT
2.     Assess and evaluate existing facilities and local government commitment to provide one or several territories/buildings for a regional Innovation Centers. The consultants should take into account existing facilities, facilities that require renovation, reconstruction or other existing options, as well as take into account expandable models (start from small and be able to expand in case more space would be required). The study should include the following:
a)     Owner of the building/space – Type and capacity of available facilities (administrative and legal matters)
b)     Finishing stage
c)     Investment required to reach the results stated below
d)     Possibility to be provided towards a ppp model
e)     Configuration of the building (availability of open space, of smaller rooms, etc)
f)      Assessment of the local partner ability to own, operate, and maintain facilities according to Tekwill model
g)     Maximum capacity
h)     Location in the city and/or proximity to strategic partners
i)       Other
3.     The upcoming potential Center will act as an extension of the Tekwill project programs, and will answer the following interests:
·        offering education and assistance in capacity building for teams willing to develop and grow a business in ICT
·        offering orientation to individuals who see themselves as future entrepreneurs
·        identifying different mindsets to create teams and work together on building products
·        linking people, linking ideas to people, funds, mentors, investors
·        assist successful projects in exiting the market
·        encourage and assist projects, products, teams to be present on the international camps, meeting with investors, etc
·        get affiliated to international hubs, innovation centers, camps (such as google camp).
·        encourage women/girls to participate in entrepreneurial activities.
·        Provide access to educational initiatives on a prioritization basis.
4.     The study should also seek in-depth analysis of the market potential, needs, interests, and absorption of various programs both existing on the market, or at least determining the market needs by counting target groups, existing initiatives, easiness of transportation, communities present, IT companies present in Cahul, Galati and/or Odessa. The future hub should be able to link tech with non-tech industries, and become an attraction point in the South of Moldova in line with the interests and trends from Chisinau.
5.     The center should be aligned with the IT Competitiveness Strategy approved in 2018, ATIC general vision and Mission, country development strategy (2030), as well as with the donor country strategies
6.     The study should also seek potential expansion of the programs in satellite/hub schools/libraries or other entities with prior or existing investment and leverage.
 
Recommended stakeholders to be taken into consideration:
1.     Local and regional schools.
2.     Local universities and vocational institutions
3.     Local and regional business incubators
4.     The municipality of Cahul.
5.     Tekwill
6.     Government of Moldova representatives (representatives of Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, representatives of Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure at decision level, other Government stakeholders to be taken into consideration)
7.     Private companies
8.     Other
 
 
 
Expected process and methodology: The tenderer should present their chosen methodological approach and working process, which should include (but not necessarily be limited to):
·        Review existing available documents- MOUs, Concept Documents, Implementation plans and phase 1 reports documents
·        Impact assessment and prioritization of specific programs linked to specific infrastructure available
·        Present examples of existing infrastructure with a clear understanding of the ownership, contribution of the local authorities, investment requirements, flexibility and adaptability of the space, scalability, and cross border opportunities for collaboration.
·        Potential educational and entrepreneurship initiatives.
·        Model of operations.
·        Link to existing initiatives
·        Prepare independent report including- key areas potential, potential for growth, selected/recommended initiatives, infrastructure development, investments, other.
·        Review and apply international experience in relation to regional expansion models (suggested countries Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, other may be taken into consideration)
 
Deliverables:
·        Schedule of interviews and methodology proposed
·        Inception report ( including interviews lists, any applicable questionnaires, general data about the region, general information about the sector, methodology to be applied, other information applicable in this sense on behalf of the consulting company/individual, Structure of the proposed report)
·        Draft report ( including interview rough data including name, profile of the interviewed stakeholder, summary of the conclusions, needs assessment, description of main stakeholders, description of potential models of operation, other)
·        Final report in .doc, .docx format (including feasibility study/sample plans/sample calculations for investment/minimum required team, etc, proposed programs, impact assessment , proposed activities in a priority and timeline matter, other relevant information)
·        Public presentation towards the stakeholders (ATIC, Sweden, EU)
·        Public presentation towards the stakeholders from Cahul
·        Other that may be required.
 
The assignment is expected to commence no later than 10 days after signing the contract.
 
The proposals of each interested company/individual consultant should include:
·        Timeframe and schedule of proposed implemented actions
·        CV of  people planned to work on the assignment, explaining their background and value for contribution, divided by number of hours proposed to be spent on the assignment, their level of expertise, relevance to the action, and other information that will help take the decision
·        Technical approach to complete the assignment
·        Potential entry points/questionnaires to complete the assignment
 
 
Best candidates should demonstrate:
·        Prior experience in IT, development, economic backgrounds
·        Good understanding of the IT ecosystem and educational IT initiatives in the country
·        Relevant international expertise will be considered a plus
·        Fluency in Romanian, Russian and English will be considered a plus

 

·        Prior and relevant expertise/knowledge in investments projects (if physical infrastructure will be chosen as an impact component of the future assignment)