RFP: PR and Communication Services Startup Moldova

 
 
 
 
 
Request for Proposals (RFP)
 
 
RFP Number:               ICTEC-2020-005
 
Issuance Date:             11.05.2020
 
Deadline for Offers:       25.05.2020
 
Description:                 Communication and PR Services Startup Moldova Program
 
For:                             Moldova ICT Excellence Center Project
 
Funded By:                  United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Government of Sweden, Contract No. AID-117-A-15-00002
 
Issued By:                    National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC)
 
Point of Contact:          achirita@ict.md, contact person Ana Chirita
                                   vbordei@ict.md, Communication Consultant Viorica Bordei
 
 



Section 1: Introduction and Instructions to Offerors                                             
 
1.1       Acronyms and Definitions
 
            ATIC                            National Association of ICT Companies
ADS                             USAID Automated Directives System
CFR                             United States Code of Federal Regulations
Cooperating Country    Moldova
FAR                             United States Federal Acquisition Regulation
RFP                             Request for Proposals
US                               United States
USAID                         United States Agency for International Development
USG                            United States Government
VAT                             Value Added Tax
 
1.2       Introduction
 
The National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC) is soliciting proposals from eligible and responsible firms to offer PR and Communication services as described in the Annex 1.
 
Tekwill has been designed as a national public-private partnership between the Government of Moldova, USAID, Microsoft, and IBM to answer the needs of the ICT industry to close the gap of the human capital shortage, as well as support the development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The first phase of the project represented a USAID grant for Development matched by both cash and in-kind contributions of private and government partners that brought significant new resources, ideas, software, technologies and development activities, such as trainings, practical assignments, and mentorship. Private partners included multinational companies, IBM and Microsoft, but also Information Technology and Communications Association (ATIC) members that are local Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies, while among government partners Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, e-Government Center and Technical University have provided their support. The Technical University of Moldova is hosting the first Center on its premises and has jointly invested resources for initial investment and maintenance costs during the startup phase.
 
On September 19, 2017 USAID/Moldova has entered into a partnership with the Government of Sweden to join forces in the establishment and creation of the ICT Excellence Center (Tekwill). It included an arrangement that governs the relationship between the Parties regarding the financing, implementation and reporting of the activity. 
 
Tekwill was inaugurated on March 15, 2017. During the 3 years of implementation (as the project was fully operational even before the official launch of the Tekwill center), Tekwill project completed or supported 188 educational initiatives, and 301 entrepreneurship initiatives, transforming Tekwill into one of the most successful initiatives in tech in Moldova and in the region. It has helped over 350 teams to reach better business, create opportunities and seek investment. Altogether it trained and oriented over 35,000 people.
 
The next phase of the project is envisaged to fortify the existing Tekwill’s capacity, create linkages with other universities and expand the activities to a national level. New activities are planned to transform Tekwill into a strategic focal point for Moldova in relation to boosting creativity, innovation and growth in the ICT sector. Several more universities are seeking to be part of this initiative, which involves private sector and development partners in modernization of the curricular content, as well as the Ministry of Education is opened to promote the optional programs developed by Tekwill to be accessible in schools under a ”Tekwill in every school” program. Each program will be designed and developed being adapted to the context of the region, school, university involved in the process. The programs will be all inclusive aiming at involving different target groups such as children, women, students, etc. 
The initial goal of the project is to contribute to the extension of the Tekwill project as a sustainable network and deploy its programs on regional/national level. The project aims at determining the operation model of the network, determining business plans for the relevant created centers or partners in the regions, deploy scalable activities to connect an estimated of 150,000 people to ICT (school and university students, community, etc.), deploy entrepreneurship programs aiming at both scaling up existing programs, as well as create inclusive innovation platforms for the regions with their respective specifics and potential to absorb/apply ICT. We envision a minimum 10,000 beneficiaries/year for each direction (education and entrepreneurship) As a result of the project, 2 main outcomes of the project are expected: more and better qualified skills and workforce developed leading to a stronger ICT industry in Moldova, as well as creating the premises for a Startup Moldova program driving opportunities for companies seeking capitalization.
The overarching goal of the Tekwill as a network is to ensure maximum impact on Moldova’s economy though enhancing the entrepreneurial and educational capacity, as well as Research&Development potential of the higher education institutions in line with the industry needs; hence achieving quantitative and qualitative increase in qualified ICT professionals and ICT skills and nurturing successful technology startups based on modern ecosystem and world-class sales and marketing force. The project will expand the current areas of cooperation and continue to contribute to growing competitiveness of the ICT industry and of other economic sectors on a national level.
The project aims to:
1.      Mitigate the human capital gap identified as the major problem for the ICT sector
2.      Expand successful Tekwill programs into the regions
3.      Impact the IT related educational system by contributing at nurturing STEM education
4.      Develop curricular and extracurricular educational programs to be adopted nationwide in partnership with leading private ICT Companies
5.      Assess the existing startup ecosystem and improve its investment opportunities
6.      Create linkages between ICT and non ICT businesses
7.      Provide  support to projects/startups in assessing the global market
8.      Create premises for favorable investment instruments such as seed funding, acceleration programs, venture funding, etc
9.      Encourage and support tech community events
10.   Get affiliated to international hubs, innovation centers, camps (such as Google campus, Station F, etc).Empower women/girls to participate in ICT educational programs and entrepreneurial activitiesprovide access to Tekwill content and programs for talented kids from underserved and remote areas, supporting career orientation, STEM educational programs, etc.
 
Program Background:
International Experience:
Estonia has a high number of incubators and accelerators reported to its population, the majority of them being located in the capital city of Tallinn. Most of the startups benefitted of some form of governmental financial support at one point or another.
Internet access in the country is recognized as a basic human right, making it one of the leading nations worldwide in terms of the development and use of Internet services. Estonia is also a leader in the field of egovernment and cybersecurity solutions. Moreover, there are several funds that provide information and financial support to startups, most relevant being the Estonian Development Fund and Enterprise Estonia.
 
Israeli startup ecosystem is one of the most prolific in the world, leading the technological innovation along with Sillicon Valley. As a result of the high R&D expenditures in comparison to the national GDP, the city of Tel Aviv had in 2018 the most startups per capita in the world, being surpassed in 2019 only by Silicon Valley. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are some of the best places to start a business in sectors such as AI, Big Data, Analytics, Life Sciences or Cybersecurity
1.      The governmental funding is abundant, and such are the international venture capital opportunities from US, China, UK, Japan or Germany.
2.      Among the good practices in developing this startup hub, there have been identified the following:
·         Significant governmental spending in the R&D sector;
·        High level of digitalization for the start-up development programs;
·        Development of a one-stop platform for the new startups (972vc.com), that allows them to have
·        an overview of the startup environment;
·        International approach of the Government in relation to startups attraction.
Poland is intensely developing its startup ecosystem, trying to become the Central Eastern European
entrepreneurial hub. The polish government took a wholistic approach, allocating capital and making
legislation in order to support the polish startups, both at national and international level.
The available programs such as Scale Up and Startup Platforms target mainly startups established by polish people, the Poland Prize wants to attract foreign entrepreneurs into the country, while the Tech Bridges gives a boost to polish startups interested about international expansion. Since the Government tried multiple approaches and set up various programs over the time, the following good practices were revealed:
·        Creation of a large network of academic incubators;
·        Creation of local/regional incubators;
 
 Broader introduction of business-related classes in the curricula of technical universities and in
other non-business schools;
Set up of tech bridges in order to enhance the international marketing of national startups.
 
Romania recorded a positive trend in the past five years regarding the number of organizations active in the startup investment area. The number of programs supporting startups increased as well and spread in all major cities.
One important takeaway from Romanian startup case study is the positive impact of the venture capital investments and the increasing number of initiatives that support SMEs not only in the Bucharest capital but also in cities like Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara or Iasi. Nevertheless, compared to other EU markets, there are significant gaps such as transparency, lack of governmental support and a limited capacity of higher education institutions to play an active role as a stakeholder in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. However, the good practices from Romania are:
·         Support in helping entrepreneurs start a business with program such as Startup Nation or SME Invest
·        Visible improvements due to access to information and education offered by private sector
·        incubators, hubs, coworking spaces, accelerators and business angels.
·        Startup clusters created around university cities such as Bucharest and Cluj which attract foreign investors.
United Kingdom is one of the best countries to start a business in, as there are multiple governmental financing programs in place for startups, many accelerators and incubators distributed across the country and last but not least, an international society. London, in particular, is the biggest financial centre in Europe and the most important startup hub in Europe. The good practices identified are the following:
·        Corporate tax cuts for small companies;
·        Simplified and digitalized land registration;
·        R&D cost deduction from the taxable profits;
·        Patent Box, enabling thus companies to significantly reduce corporate tax for income generated from their own patents;
·        Enterprise investment schemes based on income tax relief for startup investments;
·        Fast text registration, making thus the process of starting a business easier;
·        Exceptional Talent Visa, focusing on non-EU talent for early-stage firms trying to scale up.
 
 
Startup Moldova is envisioned to be a program answering the key needs of the Startups in/from Moldova providing a full specter of services, such as:
a)     Access to entrepreneurial education
b)     Access to acceleration and business services
c)     Access to international markets
d)     Access to professional services
e)     Access to funding
 
The Startup Moldova program should focus on tech start-ups needs and challenges. One of the internal reports has identified six main key categories of challenges facing Moldovan start-ups, such as:
▪ hiring qualified employees;
▪ limited knowledge of the regulatory environment;
▪ idea generation and validation;
▪ funding;
▪ trainings and mentorship on strategic and soft skills;
▪ media and events coverage
 
 
1.3       Questions and Requests for Clarifications
 
Questions regarding the technical or administrative requirements of this RFP may be submitted no later than May 20,2020, 18:00 local Chisinau time by email to achirita@ict.md, cc vbordei@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 May 25, 2020 via e-mail to vbordei@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 May 25, 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
Viorica Bordei, vbordei@ict.md (Communication Consultant)
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. ICTEC-2020-005”) 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)
2. Offeror’s Summary Sheet (see Section 4)
3. Completed/Signed Certifications (see Section 5).
6. Past Performance Information (see Section 2.4)
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 USD 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.
 
The agreement under which this procurement is financed does not permit the financing of any taxes, VAT, tariffs, duties, or other levies imposed by any laws in effect in the Cooperating Country. No such Cooperating Country taxes, charges, tariffs, duties or levies will be paid under an order resulting from this RFP.
 
1.6       Validity Period
 
Offers must remain valid for at least 60 calendar days after the offer deadline.
 
1.7       Authorized USAID Geographic Code and Source/Nationality
All goods and services offered in response to this RFP or supplied under any resulting award must meet USAID Geographic Code 935 in accordance with the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 22 CFR §228, available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title22-vol1/pdf/CFR-2012-title22-vol1-part228.pdf. 
The cooperating country for this RFP is Moldova.
Offerors may not offer or supply any commodities or related services that are manufactured or assembled in, shipped from, transported through, or otherwise involving any of the following countries: Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Iran, North Korea, (North) Sudan, Syria.  Related services include incidental services pertaining to any/all aspects of this work to be performed under a resulting subcontract (including transportation, fuel, lodging, meals, and communications expenses).
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 tradeoff process.
This RFP will use the tradeoff 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
 
This RFP utilizes the tradeoff process set forth in FAR 15.101-1. ATIC will award a subcontract to the offeror whose proposal represents the best value to ATIC. ATIC may award to a higher priced offeror if a determination is made that the higher technical evaluation of that offeror merits the additional cost/price.
 
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 USAID to award a subcontract, nor does it commit ATIC or USAID to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a proposal.
 
This solicitation is subject to the Draft Order Terms and Conditions detailed in Section 2. Any resultant award will be governed by these terms and conditions. ATIC reserves the right to make revisions to the content, order, and numbering of the provisions in the actual subcontract document prior to execution by ATIC and the selected awardee. Issuance of a subcontract award is subject to availability of sufficient funds.
 
 
 



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.
 
Section 3: Draft Order Terms and Conditions                                              
 
Per Section 1.17 of this RFP, in the event of a subcontract award resulting from an offer submitted in response to this RFP, the following terms and conditions will apply:
 
1.      All commodities, if applicable, delivered under this subcontract must be transferable to USAID, or another entity in the Cooperating Country designated by ATIC.
2.      Delivery Terms
A.     Delivery terms are ____TBD_____.  The Subcontractor shall deliver the deliverables as set forth to the delivery locations
B.     Time is of the essence.  By executing this subcontract, the Subcontractor confirms that it accepts that the delivery schedule stated herein is reasonable, and will comply with the delivery schedule.
C.     Customs clearance.  The Subcontractor shall clear any international shipments through customs and deliver them to the appropriate location(s) specified in Article 5.  ATIC is responsible for providing the Subcontractor with the necessary documentation required by Moldovan customs officials for duty-free customs clearance.
D.     Consignee address.  For any international shipments requiring customs clearance in the Moldova, the following consignee address shall be used on each shipment to facilitate duty-free and tax-free customs clearance.
E.     U.S.-flag requirement.  Any international transportation carried out under this subcontract shall take place on US-flag vessels/carriers.  Any international air transportation shall be in accordance with FAR 52.247-63 (“Preference for U.S.-Flag Air Carriers”) and FAR 47.403 (“Guidelines for Implementation of the Fly America Act”).
 
 
  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 USD 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
 
This subcontract is entered into by ATIC on behalf of the ICTEC Project, an official program of the Government of the United States in Republic of Moldova. 
As such, this subcontract is free and exempt from any taxes, VAT, tariffs, duties, or other levies imposed by the laws in effect in Republic of Moldova.  The Subcontractor shall not pay any host country taxes, VAT, tariffs, duties, levies, etc. from which this USAID program is exempt.  In the event that any exempt charges are paid by the Subcontractor, they will not be reimbursed to the Subcontractor by ATIC.  The Subcontractor shall immediately notify ATIC if any such taxes are assessed against the Subcontractor or its subcontractors/suppliers at any tier.
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. Authorized USAID Geographic Code
 
The authorized USAID geographic code for this subcontract is USAID Geographic Code 935 in accordance with the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 22 CFR §228, available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title22-vol1/pdf/CFR-2012-title22-vol1-part228.pdf.
 
The source and nationality of all goods, commodities, and services provided under this subcontract must meet the above-specified USAID geographic code specified in accordance with the regulations found in 22 CFR 228.
 
The cooperating country for this subcontract is Moldova.
 
No commodities or related services may be supplied under this subcontract that are manufactured or assembled in, shipped from, transported through, or otherwise involving any of the following countries: Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Iran, North Korea, (North) Sudan, Syria. Related services include incidental services pertaining to any/all aspects of this work to be performed under a resulting subcontract (including transportation, fuel, lodging, meals, and communications expenses).
 
  1. Restrictions On Certain Foreign Purchases (FAR 52.225-13)
 
(a)   Except as authorized by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Subcontractor shall not acquire for its use in the performance of this subcontract, any supplies or services if any proclamation, U.S. Executive Order, U.S. statute, or OFAC’s implementing regulations (31 CFR Chapter V), would prohibit such a transaction by a U.S. person, as defined by law.
 
(b)   Except as authorized by OFAC, most transactions involving Cuba, Iran, the Sudan, Burma and North Korea are prohibited, including importing/exporting to/from the United States, engaging in financial transactions, or facilitating any prohibited transactions by third parties. Lists of entities and individuals subject to economic sanctions – which are updated routinely - are included in OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons at http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/sdn. It is the Subcontractor’s responsibility to remain informed as to sanctioned parties and to ensure compliance with all relevant U.S. sanctions and trade restrictions. More information about these restrictions, as well as updates, is available in the OFAC’s regulations at 31 CFR Chapter V and/or on OFAC’s website at http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac.
 
(c)   The Subcontractor shall insert this article, including this paragraph (c), in all subcontracts and subawards issued under this subcontract.
 
  1. Compliance With U.S. Export Laws
 
Subcontractor warrants and agrees to comply with all U.S. export laws and regulations and other applicable U.S. law and regulations, including but not limited to: (i) the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), 22 U.S.C. 2778 and 2779; (ii) Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA), 50 U.S.C. App. §§ 1-44; (iii) International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 C.F.R. Parts 120-130.; (iv) Export Administration Act (EAA) of 1979 and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) 15 C.F.R. Parts 730-774, (including the EAR anti-boycott provision); (v) the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), 50 U.S.C. 1701-1706 and Executive Orders of the President under IEEPA, 50 U.S.C. app. §§ 2401-2420; (vi) Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Parts 500-598; and (vii) other applicable U.S. laws and regulations. As required, subject to ATIC’ prior approval for all exports or imports under the Subcontract, Subcontractor shall determine any export license, reporting, filing or other requirements, obtain any export license or other official authorization, and carry out any customs formalities for the export of goods or services. Subcontractor agrees to cooperate in providing any reports, authorizations, or other documentation related to export compliance requested by ATIC. Subcontractor agrees to indemnify, hold harmless and defend ATIC for any losses, liabilities and claims, including as penalties or fines as a result of any regulatory action taken against ATIC as a result of Subcontractor’s non-compliance with this provision.
 
  1. Anti-Kickback
 
(a)        Definitions.
 
  • Kickback, as used herein, means any money, fee, commission, credit, gift, gratuity, thing of value, or compensation of any kind, which is provided, directly or indirectly, to ATIC, the ICTEC project office or any of its employees, the Subcontractor or Subcontractor employees, or vendors in any way related to the performance or subsequent activities of this subcontract, for the purpose of improperly obtaining or rewarding favorable treatment in connection with this subcontract.
  • Person, as used in this article, means a corporation, partnership, business association of any kind, trust, joint-stock company, or individual.
  • Subcontractor employee, as used in this article, means any officer, partner, employee, or agent of the Subcontractor.     
 
(b)        The Subcontractor and its employees, whether directly or indirectly engaged in the performance of this subcontract, agree to abide by the terms of The United States Anti-Kickback Act of 1986, which prohibits any person from providing or attempting to provide any kickback; soliciting, accepting, or attempting to accept any kickback; or including, directly or indirectly, the amount of any kickback in the contract price charged by the Subcontractor to ATIC.
 
When the Subcontractor has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation described in paragraph (b) of this provision may have occurred, the Subcontractor shall promptly report in writing the possible violation. Such reports shall be made to ATIC, who shall forward the report to the USAID Inspector General for investigation, as required.
 
The Subcontractor agrees to cooperate fully with any United States Government agency investigating a possible violation described in paragraph (b) of this article.
 
ATIC may offset the amount of the kickback against any monies owed by ATIC under this fixed price subcontract or order the monies withheld from future payments due the Subcontractor.
 
The Subcontractor agrees to include the substance of this article in any contract it may issue under this subcontract.
 
  1. Terrorist Financing Prohibition
 
The Subcontractor (including its employees, consultants, and agents) by entering into this subcontract certifies that it does not engage, support or finance individuals and/or organizations associated with terrorism. The Subcontractor is reminded that U.S. Executive Orders and U.S. law prohibits transactions with, and the provision of resources and support to, individuals and organizations associated with terrorism. A list of entities and individuals subject to restrictions, prohibitions and sanctions can be found at the web site of the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), at http://treasury.gov/ofac. It is the legal responsibility of the Subcontractor to ensure compliance with the Executive Order 13224 and other U.S. laws prohibiting terrorist financing. This provision must be included in all subcontracts or subawards issued under this subcontract.
 
  1. Eligibility of Subcontractors
 
In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Clause 52.209-6, “Protecting the Government’s Interest When Subcontracting with Contractors Debarred, Suspended, or Proposed for Debarment,” (SEP 2006), no commodities, software, goods, materials, or services shall be eligible for USAID financing or reimbursement under this subcontract if provided by a subcontractor or supplier (or a subcontractors’ or suppliers’ principle) that is debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment by USAID or the USG. This applies to the Subcontractor and the Subcontractor’s subcontractors and suppliers as well.
 
  1. Compliance with Applicable Laws and Standards
 
The Subcontractor shall perform all work, and comply in all respects, with applicable laws, ordinances, codes, regulations, and other authoritative rules of the United States and Moldova and its political subdivisions and with the standards of relevant licensing boards and professional associations. The Subcontractor shall also comply with the applicable USAID regulations governing this subcontract, which are incorporated by reference into this subcontract, and appear in Article 35, Clauses Incorporated by Reference.
 
 
  1. Indemnity and Subcontractor Waiver of Benefits
 
  1. The Subcontractor waives any additional benefits and agrees to indemnify and save harmless ATIC, USAID, their officers, directors, agents, and employees from and against any and all claims and liability, loss, expenses, suits, damages, judgments, demands, and costs (including reasonable legal and professional fees and expenses) arising out of:
(1)   the acts or omissions of Subcontractor, its employees, officers, directors, agents or its subcontractors;
(2)   injury or death to persons, including officers, directors, employees, agents and subcontractors of Subcontractor, or loss of or damage to property, or fines and penalties which may result, in whole or in part, by reason of the buying, selling, distribution, or use of any of the goods or services purchased or provided under this Subcontract except to the extent that such damage is due to the negligence of ATIC;
(3)   the infringement or violation of any patent, copyright, trademark, service mark, trade secret, or other proprietary interest of any third party resulting from ATIC use, distribution, sale, sublicensing, or possession of the goods (including software and all forms of written materials) or services purchased or provided, as authorized hereunder, or from the use or possession of said goods or services by ATIC, USAID, as authorized hereunder; or false claims submitted by Subcontractor or its subcontractors under this Subcontract or as a result of a Subcontractor misrepresentation of fact or fraud by Subcontractor.
 
  1. Subcontractor shall defend and settle at its sole expense all suits or proceedings arising out of the foregoing, provided that Subcontractor has notice or is given prompt written notice of such claim or suit and, further, that Subcontractor shall be given necessary information, reasonable assistance and the authority to defend such claim or suit. Subcontractor shall not settle, compromise or discharge any pending or threatened suit, claim or litigation, arising out of, based upon, or in any way related to the subject matter of this subcontract and to which ATIC is or may reasonably be expected to be a party, unless and until Subcontractor has obtained a written agreement, approved by ATIC (which shall not be unreasonably withheld) and executed by each party to such proposed settlement, compromise or discharge, releasing ATIC from any and all liability.
 
  1. If any of the goods or services provided by Subcontractor hereunder, including without limitation software and all forms of written materials, become the subject of a claim of infringement or violation of a third party's intellectual property, privacy and/or proprietary rights, Subcontractor shall, at its own expense, use its best efforts—
(1)   to procure for ATIC the right to continue use and, if authorized under this Subcontract, distribution of the infringing goods or services or,
(2)   to modify the goods or services to make them non-infringing, or to replace them with equivalent, non-infringing counterparts. 
 
If none of the above-mentioned can be successfully implemented, then Subcontractor shall refund to ATIC all monies paid to the Subcontractor for the infringing goods and services.
 
  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. Changes
 
In accordance with FAR Clause 52.243-1 “Changes—Fixed-Price” (AUG 1987), ATIC may at any time, by written order, and without notice to the sureties, if any, make changes within the general scope of this subcontract in the services to be performed.
 
If any such change(s) causes an increase or a decrease in the cost, or the time required for the performance, or any part of the work under the subcontract, an equitable adjustment shall be made in the subcontract price or delivery schedule, or both, and the subcontract shall be modified in writing accordingly. Any claim by the Subcontractor for adjustment under this subcontract must be asserted within 30 (thirty) days from the date of receipt by the Subcontractor of the modification or change.
 
  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 accordance with FAR Clause 52.249-1, Termination for Convenience of the Government (Fixed Price) (Short Form) (April 1984), which is incorporated by reference in Article 35 herein.
 
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 to the Subcontractor in accordance with the incorporated FAR Clause 52.249-8, Default (Fixed-Price Supply and Service).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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. ICTEC-2020-005
 
 
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):                                                     



Section 4: Offeror’s Technical Summary Sheet                                                       
 
The following information must be completed and submitted in the Technical Volume:
 
I.          Name of Offeror:         
            Tax ID No.:
DUNS No:
Address:         
Telephone/Fax No.:
 
II.         Is the Offeror an official dealer for the commodities offered?   ____yes    _____no
 
III.        International warranty on all commodities?                                   ____yes    _____no
 
Copy of warranty terms/conditions included?                     ____yes    _____no
 
How many years for the warranty?                                                     _______ years
 
III.        Authorized agent(s) in Republic of Moldova for service, warranty, etc.:
 
A. Name(s):
B. Address(s):
C. Telephone No.(s):               Fax No.(s):
D.  Contact:
 
IV.       Delivery time
 
Deliverable Number
Deliverable Name
Delivery Schedule
1
 
 
2
 
 
3
 
 
4
 
 
5
 
 
etc.
 
 
 
 (NOTE: Delivery data must be honest, accurate, and upheld in any resulting subcontract.)
 
 
                                                                      
Company Name
 
                                                                      
Name and title of authorized representative
 
                                                                      
Signature
 
                                                                      
Date
 
 



Section 5: Required Certifications                                                                          
 
The following certifications must be completed and submitted in the Technical Volume:

Section 5-1: Certificate of Independent Price Determination
 
Certificate of Independent Price Determination
 
_________________________(hereinafter called the "offeror")
(Name of Offeror)
 
(a) The offeror certifies that—
(1) The prices in this offer have been arrived at independently, without, for the purpose of restricting competition, any consultation, communication, or agreement with any other offeror or competitor relating to— (i) Those prices;
(ii) The intention to submit an offer; or
(iii) The methods or factors used to calculate the prices offered.
(2) The prices in this offer have not been and will not be knowingly disclosed by the offeror, directly or indirectly, to any other offeror or competitor before bid opening (in the case of a sealed bid solicitation) or contract award (in the case of a negotiated solicitation) unless otherwise required by law; and
(3) No attempt has been made or will be made by the offeror to induce any other concern to submit or not to submit an offer for the purpose of restricting competition.
 
(b) Each signature on the offer is considered to be a certification by the signatory that the signatory—
(1) Is the person in the offeror’s organization responsible for determining the prices being offered in this bid or proposal, and that the signatory has not participated and will not participate in any action contrary to paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this provision; or
(2)(i) Has been authorized, in writing, to act as agent for the following principals in certifying that those principals have not participated, and will not participate in any action contrary to paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this provision ____________________ [insert full name of person(s) in the offeror’s organization responsible for determining the prices offered in this bid or proposal, and the title of his or her position in the offeror’s organization];
(ii) As an authorized agent, does certify that the principals named in subdivision (b)(2)(i) of this provision have not participated, and will not participate, in any action contrary to paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this provision; and
(iii) As an agent, has not personally participated, and will not participate, in any action contrary to paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this provision.
 
(c) If the offeror deletes or modifies paragraph (a)(2) of this provision, the offeror must furnish with its offer a signed statement setting forth in detail the circumstances of the disclosure.
 
 
Company Name:                                                                                                                                 
 
By (Signature): ___________________ Title: _____________________
 
Printed Name: ____________________ Date: _____________________
 



Section 5-2: Certification Regarding Responsibility Matters
 
Certification Regarding Responsibility Matters
 
(a) (1) The Offeror certifies, to the best of its knowledge and belief, that -
 
(i) The Offeror and/or any of its Principals -
 
Annex 1: Detailed Specifications and Requirements                                                                                                                       
 
Background:
Startup Moldova intents to boost economic growth in Moldova, by providing employment
through innovation, increasing the use of ICT and digital, support cross-sector collaboration and
retain or create new jobs that are less likely to be outsourced.
 
Startup Moldova ensures infrastructure and programs that are in place to support digitalization and startup mindset to create a high standard of living for all. 
 
Main focus:
       offer an insight into the startup ecosystem of Moldova
       provide startups with funding opportunities
       offer support, legal and fiscal information to startups and investors
       give useful resources
       link the Moldova’s Startup Ecosystem with global opportunities (startup competitions, accelerators, funding organizations, etc.)
 
Tekwill project will serve as a facilitator in attracting and channeling other’s resources, creating connections, financing programs that can build the capacity of attracting seed funding to the startups. It will not act as a seed fund and will not benefit from any equity in the startups. The team will assist to attract seed funding, thus provide a whole screening and necessary specter of activities by need: education, business, marketing, tech, financial consulting, mentorship, acceleration program (3-6 months program with international expertise based on previous track record of the team), connection to international markets, connection to investors, due diligence.
 
Overall objectives:
Objectives:
 
Objective 1.: Boost non-tech industries assimilation of technological innovation and support cross industry collaboration based on vertical synergies such as FinTech, WineTech, AgTech, MedTech, Lifestyle, Data sciences, IoT, e-Commerce.
 
Actions:
       Creation demand for technological improvement in non-it industries such as Agriculture, Medicine, Transportation, Infrastructure, but not limited to.
       Match real-time industry challenges with entrepreneurial tech teams. 
       Create a pool of 10 high level experts and mentors to support the startups.
       Assist with core non Tech activities to match the startup needs with Marketing, MVP and early stage risky areas to support startup ideas test and validation.
       Medium and long term programs, with two phase challenge approaches: Phase 1 Proof of Concept awarded to several participants, Phase 2 Prototype development awarded to 1 or 2 high potential participants.
       Close the gap in technology in most needed areas applying cross sector collaboration
 
 
Objective 2: Supporting ecosystems’ talent pools  
       Considering years and resources spent building a startup-experienced talent pool, it is important to preserve it. This includes both forming and developing a local talent pool and attracting foreign talent.
       We will address talent gap by reconversion mechanisms and entrepreneurial education opportunities
 
Actions:
Provide entrepreneurial education
Provide digital literacy and entrepreneurial education for non IT
Digital transformation for non Its
Bring in real-life problems into entrepreneurial education
 
Objective 3. Build ecosystem capacity
Tekwill will serve as a facilitator to bring all stakeholders together, map ecosystem players and support entrepreneurial innovation.
 
Actions:
Implement a easy to see and to use MAP of entire ecosystem (Map)
Structure an ecosystem calendar of activities, programs and initiatives (Calendar)
Update regularly with news, opportunities and proposals (Newsletter)
 
Objective 4. Support disruptive startups and connect them to international markets.
 
Actions:
Develop a matching system of connections between startups and other startups, experts and investors
Ensure a startup club to exchange experiences and contacts
International exposure
 
Objective 5. Create seed funding opportunities
       Provide extensive support for entrepreneurs to start and pilot their businesses
       Encourage collaborative models and provide financing tools in this sense.
Actions:
Provide funding towards entrepreneurs who innovate to support local businesses
Provide funding towards entrepreneurs that develop ideas with global potential
Provide funding opportunities for cross industry collaboration activities
 
Assignment:
 
Responsible companies/individuals are invited to provide PR and communication services for one year term assignment of the Tekwill project and provide support to the following categories:
 
 
A. CREATION THE STRATEGY OF THE COMMUNICATION PLAN
1. Define the objectives in communicating with the audience and the expected results
2. Defining communication tools and channels
3. Identification of recommended communication tools
4. Establishing performance indicators
5. Propose suitable actions to be able to reach awareness on the project
6. Define a social media strategy
7.. Develop conclusions and recommendations
8.. Development of the calendar of activities
9. Assist with social media materials and marketing campaign (as a separate product) based on the background and possibility of the company to do so.
 
B. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN AND DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNICATION INSTRUMENTS
1. Implementation of the proposed action plan and activities (monthly)
2. Integration of the calendar of activities in the communication plan
3. Management of the communication activities based monthly
 
The selected companies should take into consideration the recognition of the main stakeholders (namely USAID and Sweden in this process), as well as approach targeted communication of the main partners/counterparts/ emphasizing the project outcomes and outreach. The project team will provide the selected company with the Branding/Communication internal documentation to be integrated into the strategic communication plan.
 
Strategic plan Deliverables:
·        Presentation of the methodology. Detailed framework/design, implementation plan and data collection tools
·        Communication plan and methodology to reach the plan
·        Full .doc, .docx report with annexes in English (and Romanian)
·        Presentation to the team members
·        Other that may be required.
 
Monthly Assistance expected deliverables will include:
 
·        Development, continuous update and implementation of the Communication and PR plan in order to achieve the set communication targets (PR activity, local media coverage to include interviews and appearances, concepts for press events, etc)
·        Development of the communication materials (press releases, announcements, articles, press invitations and any other required PR materials);
·        Development and publication in the local mass media of success stories to reflect and document the progresses reached within the project;
·        Press event organization, including media relations before, during and after the press events;
·        Media monitoring and reporting;
·        Planning and providing support for the participation of Project representatives in interviews, TV and radio shows etc (preparing the information for the press and the possible questions, preparing the messages for the speakers etc);
·        Executing targeted public relations campaigns to generate feature articles, event listings, and related publicity for Project activities;
·        Development of social media campaigns to be aligned with the general communication for the Project.
 
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 key people working on the assignment
·        Technical approach to complete the assignment
·        Potential entry points/questionnaires to complete the assignment
 
 
Best candidates should demonstrate:
·        Prior experience in communication, prior IT projects or collaborations will be considered a plus, prior assistance to donor driven projects will be considered an advantage
·        Good understanding of the IT ecosystem and educational IT initiatives in the country
·        Relevant international expertise will be considered a plus
·        Fluency in all three 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)