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REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST: Peer Review Evaluation for Startup Matching Grants Applications




National Innovation Ecosystem Project (GENIE) – P152441

Loan # IBRD-8595-GE

Peer Review Evaluation for Startup Matching Grants Applications

Reference No. : GE-GITA-177174-CS-CQS



The Government of Georgia has secured support from the World Bank Group (the Bank) for the Georgia National Innovation Ecosystem (GENIE) Project in the amount of US $23.5 million. The main objective of the project is to increase innovative activities of the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and individuals in Georgia and their participation in the digital economy. The Project will enhance Georgia’s national innovation ecosystem through an integrated approach across three components, plus project implementation support.

Component 1: Innovation Infrastructure. The component will: (a) develop a network of Regional Innovation Hubs (RIH) and Community Innovation Centers (CICs) in selected cities, towns and villages of Georgia; and (b) design and pilot a Broadband-for-Development (BfD) program to support the increase in adoption and use of broadband internet services and advanced information technology by eligible households and eligible Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), with a focus on rural areas.

Component 2: Innovation Services. This component provides training and technical assistance in support of developing the digital economy skills of individuals and support of firms receiving financial support under the Innovation and Startup Matching Grants programs.

Component 3: Innovation Financing. This component supports the: (a) provision of Matching Grants, selection of eligible MSMEs for receipt of Matching Grants and supervision of Matching Grants; (b) provision of technical assistance to Eligible MSMEs to prepare and implement Sub-Projects; (c) provision of Applied Research Grants to selected scientists through the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation (the Foundation); and (d) provision of technical assistance and related costs to the Foundation for the administration of the Applied Research Grants program, as well as to GITA and Enterprise Georgia, in administering support to MSMEs.

Implementing Institutions.

The central institution responsible for coordination of the project is Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA) under the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia (MoESD). GITA is responsible for all project implementation except for the Applied Research Grants program implemented by the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation. It will coordinate the gathering and processing of the results of monitoring, reporting, fiduciary functions, and safeguard procedures in close cooperation with relevant institutions participating in the project.


The objective of assignment

The objective of this assignment is to select startups in the frame of the two rounds of the Startup Matching Grants program by providing Peer Review of each project proposal that passed through the desk review (conducted by Client);

Scope of Work

Following the objective of this assignment the Consultant shall assume the following scope of work;

Pre-evaluation of Applications

For each round of Startup Matching Grants program:

  • The Consultant is expected to evaluate the applications that passed the desk review stage. Each application shall be reviewed individually by at least two Peer Reviewers (experts).
  • The Consultant shall register the Peer Reviewers (experts) in the Matching Grants Portal also indicating the areas of their expertise. Furthermore, the Consultant shall assign the proposals through the Matching Grants Portal to the respective reviewers. Each proposal shall be simultaneously assessed at least by two peer reviewers and the third one shall be involved if field expert assistance is needed, or Peer Reviewers do not reach agreement on consensus scores and comments;
  • The Consultant shall evaluate the proposals under Matching Grants Program and ensure that each Peer Reviewer performs the following activities:
    1. Provide a written review (using Pre-Evaluation Grid through Grants Portal) of each project proposal based on the evaluation criteria and scoring instructions defined in the Startup Matching Grants Manual;
    2. If necessary, Peer Reviewers shall arrange up to 15 minutes interview (online) with Applicant.
    3. Provide clear comments and justifications explaining reasoning behind the score assigned to each criterion included in the Evaluation Grid;
    4. If required, draft clarifications and recommendations for each assessed proposal, for the consideration of GITA and the Independent Investment Committee;
    5. Provide explanations and answers to the questions and comments raised by GITA and the Independent Investment Committee;
    6. Draw the list of pre-selected applications as of peer review

Consultant is responsible that each peer reviewer preserves the highest standards of integrity and therefore shall sign the Statement of Impartiality and Confidentiality.

The entire evaluation process shall be managed through the Matching Grants Portal (

Location, Timeframe and Duration

Duration of assignment is seven months and it is expected to commence in August, 2020. Evaluation of applications is expected to take 14 calendar days for each call. Tentative timeline for commencement of the first peer review process is mid-August 2020 and January/February 2021 for the second.

Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency (GITA) now invites eligible consulting firms ("Consultants") to express the interest in providing the Services. Interested Consultants should provide information demonstrating that they have the required qualifications and relevant experience to perform the Services. The shortlisting criteria are:

  • At least 7 years of experience in selecting, evaluating and investing in Seed and Pre-seed stage technology or innovation-based start-ups;
  • Experience in both highly developed ecosystems as well as in underdeveloped ecosystems, similar to Georgia;
  • Experience of working with top level accelerators/seed funds/angel clubs/VC firms.

Note: the GITA reserves it’s right to verify submitted references and use obtained information for evaluation purposes.


The attention of interested Consultants is drawn to paragraph 1.9 of the World Bank's Guidelines: Selection and Employment of Consultants under IBRD Loans and IDA Credits & Grants by World Bank Borrowers, January 2011, revised July 2014 ("Consultant Guidelines"), setting forth the World Bank's policy on conflict of interest.

Consultants may associate with other firms. (Please take into account that form of association acceptable for the World Bank is either sub-consultancy or Joint-Venture and submission must clearly indicate the nature of the association. The experience of sub-consultants will not be taken into account while evaluating the corporate experience of the consultant. Maximum number of JV members is 3).

Experience in the projects relevant to the assignment should be submitted in the Form No: 1 given on the following link:


Consultant will be selected in accordance with the Consultants’ Qualifications Selection (CQS) method set out in Section III of the Guidelines: Selection and Employment of Consultants under IBRD Loans and IDA Credits & Grants by World Bank Borrowers, January 2011, revised July 2014.


Further information can be obtained at the address below during office hours from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency. E-mail:

Expressions of interest shall be submitted in English in a written form to the address below (in person, by mail, or by e-mail) by June 24, 2020, 09:00 am (GMT +4).


Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency

7, Innovation str. 0114, TechPark, Okrokana, Tbilisi, Georgia

Cell: +995 591016716

E-mail to:

Please indicate the Assignment’s Reference Number in the email subject line