REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST: Consultancy services for evaluation of project proposals under Matching Grants program.

საქართველოს ინოვაციებისა და ტექნოლოგიების სააგენტო აცხადებს მოწვევას ინტერესთა გამოხატვაზე "ეროვნული ინოვაციების ეკოსისტემის" პროექტის „თანადაფინანსების გრანტების პროგრამის ფარგლებში პროექტების განაცხადების შეფასების საკონსულტაციო სერვისისათვის“ კომპანიის შერჩევაზე.

განცხადების შემოტანის ბოლო ვადაა: 17 დეკემბერი 2018

იხილეთ განცხადების სრული ტექსტი ინგლისურ ენაზე.

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

(CONSULTING SERVICES – FIRMS SELECTION)

GEORGIA

National Innovation Ecosystem Project (GENIE) – P152441

Loan # IBRD-8595-GE

Consultancy services for evaluation of project proposals under Matching Grants program.

Reference Number. GE-GITA-83806-CS-QCBS

The Government of Georgia has secured support from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (hereinafter ‘the World Bank’) for a National Innovation Ecosystem (GENIE) Project in the amount of USD 40 million. The main objective of the project is to (a) support the growth of innovative micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Georgia and their participation in the digital economy; and (b) make a sustainable contribution towards enhancing Georgia’s national innovation ecosystem.

The Project includes the following three components:

Component 1: Innovation Infrastructure, consisting of (a) the development of a network of Regional Innovation Hubs (RIHs) and Innovation Centers (ICs) in selected cities and towns (b) designing a Broadband-for-Development (BfD) program to increase the use of broadband internet services and information technology by eligible households and eligible MSMEs, with a focus on rural areas, inter alia, by providing BfD Payments and related training.

Component 2: Innovation Services. This component will deliver services, many in coordination with the ICs and RIHs, tailored to Project beneficiaries at various stages/levels of the innovation ecosystem. The component will carry out outreach and communication activities, and provide training and technical assistance in support of (a) building the innovation community, and organizing and carrying out innovation competitions; (b) carrying out periodic skill need assessments of firms and developing skillsets of individuals inevitable to flourish in the digital economy; and (c) developing the innovation capacity of individuals and firms.

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 the matching grants program; (b) provision of technical assistance to eligible MSMEs to prepare and implement sub-projects (with the use of matching grants); (c) provision of technical assistance and national / international outreach that would facilitate private sector participation in co-financing of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) benefitting from matching grants; and (c) provision of technical assistance to stimulate alternative forms of innovation financing and investment in the digital economy.

Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency (GITA) under the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia (MoESD). GITA is responsible for all project implementation. 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 Consulting Company is expected to provide technical assistance to GITA in the implementation of the Innovation Matching Grants (IMG) program. Specifically, it will manage the evaluation process of IMG project applications obtained from GITA (GITA will collect applications and perform initial evaluation (i.e. desk review) including a check against eligibility as well as environmental, social and administrative compliance).

Scope of Work

The assignment will be composed of the following activities:

a. Manage evaluation of applications and make recommendations for funding.

Investment decisions will be made on a competitive basis, and grantees will be announced once per quarter (four times per year). The program is expected to start in February, 2019.

The following evaluation process is expected.

* Peer-review evaluation. It is proposed that each application that passes desk review conducted by GITA goes through peer-review evaluation, although the Consulting Company may propose an alternate methodology for GITA’s consideration. At the peer review stage, project applications shall be assessed individually by at least two and unbiased international peer-reviewers with skills and expertise from the scientific or business field in line with proposal assigned for evaluation. After peer review, project applications will continue to the final stage of evaluation by the Investment Committee.

* Final evaluation by the Investment Committee (IC). IC shall be composed of three unbiased international experts with prominent expertise in innovation, financing and business. The IC will review the applications and the evaluation done by peer reviewers. Based on these reviews, IC may invite the applicants for an interview. The interview will be held via video-conference. IC members will make an investment decision.

The final decision should take into consideration the accuracy of the proposed project as well as the applicant’s financial and managerial capacities for project implementation.

This methodology may be modified in agreement with GITA, as long as the following essential elements are included: (i) Involvement of international experts from the field of project application; (ii) Evaluation of projects according to at least five categories: innovation level, competitiveness, sustainability, project management and financial capacity.

b. Prepare a written evaluation report for every project application summarizing the entire evaluation process and its results pointing out whether a given application is recommended for funding or not.

c. For applications recommended for funding: (i) identify key performance indicators (KPIs, financial and non-financial) recommended for project monitoring; and (ii) indicate conditions (if any) to grant deployment (and/or its tranches).

d. Provide GITA with feedback on IMG Program Manual and its potential enhancement.

The evaluation of each application should not take more than 45 calendar days. The entire evaluation process shall be managed through the Matching Grants Portal (https://grants.gov.ge)

Duration of assignment is 24 (Twenty-four) months and it is expected to commence in February, 2019.

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

* Consultant’s track record (successfully completed assignments) in conducting in-depth evaluation process of innovative international programs/projects leading to investment decisions;

* Experience in emerging markets, and specifically the Caucasus region. Such knowledge can be demonstrated e.g. though company’s investment portfolio, provision of advisory services to the business sector in Georgia or in the region etc.

Consultants shall also provide 3 references who can be contacted regarding firm’s experience.

Note: the GITA reserves it’s right to request additional evidence documentation of performed services, certificates of satisfaction issued by the employers, 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).

Experience in the projects relevant to the assignment should be submitted in the Form No: 1 given on the following link: https://grants.gov.ge/en/download/211ba0a2a230575901553827dae3f4893a542d7fd849d6950608f120a44e020b1c15b7426673f8fc

A Consultant will be selected in accordance with Quality and Cost Based Selection (QCBS) 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. 7, Innovation str. 0114, TechPark, Okrokana, Tbilisi, Georgia. Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency, Mr. Rati Gvelesiani, Procurement Consultant, Cell: +995 591016716.

For more details regarding assignment, please refer to Terms of Reference on the link below: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZV-4F1Q0dWI4G4WaFx_j44smpzFhdKVd

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 December 17, 2018, at 14:00 (Georgia local time, GMT +4).

Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency

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

Phone: +995 591016716 E-mail to: genie@gita.gov.ge

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