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Jordan: Start-up Financing for the Establishment of the National Center for Innovation (NCI) and Transition to Full Operational Fu

 | Published January 20, 2017  -  Deadline February 10, 2017

Project Description:

Jordan has an active but highly complex and fragmented innovation ecosystem with a multitude of public and private stakeholders, which suffers from a lack of effective stakeholder coordination, inadequate collection and analysis of information, unclear channels and linkages, limited cooperation and inefficient financial management.

To overcome this challenge, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the 'EBRD' or the 'Bank'), with funding from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Transition Fund ('Donor'), is assisting the Jordanian Government ('GoJ') - via the Higher Council for Science and Technology ('the Client' or 'HCST') - to strengthen the country's innovation ecosystem with 'Jordan: Start-up Financing for the Establishment of the National Centre for Innovation ('NCI') and Transition to Full Operational Functionality” project (the 'Project').

By becoming a national hub for all matters related to innovation, both public and private, the NCI's key role will be to advise the GoJ on further enhancing its policies and programmes fostering an innovation-based economy through better coordination, information and monitoring of all innovation related activities. Specifically, the NCI is expected to:

1. help ensure that national and international administrative, financial and technical services that nurture and support innovation (government, private sector and IFI initiatives etc.), are complementary rather than duplicative and help eliminate inefficiencies in funding and support to the private sector;
2. create economies of scale in bringing together and effectively coordinating stakeholder activities (government ministries and agencies, donor-funded programmes, scientific and research bodies, universities, regional and local incubators, training providers, technology-related programmes, start-ups and entrepreneurs);
3. improve the direct engagement between the private sector and public sector innovation stakeholders, such as businesses, industrial companies, start-ups, financiers, educational institutions and research centres;
4. collect innovation related information and provide vital national statistics on the impact of innovation initiatives for monitoring progress and articulating areas of success and those that need improvement, enabling the GoJ to further assess measures for enhancing the development of an innovation based society.

The Centre will act as the technical implementing arm of the already existing National Council on Competitiveness and Innovation which is chaired by the Prime Minister.

To further develop and articulate the NCI's overall objective, main tasks, detailed responsibilities, accountabilities, and procedures, as well as staff requirements and any necessary training needs, the Client has contracted a Consultant to carry out a 'Mapping Study' based on international best practices and within the context of the Jordanian innovation landscape.

This Mapping Study further clarified that NCI's operations will foster the fulfilment of the following strategic objectives:

• Operational objective: One of the key recommendations of the mapping study is to run NCI services on an IT Platform. The IT platform will be at the heart of the NCI and the base for a majority of the interventions. It will be the main catalyst that turns functions into services by digitizing and optimizing coordination and oversight tasks, turning them into productivity tools for their users. Moreover, the IT platform would make the work of the NCI (and the rest of Jordan’s innovation stakeholders) easier by automating things like matchmaking and reporting. NCI platform will be the single point for all innovation activities in Jordan, and will be used by stakeholders continuously to perform tasks per their respective mandates.

• Financial objective: The NCI will price its services and products competitively, driving value for stakeholders while ensuring its own sustainability.

• Market objective: The NCI will be the market maker for a Jordan Innovation marketplace, where stakeholders can connect, publicize and be rewarded.

• Knowledge and Learning objective: The NCI Staff and its knowledge base will offer stakeholders an array of resources and customer assistance indispensable for their innovation planning and execution.

Assignment Description

Following the completion of the Mapping Study, HCST now intends to engage a consulting firm (the 'Consultant') for the next two years (2017-2019) to provide overall strategic and implementation support to ensure NCI has been effectively set up and becomes operational based on the recommendations of the Mapping Study (the 'Assignment').

Generally, the Consultant is expected to have achieved the following objectives by the end of the Assignment:

• NCI staff has been recruited and NCI becomes fully operational, with all relevant policies, procedures and trainings in place.
• The web-based IT platform has been designed, procured, tested, and rolled out and in use with proper maintenance plan in place.
• NCI’s marketing, awareness raising, branding and fundraising strategies are in place, relevant activities have been conducted and key stakeholders actively use the NCI services.

The Consultant shall complete the following key tasks under the three components:

1- Organizational Capacity Building by delivering a holistic set of strategic, organizational, training and capacity building activities as follows:

• Developing operational best practices, internal policies, staff incentives, internal communications guidelines.
• Undertaking Annual NCI Budget and business planning and action plans
• Setting up and designing a Monitoring and Evaluation (M and E) system for NCI with innovation metrics.
• Preparing job descriptions and position requirements, developing hiring criteria and templates for interviews and evaluations for NCI staff positions
• Drafting bi-annual reports to the NCI's Steering Committee
• Preparing policy proposals to support NCI’s Policy and Regulatory efforts
• Developing NCI's Stakeholder Strategy to identify opportunities for targeting and offering services to broad range of stakeholders including youth, women and marginalized groups.

2. Design, procurement and roll out of IT Platform by developing its specifications and overseeing the proprietary IT platform procurement process in accordance with EBRD's Procurement Policies and Rules as well as ensuring the effective roll out of the Platform. which include:

• Determining Business and Functional Requirements for Platform
• Conducting User Experience Design
• Writing Platform Content
• Undertaking IT Developer Tendering and Awarding
• Overseeing IT Platform Purchase and Development
• Overseeing IT Platform Functionality
• Overseeing the development of NCI Staff Training on IT Platform
• Testing the IT Platform and accepting handover

The development and delivery of the actual platform will be tendered separately and is not budgeted in this Assignment.

3. Formulation of marketing and fundraising strategy for the NCI for generating revenue streams from users as well as from donors and CSR and promotion activities by leveraging the NCI's public mandate, which include inter alia:

• Conducting market research
• Creating an integrated marketing & fundraising plan
• Developing NCI's branding and marketing materials
• Producing marketing collateral
• Conducting innovation marketing and one-on-one outreach to stakeholders, local and international donors

Status of Selection Process: Interested firms or groups of firms are hereby invited to submit their expressions of interest.

Assignment Start Date and Duration: The Assignment is expected to start in April 2017 and has an estimated overall duration of 24 months.

Cost Estimate for the Assignment: Maximum budget available for this Assignment is 1,099,000 USD (exclusive of VAT).

The Consultant must determine whether any indirect taxes/VAT are chargeable on the proposed services and state the basis for such. If any indirect taxes/VAT are payable, the Client will have to pay indirect taxes/VAT element to the services directly to the Consultant unless otherwise agreed.

Funding Source: It is expected that the Assignment will be funded by the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Transition Fund. Please note that selection and contracting will be subject to the availability of funding.

Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions.

Consultant Profile: Corporate Services are required. The Consultant will be a firm or a group of firms with previous project experience related to:

1. Institution building and change management for public entities, including defining mission, governance and results frameworks, structure/organisation, annual budgets, terms of reference for key units, job requirements for key staff, training need assessments etc.

2. Developing specifications for IT platforms for public entities in developing countries, preferably for innovation initiatives, good knowledge of IFI procedures and rules on public procurement and disbursement policies

3. Understanding of the innovation landscape preferably in Jordan but also the surrounding region

The Consultant’s team is expected to include key experts as follows:

Key Expert 1 - Team Leader with preferably 15 years of experience in managing large scale public sector institution building projects with IT components, preferably related to the innovation sector. Key Expert 1 is expected to be present and manage the Assignment in Jordan for two years.

Key Expert 2 – Institution Building and Change Management Expert with preferably 10 years of experience working with public entities in emerging markets, including defining mission, governance and results frameworks, structure/organisation, annual budgets, terms of reference for key units, job requirements for key staff, trainings etc.

Key Expert 3 – IT Expert preferably with 10 years of experience in designing proprietary IT Platforms in emerging market contexts which include, among others, formalizing product shortlists, drafting functional requirements and developing tender system specifications based on IFI procurement policies and in managing a team of developers.

Key Expert 4 – Marketing and Fundraising Expert, preferably with 10 years of experience in conducting market research, developing customer acquisition strategies, generating revenue streams as well as raising funds from donor and philanthropic sources.

Submission Requirements:

In order to determine the capability and experience of Consultants seeking to be selected for
this Assignment, the information submitted should include the following:
1. Company/group of firms' profile, organisation and staffing (max. 4 pages).
2. Details of previous project experience or similar assignments particularly undertaken in the last five years, including information on contract value, contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided (if different from duration) , main activities, objectives.
3. CVs of key experts who could carry out the Assignment detailing qualifications, experience in similar assignments, particularly assignments undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided, assignment budget, main activities, objectives.
4. Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link:
The above information should not exceed 25 pages excluding CVs and contact sheet.
The complete expression of interest (including CVs, Consultant Declaration and Contact Sheet) should be submitted, in English electronically through e-Selection, to reach the Bank not later than the closing date. The expression of interest shall be one file (pdf). The EBRD reserves the right to reject applications of firms submitting more than one file. Only if the permissible file size is exceeded (4MB), the Consultant may split the expression of interest into further files.
Bank Contact Person:

Sevi Simavi
Technical Co-operation
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
e-mail: (submissions should be sent through eSelection and NOT to this e-mail address)

Important Notes:

1. OHK Consultants, the consulting company that has developed the Mapping Study in Phase 1 of the Project, will be allowed to express interest in this Assignment.

2. The Client will contract the selected Consultant and has requested the EBRD to manage the selection process.

3. The EBRD will evaluate expressions of interest and establish a shortlist of up to 6 candidates.

4. The evaluation shortlisting criteria are:

a. Firms' or group of firms' with previous project experience in institution building and change management for public entities, including defining mission, governance and results frameworks, structure/organisation, annual budgets, terms of reference for key units, job requirements for key staff, training need assessments etc (20%)

b. Firms' or group of firms' with previous project experience in developing specifications for IT platforms for public entities in developing countries, preferably for innovation initiatives, according to IFI policies and procedures on public procurement and disbursement policies (20%)

c. Understanding of the innovation landscape preferably in Jordan but also the surrounding region. (20%)

d. CVs of key experts. Fluency in English essential and Arabic language skills is considered an advantage. (40%)

5. Shortlisted consultants will formally be requested to submit technical and financial proposals (RFP).

6. The TOR of the Assignment and the Mapping Study developed in Phase 1 of the Project will be made available to the invited Consultants at this RFP stage.

7. The Bank will review all technical proposals according to the criteria established and published in the RFP tender documents.

8. The Client will interview the selected Key Experts, nominated by the shortlisted firms, who meet the criteria set by the RFP. Interviews will be held in English at the Client's premises or via video link to be organised via EBRD HQ or its Resident Offices. All expenses related to attending the interviews shall be borne by the Consultant.

9. The highest-ranked Consultant based on the combined technical and financial evaluation will be determined and selected by the Bank and will be invited by the Client to negotiate the contract, subject to availability of funding.

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