I. Pre-commercial procurement

1. What is pre-commercial procurement?

2. What are the benefits for procurers?

3. What are the benefits for suppliers?

4. How to ensure in practice the procurement of R&D services 'at market conditions'?
(these answers will open in a new link - Source: Cordis)

5. Is pre-commercial procurement (PCP) the same as a subsidy or grant?

6. What is the solution exploration phase?

7. Can we join the PCP only in stage 2 (prototyping) or stage 3 (testing) of the PCP?

8. How dealing with IPR?

9. The concept of price reduction?

10. How to set a price for the developments within the PCP?

11. What about the VAT?

12. How many CA will be involved in the PCP? And how fixed is the budget for PCP?

13. Can R&D from another project be used in this project?

 

II. Questions related to the tender

14. Who can apply to the PCP?

15. Can a university on its own submit an offer for the PCP?

16. Can I submit multiple offers?

17. What about consortia?

18. Do you expect the consortia to be mixed with partners across Europe?

19. Can we have contact with the procurer during the tendering procedure?

20. How do I submit my tender?

21. How will the offers be assessed?

22. What about the confidentiality of the submitted offers?

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5. Is pre-commercial procurement (PCP) the same as a subsidy or grant?
No. A subsidy is a one direction situation where enterprises receive funds for developing something. PCP: the contracting authority is buying R&D services, there is a contractual relation where both parties have obligations to fulfil.

6. What is the solution exploration phase?
This phase aims to verify the technical, economic and organisational feasability of each company's proposal against the pros and cons of potential alternative solutions. The output of this phase typically includes a technology evaluation, a first solution design, an organisational plan for stage 2 (prototyping) and a costs/benefits eveluation of the proposed solution.

7. Can we join the PCP only in stage 2 (prototyping) or stage 3 (testing) of the PCP?
No, a framework agreement will be signed with each selected company/consortium covering all three stages of the PCP, with intermediate call for bids inbetween the stages.

8. How do you deal with IPR?
Ownership of intellectual property rights generated by the tender during the project are retained by the tenderer although certain rights of usage may be applied by the group of contracting authorities including royaltyfree, non-exclusive rights to use the R&D results for internal use, the right to require contractors to issue licenses to third parties, at a fair and reasonable market conditions, as well as a call back option for contractors that do not exploit the IPR's within a given time period or use them against the public interest.

9. The concept of price reduction?
The public procurer's PCP tender documents require bidding companies to provide - in their offer for undertaking the PCP development work - a price reduction that is proportional to the expected market value of the commercialisation opportunities opened up to the company by obtaining IPR ownership rights. Before starting the evaluation of the received PCP bids, the public procurer - based on his own knowledge about the market or with the help of a financial expert in the PCP tender evaluation committee - evaluates for each individual incoming bid whether the price reduction offered in each bid is conform with market prices. A. It is a so-called "ex-ante" approach of implementing the financial compensation, meaning that the procurer feels the budgetary impact of the financial compensation on the price paid for the R&D work immediately at the start of the PCP. Practically, this can be implemented for example by asking companies to state in their PCP bid the difference between "IP-in" compared to "IP-out" prices. "IP-in" price is the company's price for undertaking the requested R&D work under PCP contract conditions, i.e. when keeping IPR ownership rights "in" the company. "IP-out" price would be the company's price for undertaking the same R&D work under exclusive development contract conditions, i.e. when all IPR rights are claimed by the procurer.

10. How to set a price for the developments within the PCP?
In determining the fair market price for your project, keep in mind that the intellectual property remains with you, but that the procurer acquires certain rights. We therefore ask you to indicate two prices:
• The price excl. VAT that you would have quoted, if IPR would be fully retained by the Authority, and you did not have the possibility to exploit developed knowledge.
• The price excl. VAT that you do quote, considering that you retain IPR and can exploit developed projectknowledge.

11. What about the VAT?
The price in your offer should be quoted in Euros, both inclusive and exclusive VAT. Depending on which CA will launch the PCP the VAT of that country will be applicable.

12. How many CA will be involved in the PCP? And how fixed is the budget for PCP?
For the moment three CA are participating in the PCP: IWT, IBZ and SDIS 13. Some other countries will be contacted. The idea is to increase the budget of the PCP.

13. Can R&D from another project be used in this project?
Yes it can, although take care that the solution is not double financed. If a part of a solution has been developed in the framework of a subsidized project, this part can be submitted in the framework of a PCP but cannot receive fundings for that part.

14. Who can apply to the PCP?
This PCP is open to all legal entities that locate a relevant portion of the R&D and operational activities related to the PCP contract in the EU member states, or a country that is associated with FP7 and that can demonstrate a route to market for their proposed solution.

15. Can a university on its own submit an offer for the PCP?
Universities can apply, although they have to be able to demonstrate how they will commercialize the developed solution. Therefore we recommend to introduce an offer with enterprises that are able to bring solutions to the market.

16. Can I submit multiple offers?
No, only as subcontractor.

17. What about consortia?
Contracts will be signed with all legal entities in the consortia. Also, tenderers may submit tenders as a consortium or identify components of the work which they wish to subcontract and may also employ specialist consultants or advisors if they believe this will increase the chances of the project being successful. Subcontractor must be stated in the tender.

18. Do you expect the consortia to be mixed with partners across Europe?
No, you are free to decide upon the members of your consortium. The creation of a consortium is not obligatory!

19. Can we have contact with the procurer during the tendering procedure?
No. An information session will be organised after the publication of the tender notice. Yo will have the possibility to ask questions at that time. The publication is foreseen in April 2014.

20. How do I submit my tender?
Information and instructions on the call will be made available on the website. The conclusions of the market consultation will be available in the first or second week of November.

21. How will the offers be assessed?
The offers will be evaluated by a Committee composed out of selected independent experts (3) and representatives of the CA (Depending on the CA involved in the PCP phase).

22. What about the confidentiality of the submitted offers?
The selected experts and members of the evalutation committee will sign a non-disclosure agreement.


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