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Tender: European Social Fund to Support Key Skills and Competencies in Defence

Belgium, 28 April 2016


The services to be provided under this contract are expected to facilitate and to streamline access to ESIF for selected key skills and competences related projects coming from relevant defence-related stakeholders (industry, Research and Technology Organisations - RTOs, academia, etc.). In order to ensure consistency in the approach with Organisation previous work on the subject, the Contractor will be requested during the performance of the Contract to use as a basis the findings of the 2014 Organisation study on Key Skills and Competences (the full-text of this study will be available to the successful tenderer).

Detailed Requirements


Task A.i: Develop a procedure to assist any potential project holder (government, industry, universities, research institutes, etc.) to access ESIF for KSC-related projects.

In this respect, the contractor shall provide Organisation with all envisaged steps and respective documentation, including: - development of an assessment methodology encompassing criteria related to ESF eligibility rules in order to identify the most eligible KSC-related projects (to be validated by Organisation). The development of the assessment methodology shall take into account the findings of the above mentioned Organisation Key Skills and Competences Study. This methodology shall be approved by Organisation before it is included in the below mentioned Organisation request for KSC projects;

  • provision of any information on ESF Operational Programmes (OPs) and pertinent Managing Authorities (MAs);

  • making available to Organisation a network of local ESIF experts in all Organisation participating Member States, whenever required;

  • organisation of and/or participation in meetings in order to help Organisation to develop the necessary network and information on issues related to the scope of the contract. Liaison with Managing Authorities (MAs), MoDs and EC (as applicable) is considered as key factor for success;

  • other actions supporting the above.

Task A.ii: Organise and conduct an in-house training session for relevant Organisation policy/project officers (POs).

The main objective of this training session at Organisation premises is to make Organisation Officers familiar with:

  • ESIF processes that could potentially support KSC for the defence sector,

  • the assessment methodology that the contractor will use to select the five pilot KSCrelated projects to be suported (see below tasks B.ii and B.iii) in order to maximize their chance to access ESIF.

This training session is expected to have up to 20 participants and it is expected to last one day.

Task A.iii: Organise a coaching session at Organisation premises with representatives of Ministries of Defence.

The objective of this coaching session is to interact with MoDs from 27 Organisation participating Member States (pMS) in order to raise awareness, transfer know-how on how ESIF can support KSC for the defence sector and build their capacity to stimulate, trace and identify pertinent KSC projects. This coaching session is expected to have up to 30 participants and it is expected to last one day. 
With regard to the above services and subject to Organisation approval and validation, the contractor will:

  • take all the preparatory actions required to perform the above activities, as directed by Organisation;

  • prepare and provide all required materials (including information and documentation to all stakeholders);

  • after the end of each of the above activities A.i, A.ii and A.iii, submit in 2 weeks a complete report on results/conclusions, including among others the methodology, processes, lessons learnt, outcome, qualitative and quantitative results, proposals for action, mailing list of all participants, etc.

In addition and particularly in respect of tasks A.ii and A.iii, it will:

  • develop the agenda of any session, as well as prepare the related invitation and support Organisation to identify any relevant speaker (other than the contractor itself);

  • prepare/print/produce presentations/slides/speeches/briefings/case studies, etc. related to the activities, tailored to the specific needs of each activity;

  • conduct both the above mentioned sessions with at least 2 experts to be present in the seminar, one of them to be the project leader from the Contractor’s side; 


Task B.i. Support Organisation in launching a request for KSC projects

Support Organisation in launching a request for KSC projects to pMS’ MoDs to stimulate, trace and preselect maximum five (5) KSC related projects (based on the below mentioned project-factsheet model) per Organisation pMS – hence, a maximum of 135 projects - and to forward these preselected project proposals to Organisation for the contractor assessment and Organisation final selection of projects to support. In this respect, the contractor will provide Organisation with all the necessary support and documentation for Organisation to invite potential project holders to submit proposals - through their MoDs - for assessment against Organisation priorities (identified according to the abovementioned Organisation study on Key Skills and Competences). The amount of projects pre-selected at each pMS level (i.e., five per pMS) and sent Organisation for contractor assessment may be increased only in a case-by-case basis and with previous written agreement with the contractor.

Among required services, the contractor shall provide Organisation at least with the following:

  • text of the request for projects to be distributed by Organisation to MoDs, including an appropriate project-fact-sheet model (up to 10 pages). MoDs will be in charge of forwarding them to potential project holders;

  • oral and written clarifications to Organisation, MoDs, project holders, whenever needed;

  • making available to Organisation the existing contractor’s network of local expertise;

  • organisation and/or participation in meetings and call/videoconferences related to the scope of the contract in order to help Organisation interactions with any potential related stakeholder, e.g, MAs, MoDs, EC, Project Holders (PHs);

  • any action supporting and consequent to the services above and below described;

Task B.ii. Identify and select from a pool of national projects

Identify and propose the selection, from the pool of above mentioned maximum 135 KSCrelated projects nationally sent Organisation by pMS’ MoDs (maximum 5 per pMS), of five (5) best projects to benefit (free of charge for PHs) from the technical assistance provided by the contractor through Organisation in order to maximise their chances to access the ESF. To this end the contractor shall in principle:

  • conduct on its own the whole assessment process of all submitted proposals, based on the methodology produced under A.i. Organisation keeps the right to be involved in the process of assessment;

  • identify the most eligible proposals. The final outcome of the assessment will be approved by Organisation;

  • take any action required in order to fully clarify selected project proposals with a view to safeguarding high quality of the assessment results;

  • produce a complete report – within 2 weeks after the end of the assessment process

  • describing the process and criteria followed, including an assessment per project and the reasons for its ranking, by particularly illustrating the potential of its ESIF eligibility. If requested by Organisation, contractor should be ready to provide a detailed report on a specific project assessment up to the complete list of candidates;

  • clarify any question Organisation might have with regard to the assessment in view of Organisation ultimately selecting the five (5) projects awarded to obtain free-of-charge technical support from the contractor. 

Task B.iii. Develop application folders for each of the five selected KSC-related projects, to be submitted in response of the first suitable call for proposal issued by a relevant ESIF Managing Authority

Provide support to project holders throughout the whole process of developing application folders for the Organisation five (5) selected projects in order to both ensure as much as possible their eventual ESIF eligibility and maximise their chance to get funded. The contractor shall also assist the submission of the application folders to the competent ESIF Managing Authorities (MAs) to obtain funding until the outcome of the assessment by the MA is issued. In this respect, the main services required are as follows:

  • contact and interact with the Project Holders (PHs) of the five selected projects to be supported, in order to take all the preparatory/analysis actions required, advise them properly and finally assist drafting an admissible application to be submitted to the pertinent MA following the first appropriate MA procedure/call, within the set deadline. Such an analysis will include, among others, the assessment of the relevant Operational Programmes (OPs). The contractor shall be ready to provide support at the location where the project is developed with local experts, in native language if required;

  • any other action required in order to fully clarify and support each of the five selected projects, with a view to ensuring their high quality and support their eligibility and approval for ESIF co-funding;

  • during the process of the application development, organise meetings/teleconferences or participate in meetings in Brussels or on the spot in the place where the project is located/developed, as called by Organisation / Member States / PHs in order to better prepare/support the project application;

  • support the PHs even after submitting the application and up-until the end of the assessment process by the MA, in order to provide clarification whenever the MA requests.


Submission Deadline: 6 July 2016

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