infoDev (www.infodev.org), a Global Partnership Program of The World Bank, with support from UKAid’s Strategic Climate Institutions Programme (SCIP), is launching a Climate Innovation Center (CIC) in Ethiopia. The Ethiopia CIC will provide a country-driven approach to dealing with climate change and support the government of Ethiopia’s Climate Resilience Green Economy (CRGE) strategy.
As one of the first in a global network of CICs supported by infoDev’s Climate Technology Program, the Ethiopia CIC will be a high-visibility organization that will attract attention from international organizations, regional bodies, governments, investors, multi-national corporations, and others.
Each CIC provides a range of services to enable domestic industry and SMEs to pro-actively and profitably develop innovative climate technology (cleantech) solutions that meet local needs. This supports countries’ economic development, job creation and industrial competitiveness in clean technologies, the most promising sectors of the 21st century.
Description of the Opportunity
infoDev is now seeking expressions of interests (EOIs) from organizations or consortia interested in establishing and operating the Ethiopia CIC.
The CIC will be designed and operated in accordance with the business plan already established for the Center through an extensive stakeholder engagement process. The business plan should be reviewed carefully before submitting an EOI (refer to Resources section). Bidders nonetheless are not bound to the specifics of this plan and infoDev is not obligated to launch a CIC in strict adherence to this plan.
A grant award of up to USD 5.0 million will be made to support the two phases of the CIC establishment, including Phase 1: Launch (years 1 to 2) and Phase 2: Scale-Up (years 3 to 5). This funding will cover operations, programs, and implementation.
The proposed services to be provided by the CIC include:
Access to Finance
- Evaluate proposals and provide proof of concept grants (USD 10,000 – 50,000) to promising SMEs or researchers.
- Act as a liaison for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the related Seed Capital Facility that will make a mix of debt and equity investments in early-stage Ethiopian companies.
- Facilitate other sources of financing through syndicating investors, building partnerships with banks for access to debt finance.
Access to Mentoring
- Create local networks of diaspora angel investors, business mentors, and technical experts.
- Deliver training and seminars on basic business planning, financial management, professional development, and climate technology issues.
Access to Policy Support
- Establish platforms for dialogue between policy-makers, private sector and civil society to improve policy frameworks around climate, innovation, energy, private sector development, and gender equality.
- Conduct research and benchmark relevant domestic polices to determine how global best practice can be applied in Ethiopia.
Access to Market Information
- Produce market studies and case reports on climate technology sectors and opportunities at a local and regional level, with a focus on women entrepreneurs.
- Maintain a climate technology product database for producers (components, sourcing, intellectual property) and consumers (certifications, costs, user guides).
Access to Regional Partners
Create at least two regional hubs by partnering with regionally-based organizations to:
- Offer relevant training materials, events, courses and other learning opportunities.
- Promote climate innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for women
- Provide space, facilities and services for entrepreneurs and companies
Additionally, the CIC will be operationally linked (perhaps as a limited partner) to, but not responsible for, a related Seed Capital Facility that will invest in select SMEs that may obtain services from the CIC. The Seed Capital Facility will be managed separately by an independent fund manager.
In addition to the Ethiopia-focused activities described above, the CIC will also be eligible for support via infoDev’s East Africa Climate Innovation Network managed in coordination with the Kenya CIC. This will include mechanisms to link CICs with other related institutions in East Africa, organizing international conferences and workshops to share best practice, producing analysis on climate technology innovation of interest to markets across the region and activities that support SMEs and other actors that are developing innovative technologies and businesses that can address climate challenges across a number of countries in East Africa.
In the first five years, the CIC is expected to provide support to up to 60 sustainable Ethiopian climate technology ventures and generate up to a projected 3,500 direct and indirect jobs.
Submitting Expressions of Interest
infoDev now invites eligible organizations (e.g. private firms, NGOs, universities, research institutes, civil society) or consortia to submit EOIs. The selected organization or consortium will be responsible for all aspects of the CIC establishment and operations including securing appropriate facilities, identifying a world-class management team, providing the services and programs described in the business plan, ensuring effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of programs, reporting to infoDev, and ensuring in all ways the long-term sustainability of the CIC.
A lead partner must be identified in the EOI and may be required to become legally registered in Ethiopia within two week after signing the contract, if not already registered there. Respondents are encouraged to consider partnerships/joint ventures with other organizations, inside and outside Ethiopia, in order to provide the best range of capabilities necessary to establish and operate the CIC.
Interested organizations or consortia must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (description of similar assignments, brochures, experience in similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills among staff, etc.). Important evaluation criteria include:
- Capabilities to build and manage complex organizations, including strong internal governance frameworks and a track record of fiduciary responsibility and accountability.
- Proven ability to attract and build a strong team of individuals for project implementation.
- Understanding of the needs of climate technology SMEs in Ethiopia or similar contexts, including experience evaluating climate technologies and incubating early-stage businesses.
- Strong local and international links with potential partners including climate technology firms, investors, technical and business experts, policy experts, and leading research and development organizations.
- Ability to leverage existing and additional sources of funding, both cash and in-kind, such as space, equipment, and staff.
- Ability to implement and maintain procurement and financial management processes and a comprehensive M&E strategy.
Based on responses to this request for EOI, a shortlist of applicants will be established and invited to submit a full technical and financial proposal based on a detailed request for proposals.
A public information session will be held on Tuesday July 3rd (location and time TBD). Please contact Precise Consult at +251 11 663 1080 or +251 912 62 66 37 to register for this event.
To respond to this request for EOI, please send the above information and a covering letter by email to Anthony Lambkin, alambkin (at) worldbank (dot) org, with a copy to info (at) infodev (dot) org, no later than 11:59 pm EST on Sunday July 29, 2012.
Please include "EOI Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center" in the subject line. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.