The procurement will take the form of a pre-commercial procurement (PCP) under which R&D service contracts will be awarded to a number of R&D providers in parallel in a phased approach. Each selected operator will be awarded a framework agreement that covers 3 R&D phases (described below). After each phase, intermediate evaluations will be carried out to progressively select the best of the competing solutions. The contractors with the best-value-for-money solutions will be offered a specific contract for the next phase.
• Phase A: Solution design:
This phase is a feasibility study of the selected technologies and proposals, which aims to verify the technical, economic and organisational feasibility of each company’s offer. The expected output from participating companies is a report describing the results of the feasibility study.
The total budget for theR&D contracts in this phase is EUR 321 311 475 (excluding VAT) and the maximum budget per R&D contract is EUR 40 169 934 (excluded VAT). Should there is any leftover from this phase it will be transferred to the next one. From this sum at least 8 contracts will be awarded. This phase will last for 5.5 months.
• Phase B: Prototype development:
The purpose of this phase is to develop the most promising ideas, shown in Phase A, into well-defined prototypes. The selection process for Phase B is based on the Phase A report and an application process, which will outline the company’s plans for Phase B.
Selected companies will each develop a prototype based on the results of their feasibility study. The aim is to verify to what extent the prototype’s main features meet the functional and performance requirements set in the challenge. Participating companies are expected to deliver a prototype specification and lab demonstration, as well as a plan for original development of a limited volume of first solutions and field-testing, and an updated cost/benefits evaluation including a preliminary business plan.
It is expected that the combined budget for this phase will be EUR 1 606 577 377 (excluding VAT) and the maximum budget per R&D contract will be EUR 401 639 344 (excluding VAT). Should there is any leftover from this phase it will be transferred to the next one. At least 4 projects will be selected for Phase B. This phase will last 10 months.
• Phase C. Pre-commercial development; field test:
This phase aims to verify and compare the full feature set and performance of different solutions in real-life operational conditions of the targeted public service. Expected output from participating companies includes field testing, field test specification, specification of the final solution, other related technical documentation and an updated cost/benefit evaluation.
It is expected that the combined budget for this phase will be EUR 1 285 245 804 (excluding VAT) and the maximum budget per R&D contract will be EUR 642 622 950 (excluding VAT). 2 projects will be selected for this phase. This phase will last 12 months.
All the solutions in Phase C will be tested in all the sites to ensure that a comparison can be made of performance both across sites and across solutions. Each procurer will identify a sample population to implement the proof of concept of the final awarded contracts.Testing is expected to take place in:
— province of Benevento;
— area of Barcelona and BaixL lobregat;
— city of Santander;
— Area of Aachen.
The phases of the procurement is expected to start on 17 November 2021 and end on 30 June 2024.The PCP challenge, requirements, conditions and awarded criteria will be established in the tender documents. They will be available from 1st July at https://ecare-pcp.eu/.
The selected operators will retain ownership of the intellectual property rights (IPRs) that they generate during the PCP and will be able to use them to exploit the full market potential of the developed solutions. The framework agreement will detail the terms of the (IPRs).