Expression of Interest (EOI) to assist with delivery of Investment PROC-9176202 ‘Applying current knowledge to inform grower decision making to mitigate the impact of frost, now and in the future’ in 2020 and 2021

ALL RESPONDENTS MUST SUBMIT THEIR PROPOSALS BY 5PM AEST TUESDAY 30 JUNE 2020, TO BE CONSIDERED.

PROPOSALS LODGED AFTER THE CLOSING TIME OR THAT DO NOT PROVIDE ALL THE INFORMATION REQUESTED MAY BE EXCLUDED FROM CONSIDERATION.

Addendum 1

This Addendum 1 amends the Expression of Interest in relation to Expression of Interest (EOI) to assist with delivery of Investment PROC-9176202 ‘Applying current knowledge to inform grower decision making to mitigate the impact of frost, now and in the future’ in 2020 and 2021 (EOI) effective on 26 May 2020.

The EOI is amended in accordance with Annexure A to this Addendum 1.

Any questions in relation to this Addendum 1 should be directed to the relevant contact and via the method provided in the terms and conditions for the EOI.

Annexure A

Lodgement of EOI

GRDC are seeking EOI’s from all GRDC growing regions:

  • Northern Region – with particular emphasis on Central and Southern NSW
  • Western Region
  • Southern Region

All respondents must submit their Proposals by email to tenders@grdc.com.au by 5pm AEST Tuesday 30 June 2020, to be considered.  Proposals lodged after the Closing Time or that do not provide all the information requested may be excluded from consideration.

General Information

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this Expression of Interest (EOI) is to ensure a diverse range of grower groups, advisers, researchers and agribusiness, have the opportunity to assist in the delivery of GRDC investment PROC-9176202 ‘Applying current knowledge to inform grower decision making to mitigate the impact of frost, now and in the future’. This is in order to maximise outreach to all growers in frost prone major winter cropping regions. The GRDC are asking for EOI’s from respondents interested in working closely with the successful Lead Co-ordinator/Facilitator in each GRDC Growing Region (Western, Southern and Northern) to deliver this investment to directly to growers. The positions for Lead Co-ordinator/Facilitator in each Region are also currently advertised:

PROC-9176202 ‘Applying current knowledge to inform grower decision making to mitigate the impact of frost, now and in the future’

The successful Project Co-ordinator/Facilitators may assist GRDC in the evaluations of this EOI process.

Overall, this investment aims to:  

1. Consolidate proven research outcomes, and related information, and extend key messages in a practical, flexible and applied manner that is relevant to local growers, environment and farming systems.  The initiative will be locally coordinated by a lead facilitator in each GRDC region, with a project steering committee put in place by GRDC to provide national oversight and ensure accuracy and consistency of messaging.

2. Provide targeted mechanisms for grower and adviser discussion and knowledge sharing regarding what is currently known and how this knowledge may be practically applied here and now

3. Help inform future directions of investment in frost RDE, aligned to GRDC’s Key Investment Target 1.2 Strategy, including identification of possible approaches to achieve target strategy outcomes and build a platform for extension of future frost research.

There will be no prescriptive approach to achieve the targeted outcomes; instead it is envisaged that activities will be varied depending on the identified demand and needs of the growers and advisors in each sub-region and opportunities to build ability, skill and confidence to respond using the tactics growers currently have available to them.  The investment is not aimed to answer new research questions but instead validate and extend, at a sub-regional level, the existing proven research outcomes and inform future approaches.

GRDC is seeking Proposals from respondents interested in providing assistance to accomplish these objectives.

This EOI process may be the first of multi-stage procurement process.  Further information on the next stage (if any) will be made available after the EOI is completed.

EOI Conditions

  1. Definitions

In this EOI, unless the contrary intention appears, or intention is expressed:

Term

Definition

Closing Time

means the time and date that Proposals for the EOI must be lodged as specified by GRDC on the cover page to this EOI.

Proposal

means a response to this EOI submitted by a Respondent in accordance with this EOI document and conditions.

Respondent

means an entity or person which submits a Proposal

(a) any reference to time is to the Australian Eastern Standard Time;

(b) words importing a gender include each other gender;

(c) words in the singular include the plural and vice versa;

(d) if any word or phrase is given a defined meaning, any other part of speech or other grammatical form of that word or phrase has a corresponding meaning;

(e) a reference to a clause, paragraph, schedule or annexure is to a clause, paragraph, schedule or annexure to this EOI;

(f) a reference to a person includes a natural person, partnership, body corporate, association, governmental or local authority, agency or other entity;

(g) a reference to a statute, ordinance, code or other law includes regulations and other instruments under it and consolidations, amendments, re-enactments or replacements of any of them; and

(h) the meaning of general words is not limited by specific examples introduced by ‘including’, ‘for example’ or similar expressions.

1. Background

The financial and emotional impacts of frost to growers of winter grain crops are well known and can be potentially devastating. Nationally for wheat alone, losses of at least $400 million per year are estimated. The purpose of this investment is to extend and apply the outcomes of previous research and development (R&D) investments relating to frost and share and build knowledge that will inform grower and advisor decisions relating to pre-season planning, in-season management and post-frost event responses.

The GRDC have invested significantly in research and development to address the issue of frost, including recent projects under the National Frost Initiative (NFI) which aimed to reduce the impact of frost on grower profitability through genetic, agronomic management and environmental solutions.

PROC-9176202 seeks to ensure that growers have improved knowledge, confidence and ability to effectively implement the latest knowledge and best management practices to minimise the impact of frost on profitability. This will be achieved by continuing to extend and apply local relevance to the known research outcomes of the NFI and other frost & phenology research outcomes over a two year period.

This investment (PROC-9176202) has been identified as a result of analysis undertaken for GRDC Key Investment Target (KIT) 1.2 ‘Minimise the impact of Spring radiation frost on grain yield and stability’. This analysis has so far revealed that immediate opportunities exist in further extending existing proven research outcomes relating to frost. The analysis is continuing to identify separate new future research that will follow and as such this investment will provide a platform for discussion that will assist in informing future frost research and development approaches. Importantly, this investment will help to shift the emphasis of addressing frost related challenges from predominantly research driven responses to those led by growers and advisors (grower and advisor pull as opposed to research driven push).

Activities that undertake new research are out of scope of this investment.

2. Scope of EOI

2.1 Objectives

GRDC is seeking Proposals from interested respondents who will work closely with the successful Lead Co-ordinator/Facilitator in each GRDC Region to assist with the delivery of GRDC investment PROC-9176202.  Involvement of successful applicants in the delivery of proposed activities will be managed by GRDC.

The objectives of this EOI are to:

  • Ensure a diverse range of growers, grower groups, advisers, researchers and agribusiness have the opportunity to deliver or assist in the delivery of this investment to maximise outreach to growers.
  • To build an extensive platform for extension of current and future frost research to all growers in frost prone major winter cropping regions.

The Proposal should be responsive to grower and industry needs.

(For a description of the GRDC growing regions please visit https://grdc.com.au/about/our-industry/growing-regions)

3. Eligibility Criteria

The Respondent must satisfy the following eligibility criteria, otherwise the Proposal will be excluded from consideration:

(a) The Respondent must be a single legal entity or recognised firm of partners.

(b) The Respondent and any proposed subcontractor must be compliant with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth).

4. Selection Criteria

The Respondent’s Proposal will be evaluated against the evaluation criteria identified below and the overall proposition presented in the Proposal.

Respondents are to ensure their Proposal addresses the following:

1. Capability and Capacity

  • Proven track record and experience in collaboration with local growers and assistance with the delivery of extension activities to growers.

2. Contribution to the delivery of the investment outcome

  • Detail of thorough collaboration with local growers and advisors as well as and geographical reach i.e. localities/sub-regions where activities will be delivered and/or impact.
  • Identification of frost related knowledge gaps specific to local growers, their farming systems and environment and proposed learning outcomes.
  • Proposed approach and methodology to achieve the learning outcomes including target audience, and suggested activities.
  • Identification of growers who are leading the way in frost management in the local region and who are willing to share their knowledge/journey with other growers.
  • A list of local key personnel who would like to be involved in delivery of suggested activities.

Please note:

  • New research activities are out of scope of this investment. This investment provides opportunity for the extension of proven research outcomes only.
  • Through the submission of an EOI by an interested respondent, there is no commitment from GRDC to a formal agreement to investment in suggested activities.

5. Information for Respondents

5.1 Invitation

This EOI is not an offer. It is a formal request for Respondents to submit a Proposal in response to the Scope described in clause 2. Nothing in this EOI is to be construed as creating any binding contract (express or implied) between GRDC and any Respondent.

5.2 Accuracy of EOI

GRDC does not warrant the accuracy of the content of this EOI and will not be liable for any omission from the EOI documents.

5.3 Additions and amendments

GRDC reserves the right to change any information or to issue an addenda to this EOI.

5.4 Representation

No representation made by or on behalf of GRDC in relation to this EOI (or its subject matter) will be binding on GRDC.

5.5 Licence to use Intellectual Property Rights

Persons obtaining or receiving this EOI and any other documents issued in relation to this EOI may use the documents only for the purpose of preparing a Proposal. Such Intellectual Property Rights as may exist in this EOI and any other documents provided to the Respondents by or on behalf of GRDC in connection with the EOI process are owned by (and will remain the property of) GRDC except to the extent expressly provided otherwise.

5.6 Seek own advice

This EOI is not business, investment, legal or tax advice. Respondents should seek their own independent professional advice in respect of all matters in connection with this EOI.

5.7 Bear own costs

All expenses and costs incurred by a Respondent in connection with this EOI, including preparing and lodging a Proposal, providing the GRDC with further information, giving presentations, attending interviews and participating in any subsequent negotiations, are the sole responsibility of the Respondent.

5.8 Consortium responses

A consortium may submit a response to this EOI on the basis that one legal entity will take full responsibility. The response should provide full details of that legal entity, the consortium members and any proposed subcontractors.

5.9 Complaints

(a) If a Respondent has a complaint concerning this EOI or GRDC’s management of any aspect of this process, the Respondent may notify the GRDC in writing with details of the complaint.

(b) On receipt of a notification of a complaint under this section the GRDC will, within 14 days, notify the Respondent of the identity of the Complaints and Review Officer for this EOI and of the next steps for the Respondent to take in order to pursue the complaint.

6. Submission of Proposals

6.1 How to  lodge  the  EOI Proposal

(a) Proposals must be sent by email to tenders@grdc.com.au before the Closing Time, which may be extended by GRDC at its absolute discretion. Proposals submitted by any other means including by hand or fax, will not be accepted by GRDC.

(b) Any Proposal lodged after the Closing Time or received after the Closing Time will be deemed to be a late response. GRDC will not accept a late response, unless the EOI is late solely because of the GRDC’s own mishandling.

(c) GRDC does not take any responsibility for any problems arising from Respondent’s infrastructure and/or Internet connectivity.

6.2 File format, name and size

(a) File format: GRDC will accept EOI responses of not more than 4 pages in PDF format and should not exceed a file size of 10 megabytes total including all attachments.

(b)      File names: Should incorporate the interested parties company name and GRDC reference number.

6.3 Respondent’s Acknowledgement

Respondent’s acknowledge that:

(a)      lodgement of their Proposal on time and in accordance with the EOI conditions is entirely their responsibility;

(b)      by providing their Proposal they accept the conditions set out in this EOI; and

(c)       GRDC will not be liable for any loss, damage, costs or expenses incurred by Respondent’s or any other person if, for any reason, a Proposal or any other material or communication relevant to this EOI, is not received on time, is corrupted or altered or otherwise is not received as sent, cannot be read or decrypted, or has its security or integrity compromised.

6.4       After lodging the EOI

(a) All EOI response documents become the property of the GRDC.

(b) Intellectual property owned by the Respondent or third parties in material contained in the Proposal will not pass to GRDC.  However, GRDC may use, reproduce and circulate on a royalty free, perpetual and irrevocable basis any material contained in the Proposal, or provided by the Respondent in response to this EOI, to the extent necessary to conduct the EOI process and in the preparation of any contract if the Respondent is successful.

7. Evaluation

7.1 Evaluation Process

(a) GRDC will screen all Proposals for completeness, clarity and compliance with this EOI.

(b) GRDC will exclude a Proposal from consideration if:

(i)    the Proposals is not received by the Closing Time;

(ii)  the Respondent does not meet the Eligibility Criteria;

(iii)the Proposal includes electronic files that cannot be read or decrypted or exceed the file size; or

(iv)the respondent does not comply with this EOI

7.2 Evaluating Proposals

The Evaluation Criteria in the clause 2.3 will be used to assess all Proposals to identify a shortlist of Respondents who may be invited to participate in a subsequent process. This assessment will be based on information provided by the Respondent in their Proposal.

GRDC may seek clarification or additional information from Respondents in order to assist with the Evaluation Process.

7.3 Security, Probity and Financial Check

GRDC may perform such security, probity and financial investigations and procedures as GRDC may determine are necessary in relation to any Respondent, its employees, officers, partners, associates, subcontractors or related entities including consortium members and their officers, employees and subcontractors.

7.4 No contract

Nothing in this EOI, or the submission of any response to this EOI constitutes a contract, express or implied, with GRDC.

8. Application of Laws and Commonwealth Policies

GRDC is a Commonwealth Corporate Commonwealth entity governed by the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

Respondents should be aware that GRDC is subject to the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), which allows public access to Government documents. Where a freedom of information application is made, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) provides avenues for submissions to be made that particular information about the business, commercial or financial affairs of an entity or undertaking should not be disclosed.

Respondents should also be aware of the Auditor-General Act 1997 (Cth), which provides the Auditor-General or an authorised person with a right to have, at all reasonable times, access to information, documents and records.

The laws of the Australian Capital Territory apply to this EOI process.

Questions and answers

Q1. We are still considering our position given the significant scope change as we had a great team assembled that could have delivered on the original project.

Is there room in the system for an alternate proposal that combines both aspects?

A1. The RFT and EOI will be assessed independently of each other. The applicant may choose to submit both a RFT and EOI (as two separate applications), noting that a single EOI application can be submitted for a consortium i.e. the team you have assembled, however as stated in Clause 3.8 of the EOI, it must be on the basis that one legal entity will take full responsibility for the consortium.

Q2. There is concern that EOI applicants will not have adequate input into what extension activities will delivered under this investment. How will GRDC ensure that those who submit successful EOI’s will have some say in the direction of the project and what activities are conducted?

A2. The objective of the EOI is to ensure a broad range of involvement from a across the industry in the design and delivery of the frost D&E activities. GRDC expect that there will likely be EOI applications from a range of interested parties with varying levels of frost knowledge, and as such it is acknowledged that some activities proposed in the EOI applications may need more input/guidance from the successful Regional Facilitator/Coordinator than others. GRDC will consider all activities put forward in the EOI and will work with all parties to ensure the best outcomes are delivered to growers at a local level.

Q3. Regarding Proposed approach and methodology to achieve the learning outcomes including target audience, and suggested activities. For any extension materials that are developed for or from these activities (eg publications, videos, etc), does GRDC take on the formatting and printing (if in print format) of these extension materials or does the project need to include budget for any materials to be fully developed?

A3. GRDC will take on the formatting and printing of all publications approved to be delivered as part of the investment. To undertake this, GRDC will require that written content be supplied in word document form and raw data for intended graphs and tables be provided separately along with high resolution photos. Production costs (excluding cost of talent involvement) for approved videos and podcasts will be covered by GRDC.