Applying current knowledge to inform grower decision making to mitigate the impact of frost, now and in the future

RFT Terms and Conditions

Please note that the Request for Tender (RFT) Terms and Conditions apply to all RFTs where tenderers are required to submit their responses electronically via the Grains Investment Portal.

Request for Tender
Applying current knowledge to inform grower decision making to mitigate the impact of frost, now and in the future

The investment will: 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 now3. Inform future 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. It is expected that the Project Co-ordinator/Facilitator in each region will work with a diverse range of grower groups, advisers, researchers and agribusiness personnel, both large and small, to maximise outreach. GRDC are conducting a separate Expression of Interest (EOI) process and the successful Project Co-ordinator/Facilitator in each region may support this process. 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.

Reference No.
PROC-9176202
Release Date
Closing Time
Offer Period
Offers will remain open for acceptance by the GRDC for a period of 6 months after the closing time.
Deadline for Submission of Tender Enquiries
Document Contact and Enquiries

Attention: Contracts Administrator West

Grains Research and Development Corporation

Email: western@grdc.com.au

All requests for further information or clarification in relation to this investment should be made in writing (email) prior to Friday 5th of June 2020, 05:00 PM ACT local time

All requests and responses to requests will be published on the GRDC website under Questions and Answers at the bottom of this webpage.

Lodgement of Tender
Tenderers must submit their responses electronically through the Grains Investment Portal at: https://access.grdc.com.au - Please read this entire page before lodging an application in the Grains Investment Portal

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is a statutory corporation established under the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989. It is subject to accountability and reporting obligations set out in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. It is responsible for planning, investing in and overseeing research and development, and delivering improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry. Learn more about what GRDC does.


Applying current knowledge to inform grower decision making to mitigate the impact of frost, now and in the future

Addendum 1

This Addendum 1 amends the Request for Tender in relation to PROC-9176202 (RFT) effective on 26 May 2020.

The RFT is amended as follows:

  1. The Closing Time has been extended to 2pm AEST Friday 12 June 2020;
  2. The Deadline for the submission of Tender Enquiries has been extended to 5pm AEST Friday 5 June 2020; and
  3. The requirements of the RFT including the Outcomes, Outputs and Evaluation Criteria have been amended in accordance with Annexure A to this Addendum 1.

Annexure A

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.

This investment 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 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).

New research activities are out of scope of this investment.

Investment description

The investment will:

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. Inform future 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.

It is expected that the Project Co-ordinator/Facilitator in each region will work with a diverse range of grower groups, advisers, researchers and agribusiness personnel, both large and small, to maximise outreach. GRDC are conducting a separate Expresion of Interest (EOI) process and the successful Project Co-ordinator/Facilitaor in each region may support this process.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.

Outcome:

By 2022, growers in frost prone areas have the knowledge, confidence and ability to implement the latest, best management practices to minimise the impact of frost on their profitability.

Outputs

Output 1:

A project plan submitted for each GRDC region summarising the methodology to achieve the targeted investment outcomes; list of key personnel involved to deliver the Project Co-ordinator/Facilitator role; a Gantt chart or time line of activities to be delivered; approach to ensure technical accuracy and consistency of messaging within and across GRDC regions; and monitoring and evaluation plan to measure impact.  The following elements should be considered in the design of this plan:

Details:

  • This investment will include activities in each GRDC region which may include grower workshops, updates and field walks to demonstration sites or field walks to sites where frost or other research is relevant (e.g. phenology studies). Although it is preferred that activities be focussed around the demonstration sites, they can be standalone or linked to other extension events being undertaken in the regions and should be informed by the seasonal knowledge requirements of growers.
  • If demonstration sites are included, sites should demonstrate landscape variability on frost impacts and the accumulative effects of season temperature (growing degree days) on plant development rates across the landscape with varying soils, elevation, topography, field & farm layout and growing degree days Sites ideally should have historic header yield data to support the longitudinal understanding of the impact of frost across the landscape.  Demonstration sites should be focal points for discussion and observation for learning activities. Existing sites or investments supported by GRDC investment may also be used.
  • The investment will require the ability to work collaboratively with growers, local grower groups and/or advisers, lead researchers and champion growers.
  • It should include peer to peer learning components (involvement of focus farms and leading growers and advisers) and discussion of economic viability of frost management practices.
  • Particular emphasis should be given to those activities that give growers the ability to identify: 1) frost risk zones and variability across large areas, and understand the opportunities to reduce this risk with agronomic management; and 2) frost impacts on crops (as opposed to nutrition, heat and drought stresses), so that growers can begin to manage its impact once it has occurred.  This includes identifying those practice/strategies that growers are using to manage crops post-frost.
  • Case studies should be developed to capture key findings for the investment and developed into a fact sheet for future use.

Output 2:

Successful delivery of all activities according to milestones in GRDC approved project plan (refer Output 1).  It is anticipated that the project plan will be developed with GRDC with reference to the outcomes of the EOI processes.

Output 3:

By June 2022, a Final report detailing: Activities undertaken; audience reached; impact of the investment; key learnings and approaches identified and aligned to KIT1.2 outcomes, to directly inform GRDC analysis shaping future RDE.

Output 4:

Providing support to GRDC in relation to the EOI process(s) including providing specialist advice during the evaluation of EOIs.

Proposed investment

This investment covers all frost prone major winter cropping regions.

As local experience and relevance is highly regarded, it is imperative that a Project Co-ordinator/Facilitator is based in each GRDC Growing Region. As such, applicants are asked to apply per GRDC Growing Region only:

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

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

Below are the requirements for the Regional Project Co-ordinator/Facilitator:

  • A strong and demonstrated fundamental knowledge of extension principles;
  • In-depth knowledge of the subject matter;
  • Existing established networks with key stakeholders and personnel across the GRDC region;
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully deliver programs of similar complexity and scale & measure impact (M&E) of the investment; and
  • A known collaborative working style where they will take feedback and adjust project plans to meet the investment outcome.

GRDC Managers in each of the Regions will work closely with the successful Project Co-ordinators/Facilitators to assist in undertaking suitable activities in this current (2020) winter season. There will be opportunities in 2020 to collaborate with existing GRDC investments in frost research and utilise associated trial sites as focal points for discussion, observation and extension of current knowledge of frost mitigation strategies. As well as this, there may be opportunities to set up observation sites, deliver workshops and lead grower and industry discussion groups/forums etc.

As well as this, there may be opportunities to deliver workshops, to lead grower and industry discussion groups/forums etc.

Please also note, no indicative budget has been provided for this investment. The GRDC is focussed on delivering value to Australian grain growers, therefore, your application must demonstrate fair market value.

Contracting

This investment will be contracted on a GRDC Services Agreement.

This project will run from June 2020 through till December 2022.

Application Period

The closing date for this procurement is 2pm AEST, Friday 12 June 2020.

All requests for further information or clarification in relation to this investment should be made in writing to: western@grdc.com.au prior to 5 pm AEST, Friday 5 June 2020.

All requests and responses will be published on the GRDC website. https://grdc.com.au/research/applying-and-reporting/current-procurement/open-tenders.

All applications must be submitted via the Grains Investment Portal – https://access.grdc.com.au.

Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. The Applicant must be a single legal entity or recognised firm of partners
  2. The Applicant and any proposed subcontractor must be compliant with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

Selection Criteria

Criteria No.

Description

Weighting against selection criteria (%)

1

A proposed plan to achieve the project outputs and outcome for the Region you have applied, specifying:

  1. identification of target   audience and method to identify knowledge gaps specific to local growers,   their farming systems and environment
  2. Proposed method of identifying   localities/sub-regions in the Region
  3. proposed activities and method to deliver the   outcomes of investment to target audience (i.e. promotion of key messages and   events)
  4. suggested information, products and/or services   to be delivered to target audience
  5. proposed timelines
  6. project structure, management and staffing arrangements
  7. quality and effectiveness of risk controls

45%

2

A clear and detailed project budget, specifying:

  1. funds sought in each year of the project for the delivery of co-ordination and facilitation services.
  2. Assumptions behind budget line items
  3. Demonstration of cost effectiveness and value for   money

20%

3

Demonstrated track record of the project team, including:

  1. relevant   achievements in the leadership, co-ordination, management, monitoring and   evaluation of a project of similar nature and scale
  2. timely   delivery of high-quality outputs, including examples of impact
  3. in   depth knowledge of the subject matter required by the project leader and   other key personnel
  4. A strong and demonstrated knowledge of fundamental extension   principles
  5. ability   of the project team to engage and collaborate with the relevant research   organisations, growers and grower groups, advisors, agribusiness and other   industry personnel to identify knowledge gaps and effectively extend proven research   outcomes to drive appropriate practice change

35%

Applying

Tenderers must submit their responses electronically through the Grains Investment Portal at https://access.grdc.com.au.

To register as a first-time user, please visit https://access.grdc.com.au/ and:

  • Click on the register button at the top right-hand side.
  • Complete the Registration Form. Fill in all the fields: your email address, a password and the captcha. Your password must be alphanumeric with at least one special character (i.e. not a letter or number). Click register to continue the process.
  • Registration is confirmed by the system sending an email to you, with details to complete the registration process.
  • Once the registration process is complete, you can sign in and review all investments open for tender

Once you have located this investment, you can commence the application process by completing the details for each field available, until you reach “Submit Application” on the last page.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact GRDC Contracts Administrator West via email western@grdc.com.au or use the online support function available.

For information on "Applying" and how to register refer to the these guides in the GRDC help centre:

Attachments

Questions and answers

Q1. Having read over the criteria for this project, can you please confirm that this project is not new research but only validation and extension at a sub-regional level the outcomes from the NFI project? Is this most likely to be tendered to those participants involved in the NFI project? Given our presence is in northern NSW, can you please advise if you think it is unlikely our submission for tender would be viewed favourably.

A1. Yes, the GRDC can confirm that new research is not in the scope of this investment. This investment aims to further extend and apply local (sub-regional) relevance to the known research outcomes of the National Frost Initiative (NFI) and other frost and phenology research. The selection criteria make no reference to the need for previous involvement with the NFI.

Q2. Given our presence is in northern NSW, can you please advise if you think it is unlikely our submission for tender would be viewed favourably.

A2. Applicants will be assessed against the requirements for the Regional Project Co-ordinator/Facilitator, as listed in the tender document. Interested applicants who may prefer to work closely with the successful Regional Facilitator/Co-ordinator in the delivery of the Investment at a sub-regional level are encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) using the link below. Applicants for both the Regional Facilitator/Co-ordinator positions and EOI are advised to demonstrate a gap in the extension of current known research outcomes in the targeted region/sub-region.

https://grdc.com.au/research/applying-and-reporting/current-procurement/expression-of-interest-and-other/Expression-of-Interest-EOI-to-assist-with-delivery-of-Investment-PROC-9176202

Q3. Given much of the NFI project is focused on southern and western regions (and southern and central NSW in the northern region) I am wondering if there will possibly be another tender to do frost research, validation and extension in the northern region? This research work could be a replication of the agronomic management program component of the NFI program.

A3. GRDC may go to market for further frost agronomy research in the future. Future investments in this area will be consistent with GRDC’s Strategy ‘Key Investment Target (KIT) 1.2’ (see link below) and guided by detailed gap analyses and sound business cases. This investment will also assist in informing future investment in frost RD&E, aligned to KIT 1.2, including identification of possible approaches to achieve target strategy outcomes and build a platform for extension of future frost research.

https://rdeplan.grdc.com.au/objectives-and-kits/1-improve-yield-and-yield-sustainability/1-2-minimise-the-impact-of-spring-radiation-frost-on-grain-yield-and-stability/

Q4. I would like to ask whether there is capacity for a response to the tender PROC-9176202 (Applying current knowledge to inform grower decision making to mitigate the impact of frost, now and in the future) to apply to provide all of the project management and online systems support to this project, in support of the identified Project Coordinator/Facilitators, and to embed a national sustainable online approach to the outcomes of this tender.

A4. Should applicants wish to apply for portions, rather than the whole, of this procurement they are encouraged to collaborate/partner with other providers to deliver the stated Outcome, noting that applicants are asked to apply per GRDC Growing Region and to demonstrate ability to deliver on all components of the investment. Please note that interested parties, such as grower groups, advisors, researchers and agribusiness personnel, that wish to assist the Regional Project Facilitators/Co-ordinators in delivery of the project should submit an expression of interest (EOI).

Q5. I am seeking clarification about Output 1: Project Plan. Being an output of the project, one would assume that the project plan will be a ‘product’ produced during the implementation of the project, e.g. as a first step in setting up the project and position of facilitator. However, it is also listed under the selection criteria as a key criterion for assessment of proposals, i.e. the project plan should be provided as part of the proposal. So should the plan be submitted as an attached document in the application form itself, or should the plan be listed as an output of the proposal?

A5. In order to assess tender applications, the GRDC require an indication of the proposed methods to address the Project Outcome and Outputs e.g. proposed method to identify target audience and geographic locations, proposed activities, content, promotion and timing etc. The proposed plan requested in Selection Criteria One will be built upon for the delivery of the detailed Project Plan specified in Output One.

Q6. Does the budget for extension activities of the successful EOI applicants lay in this tender (PROC-9176202) or will a separate budget for activities be negotiated as part of the EOI process with successful respondents?

A6.  Applications to this procurement (PROC-9176202) should allow for delivery of co-ordination and facilitation services in the proposed budget. The budget for activities conducted under successful EOIs will be managed by GRDC.

Q7. A steering committee will be formed to guide the project.  How do the co-ordinators interact with the steering committee?

A7. The successful project co-ordinator/facilitator in each region and the relevant GRDC Managers will form the steering committee. It is envisaged that the steering committee will interact through meetings and email, the timing of these meetings will be determined during negotiations.

Q8: Will the regional coordinator/facilitator be excluded from also delivering extension activities as part of their role as the coordinator.  If they wish provide extension services in addition to, or as part of, their proposed role as coordinators, do they also need to submit an EOI to provide extension activities.  Can an applicant do both coordination and delivery, and if so can this be included in the RFT for coordinator, or does it also require an EOI."

A8: It is expected that the Regional Coordinator/Facilitator will assist where appropriate in the delivery of extension activities as part of their role as facilitator/coordinator. Regional Facilitator/Coordinators will work closely with successful EOI applicants and GRDC Managers to ensure consistent delivery of extension messaging and activities.

Should Regional Coordinator/Facilitator applicants not be successful with their application but still want to be considered to assist with delivery of the investment, then they should submit an EOI application as well.

Q9: What will the relationship be between the regional coordinators/facilitators and the successful Expression or Interest applicants.  It is understood that EOI applicants will be providing extension services and activities and be contracted by the GRDC.  What ability will the regional coordinator have to manage these service providers, to direct them or hold them to account?

A9: GRDC are expecting EOI applications from a diverse range of grower groups, advisers and researchers with varying ability to assist with delivery of extension and/or activities. Regional coordinators/facilitators and successful EOI applicants are expected to work together to deliver project outcomes to growers at a sub-regional level.

If the Regional Coordinator/Facilitator deems that there is a gap in expertise i.e. neither the Regional Coordinator/Facilitator or any of the successful EOI applicants have the expertise to deliver on extension to address a specific gap in frost knowledge, then other parties may be approached by GRDC on advice of the Regional Coordinator/Facilitator. This will likely be identified during the EOI evaluation process.

Linked milestones in Regional Facilitator/Coordinators agreements and EOI agreements will ensure the investment in each region is coordinated by the Regional Facilitator/Coordinator and all participating parties work closely together to ensure the investment outcome is met. Any issues raised by either the Regional Coordinator/Facilitators or EOI applicants are to be brought to the attention of the relevant GRDC Contract Manager who will work with both parties to ensure issues are resolved.

Q10: If GRDC contracts the successful EOI applicants, who will be responsible for ensuring extension plans as developed by the regional coordinators are consistent with those of the EOI applicants, and manage overlaps, duplication or gaps in proposed activities?

A10: It is envisaged that EOIs will be evaluated, contracted and extension activities discussed prior to the due date of the initial Project Plan which will be submitted by the Regional Coordinator/facilitator, therefore allowing for inclusion of EOI activities in this initial plan. It is expected that this plan will be updated as the investment progresses. Regional coordinators/facilitators and successful EOI applicants are expected to work together to deliver project outcomes to growers at a sub-regional level.

Q11: What exactly is the role of the regional coordinators in delivering extension activities, or is delivery entirely to be done by EOI applicants?

A11: It is expected that the Regional Coordinators/Facilitators will use their expertise in both frost and extension to pull together the extension material/resources required to address the local frost knowledge gaps identified. This could be a combination of using the expertise of successful EOI applicants, using their own experience/expertise (delivering extension themselves) or advising GRDC on the relevant expertise required.

Please note that some EOI’s may be received from groups/individuals who have identified gaps in frost knowledge and have proposed activities that they themselves are not able to deliver independently. Their role will be to organise trial implementation or demonstrations, workshop venues, catering, grower participation and attendance; In the situation where the successful EOI does not have the expertise required to deliver the extension messages at workshops and/or field days, it will be the role of the Regional Coordinator/Facilitator to organise the extension messaging delivery.

Q12: Does an EOI require a proposed budget for delivery of activities, and if so which activities, how many, and as guided by any other descriptions of actual requirements that you can provide?

A12: GRDC has not requested for proposed budget in the current EOI application. Proposed EOI applications will be assessed by GRDC Managers with assistance from the Regional Facilitators/Coordinators to determine most appropriate extension activities as they relate to addressing the knowledge gaps that EOI applicants have identified for their sub-region. If identified as appropriate activities, it is at this stage that a budget for the described activities from the EOI applicants will be requested from the EOI applicant. This may range from organising venues and catering, implementing field trials or presenting at workshops and/or field days depending on their capabilities. EOI applicants will be contracted by GRDC once budgets are agreed by GRDC.

Q13: There are 'proven research outcomes relating to frost research' from previous National Frost Initiative Research mentioned and the scope of this project is to 'validate and extend existing proven research outcomes'. Is there more detail on what the key messages are from these investments, other than 'sites should demonstrate landscape variability on frost impacts and the accumulative effects of season temperature (growing degree days) on plant development rates across the landscape with varying soils, elevation, topography, field & farm layout and growing degree days.’?  If not, how are these going to be made available to the successful co-ordinator and when? An understanding of these is required to develop an effective extension plan, identification of demo sites, the required geographical spread of the EOI applicants etc so these can be tailored regionally and nationally.

A13: Previous research findings have been published and presented through various GRDC updates, website, fact sheets and other extension pathways. GRDC wishes to partner with groups and individuals that have a thorough understanding of the mechanics of frost and the various impacts it can have on grain production. Extending this knowledge to grain growers is key to the success of this investment.

Q14: Regarding Selection Criteria #1, c) ‘Proposed activities and method to deliver the outcomes of the investment to target audience (i.e. promotion of key messages and events)’; is this referring to methods of developing the project plan, which is a prime focus of this regional coordinator RFT, i.e.methods for developing extension plans, messages, delivery approaches, and project management, or is it about activities and methods of actual extension delivery. Does the regional coordinator need to show their methods for developing plans, or methods for delivering actual extension.?

A14: At application stage, GRDC would like applicants to propose ‘methods’ for developing the project plan (extension plans, proposed messaging, delivery approaches and project management) as well as propose some activities that may address grower knowledge gaps as they see appropriate given their expertise in frost and extension methods.

Q15: Can you provide some guidance about timeframes.  Given the timing of this RFT and the EOI process, and noting the intention to deliver some frost extension activities in the 2020 winter crop season, and given that frost occurrence and damage can occur from August onwards, depending on region and sub-region, does the GRDC envisage the period between contracting this RFT and the end of 2020 to be spent in planning, reviewing, developing methods and messages, and then being able to deliver extension activities in the period August-October 2020? This would also require the contracting of both the coordinator project and the EOI applicants, with all planning and related work done so as to enable in-field activities to be organised, publicised and held commencing as early as August 2020.  Does GRDC expect in-field activities in winter/spring 2020, or for the coordinator to use this period for carrying out the planning and analysis work as sought in the tender, to enable activities commencing in early 2021?

A15: It is the intention of GRDC that some frost extension activities are delivered in the 2020 winter crop season. As stated on the open tender on the GRDC website, although it will not be possible to implement trials from scratch in the 2020 winter crop season, visits to trial sites associated with existing GRDC investment in frost research can be used as focal points for discussion, observation and extension. In addition, there may be opportunities to deliver workshops (i.e. frost ID, post frost management), participate in podcasts/videos/webinars where appropriate to address specific frost knowledge gaps identified.

Q16: There appears there may be two steering committees, one (nationally) for reviewing consistency and accuracy of national messaging and one which may operate regionally with the successful EOI applicants and the regional project facilitator role and the regional GRDC manager to guide regional activities.  Is this correct and if so how are these managed and how does the regional coordinator interact with these?

A16: There will be one national steering committee which will consist of various GRDC Managers from each region and all of the contracted Regional Coordinators/Facilitators.  At a Regional level, the Regional Coordinators/Facilitators will be responsible for coordinating proposed activities (in accordance with the project plan and agreements) with the successful EOI applicants. Milestone deliverables in the agreements of the successful RFT and EOI applicants ask that collaboration be demonstrated however, how it occurs is up to the Regional Coordinator/Facilitator in discussion with successful EOI applicants.

Q17: If an applicant for the regional coordinator/facilitator is also able to deliver in-field extension activities should they include the provision of extension activities as part of their response to this tender, or by submitting a separate Expression of Interest?  If both coordination and delivery can be proposed in the response to this tender how should the budget be presented, i.e. should coordination and delivery be separated in budget descriptions?

A17: Regional Coordinator/Facilitator applicants who would still like to be further considered to assist with delivery of the investment should they not to be successful in the Regional Coordinator/Facilitator role, should submit an EOI application as well. As stated previously, the role of Regional Coordinator/Facilitator does not exclude them from delivering extension where they deem appropriate. To the best of the applicants ability, this should be covered in the proposed RFT budget and it would be beneficial to state a day rate for delivery of extension.

Q18: It is unclear which GRDC business groups are involved or overseeing this tender and whether this contract to be regionally or nationally managed.  Is this investment an applied R&D (agronomy) or a grower extension project? Will GRDC managers chair the steering committee or regional delivery committee, what are the roles and responsibilities of the members of these committees and who do they report to?

A18: The Regional Coordinator/Facilitator agreements and the successful EOI agreements will be managed by GRDC Managers in the Communications and Extension team in each of the Regions. GRDC Managers in Applied R&D (agronomy) will also sit on the national steering committee along with the GRDC Managers who are managing the contracts and the Regional Coordinator/Facilitators. The Steering Committee will be chaired by a GRDC Senior Manager. The collective role of the steering committee will be to ensure frost extension messages to be delivered by the investment are limited to validating and extending existing proven research outcomes and to assist in informing GRDC analysis that will shape future frost RDE. It will be the responsibility of the Regional Coordinators/Facilitators to brief others in the steering committee on the extension activities proposed/being conducted in their regions and to participate in the discussion that may assist in informing future frost RDE.

Q19: How are previous and current researchers and their agencies who have been involved with previous frost research work, both GRDC and industry funded, expected to be involved with the process?  Should currently or previously active frost researchers and their agencies be submitting Expressions of Interest?

A19: The EOI is open to all researchers and GRDC encourage researchers who have been previously or who are currently involved in frost research to apply with an EOI. Researchers successful in their EOI applications will work closely with the Regional Coordinators/Facilitators to assist in delivery of the investment.

Q20: Can you clarify a discrepancy in the concluding date of the tender contract (December 2022), and the final reporting date (output 3) of June 2022. How many winter crop seasons is this investment meant to cover, and should activities and budgets be planned to cover activities until June 2022 or December 2022?

A20: The investment will begin with the 2020 winter crop season, and include the entire 2021 winter crop season. It will also include both pre-season frost planning for the 2021 & 2022 winter crop season. The final report for the project will be due in June 2022.

‘There will be opportunities in 2020 to collaborate with existing GRDC investments in frost research and utilise associated trial sites as focal points for discussion, observation and extension of current knowledge of frost mitigation strategies. As well as this, there may be opportunities to set up observation sites, deliver workshops and lead grower and industry discussion groups/forums etc.’

Q21: If an organisation, consultant or group does not submit an EOI does it exclude them from having a role in the project once it is negotiated with the regional coordinators?

A21: If an organisation, consultant or group believes they have a role to play in the delivery of the investment it is preferred that they submit an EOI. If the Regional Coordinator/Facilitator deems however, that there is a gap in expertise i.e. neither the Regional Coordinator/Facilitator or any of the successful EOI applicants have the expertise to deliver extension to address a specific gap in frost knowledge, then other parties may be approached by GRDC on advice of the Regional Coordinator/Facilitator.

Q22: If a group is submitting a tender for a regional coordinator role, should they also complete an EOI in case their bid is unsuccessful or will it be assumed they are interested in being involved?

A22: Yes, Regional Coordinator/Facilitator applicants who would like to be further considered to assist with delivery of the investment, should they not to be successful in the Regional Coordinator/Facilitator role, should submit an EOI application as well.

Q23: 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?

A23: 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.

Q24: 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?

A24: 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.