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Call for Cluster Projects (September 4, 2017)

Call for Cluster Projects

September 4, 2017

This call for proposals aims to fund cluster initiatives that can help Caribbean firms to grow, generate employment and export to new markets.

Clusters are defined as 3 or more private sector firms collaborating to produce and sell a stream of new or better products/services at competitive costs on the regional or international market.

Compete Caribbean will grant selected cluster project(s) 80% of the total budget for the project proposed by the cluster, to a maximum of USD$400,000. The cluster must contribute a counterpart of 20% (minimum) of the total project cost, half of which can be provided in-kind. Professional consultants will also be available to support the project development process. See below and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for more details.

Cluster for Proposals FAQs

Deadline for submitting a Project Concept Note (PCN): October 31, 2017.

Make sure to sign up to the Compete Caribbean Newsletter for updates on resources available, deadlines, and future calls.

Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility

The Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) provides technical assistance in 13 Caribbean countries through a multi-donor fund created by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

CCPF aims to contribute to economic growth in the Caribbean region by focusing on private sector development. Pillar 1 of the CCPF is dedicated to Productivity and Innovation and it does this by strengthening private sector organisations to increase production and employment, boost innovation, improve competence and know-how, achieve higher exports and improve quality and productivity overall. Pillar 1 seeks to achieve this mandate through the implementation of four instruments:

  • Direct Support to Clusters
  • Technology Extension Services
  • Entrepreneurship Support Programs; and
  • Innovation Fund

This call for project proposals is directly associated with CCPF’s Clustering instrument.

Examples of previously funded clusters may be found here:

The value of clustering for the Caribbean’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) lies in its opportunity to collectively service customers, attract new clients or solve production problems, in ways that are not possible for businesses operating independently. More specifically, the firms actively involved in a cluster initiative benefit from access to larger markets, business development/branding, cost sharing/saving, workforce development, higher and more uniform quality standards, supply chain or process improvements, better government support, etc.

Grant funds will cover consultancy services and minor goods related to improving the functioning of a cluster. Grants will be allocated on a competitive basis following an evaluation by an independent Investment Panel.

Application Details

This call opens on September 5th, 2017 and closes on October 31st, 2017.

Please join us by webinar on September 13 at 11:00 am for a regional Question and Answer session. This session is intended to answer questions about the application and selection process.

Webinar invitations will be sent to interested parties. Please email competecaribbean@iadb.org on or before September 8, 2017 to receive the webinar link and dial in numbers.

Between October 2nd and 20th, the CCPF will provide interested organisations with an opportunity to receive feedback on the strength of the proposal before final submission. Institutions that want to access this opportunity will must indicate interest by September 15 via email competecaribbean@iadb.org.

Please note that the consultant(s) providing feedback will be independents whose services will not impact on the competitive process for selecting the projects to be financed.

Within two (2) weeks after the final submission deadline, all applications will be reviewed for eligibility and evaluated by Compete Caribbean’s internal panel.

Shortlisted applications will be submitted to an independent Investment Panel and a result will be communicated in December 2017.

Implementation of selected projects is expected to begin in early 2018. Project execution will be planned for a period up to 24 months.

Eligible Participants

The call is eligible in the following countries only:

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad & Tobago

The application must be submitted by a formally registered private entity (lead institution) on behalf of the cluster network. Eligible organisations include: private sector firms, business support organisations (BSOs), industry associations, trade and investment authorities; regional association organisations; small business development centers; NGOs, universities, etc.

Evaluation Criteria

Eligible applications will be shortlisted based on their potential impact on the social and economic indicators most important for the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility. These include:

  1. Job creation in the short and long term;
  2. Exports (foreign exchange through sales within or outside the country);
  3. Contribution to gender equality;
  4. Contribution to climate change adaptation or mitigation;
  5. Inclusive development / support to vulnerable groups;
  6. The likelihood of sustaining the results achieved once the CCPF project ends.

Tip: The clusters must also clearly define their interest in maintaining co-operation post-project. Applicants may wish to outline future cooperation activities that ensure sustainability for up to 5 years post-project.

How to Apply

The application consists of:

Required:

  • One project concept note (annexed below and may also be available on CCPF website)
  • Appendix 1: Cluster Project Details (objectives and activities)
  • Appendix 2: Cluster member details
  • Appendix 3: Signed Letter of commitment
  • Appendix 4: Evidence of legal status of the lead institution

Optional:

  • A 5-minute video pitch for your project. In it, you’ll cover the most important details about the product or process, its potential for export and it impact on your country.
  • Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis or other relevant information.

Applications must be submitted electronically via the CCPF website competecaribbean@iadb.org – detailed instructions to follow. Applicants will be informed about the outcome of their application via the email address provided.

Once a project has been shortlisted, the lead institution representing the cluster will need to obtain a power of attorney from the other cluster members enabling it to sign a contract with IDB on their behalf.

Exclusion Criteria

Winning clusters will be required to enter into a legal agreement with the IDB for the project prior to project execution. As such, due diligence will be conducted. A cluster will be excluded from participating in the call for proposals procedure if it is in any of the following situations:

  1. Bankrupt, subject to insolvency or winding-up procedures, where its assets are being administered by a liquidator or by a court, where it is in an arrangement with creditors, where its business activities are suspended, or where it is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for under national laws or regulations.
  2. It has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the entity is in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions in accordance with the law of the country in which it is established, with those of the country in which the contracting authority is located or those of the country of the performance of the agreement;
  3. It has been established by a final judgment that the entity is guilty of any of the following: (i) fraud, (ii) corruption, (iii) participation in a criminal organisation,
  4. Terrorist-related offences or offences linked to terrorist activities.
  5. Child labour or other forms of trafficking in human beings.

Activities not Eligible for Funding

The CCPF does not grant funding for projects or companies involved in the production, trade or use of products, substances or activities set forth in the list below:

  • Those that are illegal according to the laws and regulations of the host country, or pursuant to international conventions and treaties ratified by this.
  • Weapons and ammunition.
  • Tobacco.i
  • Gambling, casinos and equivalent companies.ii
  • Animals and wild plants or products derived from them are regulated in accordance with the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild flora and fauna (cites).iii
  • Radioactive materials.iv
  • Not caked asbestos fibres.v
  • Projects or forestry operations that are not consistent with the environmental policy and observance of safeguards of the bank (document gn-2208-20).
  • Compounds of bifenilopoliclorado (pcbs).
  • Pharmaceuticals products subject to phase-out or international ban.vi
  • Pesticides and herbicides subject to phase-out or international ban.vii
  • Ozone-depleting substances subject to phasing out international.viii
  • Fishing in the maritime environment with drag nets exceeding 2.5 km in length.
  • Transboundary movements of waste and waste productsix except non-toxic waste intended for recycling.
  • Persistent organic pollutants.x
  • Breach of the fundamental principles of workers and rights at work.xi

Download Application Form Files (ZIP format, 3 files)

Endnotes

  1. i. Does not apply to sponsors (sponsors) are not substantially involved in these activities. “Not substantially involved” means that the activity is ancillary to the main activities of the sponsor’s operations.
  2. ii. Not apply to sponsors (sponsors) are not substantially involved in these activities. “Not substantially involved” means that the activity is ancillary to the main activities of the sponsor of operations.
  3. iii.See http://www.cites.org.
  4. iv. Does not apply to the purchase of medical equipment, quality control equipment (metering) and other equipment that can prove that the radioactive source is insignificant and/or is properly covered.
  5. v. Does not apply to the purchase and use of sheets of cement asbestos caked in which the asbestos content < 20%.
  6. vi. Pharmaceutical products subject to phasing out or banning in United Nations, Banned Products: Consolidated List of Products Whose Consumption and/or Sale Have Been Banned, Withdrawn, Severely Restricted or not Approved by Governments (latest version 2008). http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/quality_safety/safety_efficacy/who_emp_qsm2008.3.pdf.
  7. vii. Pesticides and herbicides subject to phase-out or international ban.
  8. viii. Ozone-depleting substances are chemicals that react with stratospheric ozone and deplete it, giving as a result the widely spread “ozone holes”. The Montreal Protocol lists these substances and their planned reduction and phase-out dates. The chemicals regulated by the referred Protocol include aerosols, refrigerants, fire extinguishing blowers for foams, solvents and agents. (http://ozone.unep.org/Publications/6ii_publications%20handbooks.shtml).The fundamental principles and rights at work means: i) freedom of Association and the freedom of Association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; (ii) the prohibition of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; (iii) the prohibition of child labour, including, without limitation, which it the prohibition that persons under 18 years of age working in hazardous conditions (including construction), performing night work and are declared suitable to work on the basis of a medical examination; and (iv) the Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, in which discrimination is defined as any difference, exclusion or preference based on race, color, sex, religion, political opinion or national or social origin. (Organization International Labour, http://www.ilo.org)).
  9. ix. Defined by the Basel Convention (http://www.basel.int).
  10. x.Defined by the International Convention on reduction and elimination of polluting organic persistent (September 1999) that currently includes the pesticides aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex and toxaphene, as well as the chemical chlorobenzenes for industrial use (http://chm.pops.int/).
  11. xi. (Principles and fundamental rights at work means: i) the freedom of Association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; (ii) the prohibition of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; (iii) the prohibition of child labour, including, without limitation, the prohibition of persons under 18 years of age work in hazardous conditions (including construction), performing night work, are declared fit for work on the basis of a medical examination; and (iv) the Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, in which discrimination is defined as any difference, exclusion or preference based on race, color, sex, religion, political opinion or national or social origin. (Organization International Labour, http://www.ilo.org).

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