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Invest Northern Ireland - NISPO II Fund Manager for SME's and Universities.

Contract notice


Directive 2004/18/EC

Section I: Contracting authority

I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)

Invest Northern Ireland
Bedford Square, Bedford Street
For the attention of: Peter Donnelly
BT2 7ES Belfast
Telephone: +44 2890816335

Further information can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

Specifications and additional documents (including documents for competitive dialogue and a dynamic purchasing system) can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

Tenders or requests to participate must be sent to: The above mentioned contact point(s)

I.2)Type of the contracting authority
Body governed by public law
I.3)Main activity
General public services
I.4)Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities
The contracting authority is purchasing on behalf of other contracting authorities: yes

Section II: Object of the contract

II.1.1)Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority:
Invest Northern Ireland - NISPO II Fund Manager for SME's and Universities.
II.1.2)Type of contract and location of works, place of delivery or of performance
Service category No 6: Financial services a) Insurances services b) Banking and investment services
Main site or location of works, place of delivery or of performance: Northern Ireland


II.1.3)Information about a public contract, a framework agreement or a dynamic purchasing system (DPS)
The notice involves a public contract
II.1.4)Information on framework agreement
II.1.5)Short description of the contract or purchase(s)
Through this tender Invest NI and the universities propose to establish NISPO II, an integrated suite of equity and grant funds and a capability programme for Investment Awareness. An economic appraisal has been completed, which provides evidence that there is actual and potential demand for GBP 23.6 million equity and grant funding. This comprises a GBP 13 million SME equity fund, two university funds of GBP 3 million in total and a GBP 7.6 million Proof of Concept grant fund; there is also a capability gap for investment awareness.
The objective of NISPO II is to provide:
- A GBP 13 million SME equity fund for seed and early stage investment; potential investee companies will be technology based, demonstrating high growth potential and export prospects; Invest NI is the sole investor in the fund although match funding of no less than 30 from private investors is required on a deal for deal basis;
- 2 university funds of GBP 1.5 million each for post Proof of Concept investments to spin out from or spin in to the universities and commercialise research/intellectual property; typically at seed stage. Potential investee companies will be technology based and have evidence of high growth potential. Invest NI will be a limited partner alongside each university for its specific equity fund;
- A GBP 7,6 million SME Proof of Concept grant fund where individuals or SMEs can demonstrate the need for the testing of an innovative concept in order to prove it pre commercialisation; and
- An Investment Awareness Programme to address cultural resistance to third party equity investment - to create awareness, to educate and to improve investment readiness.
The structures to be used for the delivery of NISPO II for SMEs are:
- The SME equity fund will be established using a Limited Partnership structure with a ten year term (subject to extension in accordance with the Limited Partnership Agreement constituting the Limited Partnership). The fund's typical investment range will be between GBP 50 000 and GBP 250 000, targeting SMEs registered or substantially based in Northern Ireland;
- The two university funds will also be established using a Limited Partnership for each fund with a ten year term (subject to extension in accordance with the Limited Partnership Agreement constituting the Limited Partnership). The funds' typical investment range will be between GBP 50 000 and GBP 250 000, targeting university spin outs or spin ins.
- A Proof of Concept Grant Fund Management agreement, which passes the full grant management function to the fund manager. The agreement will have a six year term. Grant awards must be completed by the end of year 5 and year 6 is to allow final claims to be received and remaining grants paid. Grants of up to GBP 40 000 will be available at a 100 % grant rate of third party costs to individuals or SMEs where an innovative concept is eligible to be proven prior to going to market; and
- The Investment Awareness Programme is to be delivered under a contract for services with a five year duration.
II.1.6)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

66152000, 66150000, 66171000, 66122000

II.1.7)Information about Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
The contract is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA): yes
This contract is divided into lots: no
II.1.9)Information about variants
Variants will be accepted: no
II.2)Quantity or scope of the contract
II.2.1)Total quantity or scope:
Estimated value excluding VAT: 8 960 000 GBP
II.2.2)Information about options
II.2.3)Information about renewals
II.3)Duration of the contract or time limit for completion
Duration in months: 120 (from the award of the contract)

Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information

III.1)Conditions relating to the contract
III.1.1)Deposits and guarantees required:
III.1.2)Main financing conditions and payment arrangements and/or reference to the relevant provisions governing them:
As detailed in the tender documentation.
III.1.3)Legal form to be taken by the group of economic operators to whom the contract is to be awarded:
This Contract will be for a maximum period of 10 years. Each of the elements of the contract has a different term:
- SME equity fund - Limited Partnership Agreement and Management Agreement - 10 years subject to extension or early termination in accordance with the Limited Partnership Agreement constituting the limited partnership);
- University funds - 2 Limited Partnership Agreements and Management Agreements - 10 years subject to extension or early termination in accordance with the Limited Partnership Agreements constituting the limited partnerships);
- Proof of Concept Grant Fund - Grant Management Agreement - 6 years; and
- Investment Awareness Programme Services Agreement - 5 years.
III.1.4)Other particular conditions
The performance of the contract is subject to particular conditions: no
III.2)Conditions for participation
III.2.1)Personal situation of economic operators, including requirements relating to enrolment on professional or trade registers
Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: Tenderers must provide the following FCA registration details (if held):
Registration number;
Appropriate scope of permission to manage the type of investment/lending activity required to manage this Fund; and
Names of the named executives and other approved persons under FCA regulation.
If you are: (i) authorised by a regulatory body directly equivalent to the FCA outside of the United Kingdom; and (ii) applying for FCA authorisation or applying for a passport to provide services as an authorised person under the Financial Services and Market Act 2000 (FSMA), you must provide names of proposed approved persons.
If tenderers are not FCA authorised, FCA approval will need to be put in place. In such circumstances, a copy of the FCA application must be submitted with the tender. FCA approval needs to be in place within 4 months of the tender being issued. The contract will not be executed until FCA approval is in place.
III.2.2)Economic and financial ability
Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: As detailed in the tender documentation.
Minimum level(s) of standards possibly required: Tenderers and each of their consortium partner(s) must provide the following information to show financial solvency:
1) Confirmation of the tenderers legal status (the tenderers legal entity must be clearly identified on all documentation relating to this tender).
2) The most recent audited Company Accounts (if applicable).
3) The most recent audited Parent Company and/or Consolidated Group Accounts (if applicable).
4) Tenderers who are not required to undertake a statutory audit, should provide copies of their most recently available annual unaudited accounts.
5) The most recent management account information. The management accounts should include, as a minimum, profit and loss accounts and balance sheets.
6) If a tenderer is proposing to form a new legal entity to manage the Fund, this should be made clear within the submission, with confirmation that the proposed entity has no assets or liabilities.
III.2.3)Technical capacity
Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met:
As detailed in the tender documentation.
Minimum level(s) of standards possibly required:
Tenderers are required to provide at least a minimum of FOUR DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS to be the NAMED EXECUTIVES who will be based in Northern Ireland if the tender is successful.
Tenderers must complete and submit the document titled Project 13572 Professional Ability Appendix 2 (which is available to download from eSourcing NI) to demonstrate:
Experience of at least 2 nominated named executives in managing a seed and early stage venture capital fund, with deals sizes of approximately GBP 50 000 to GBP 250 000 in the last 10 years and covering the full investment cycle (identify, make, manage and realise investments). At least one example is to be provided for each named executive;
Experience of at least 1 nominated named executive in managing seed and early stage venture capital investments including prospects from the Higher Education/University sector including developing deal flow to create spin outs/spin ins, making investments and managing portfolio companies. At least one example of managing investments made at different stages of company development, is to be provided for the named executive;
Experience of at least 1 nominated named executive in managing and delivering a grant management function. Grant management will include determining eligibility, making a call for applications, reviewing applications for eligibility, awarding grant offers, monitoring offeree performance, vouching and approving grant claims, paying out grant, determining default and recovering grant as required. Whilst there is not a requirement for tenderers to demonstrate that the Named Executive for the POC Grant Management function has performed each of the elements required within the POC Grant Management function, the tenderer must demonstrate that the nominated Named Executive has experience of managing at least one programme which would require comparable management and administrative skills.
Only information contained within Appendix 2 will be considered when evaluating individuals experience. CVs or additional information within tender proposals will not be evaluated.
Failure to demonstrate that the Named Executives meet the required level of experience will result in the elimination of your tender submission.
III.2.4)Information about reserved contracts
III.3)Conditions specific to services contracts
III.3.1)Information about a particular profession
Execution of the service is reserved to a particular profession: no
III.3.2)Staff responsible for the execution of the service

Section IV: Procedure

IV.1)Type of procedure
IV.1.1)Type of procedure
IV.1.2)Limitations on the number of operators who will be invited to tender or to participate
IV.1.3)Reduction of the number of operators during the negotiation or dialogue
IV.2)Award criteria
IV.2.1)Award criteria
The most economically advantageous tender in terms of the criteria stated in the specifications, in the invitation to tender or to negotiate or in the descriptive document
IV.2.2)Information about electronic auction
An electronic auction will be used: no
IV.3)Administrative information
IV.3.1)File reference number attributed by the contracting authority:
Project 13572
IV.3.2)Previous publication(s) concerning the same contract
IV.3.3)Conditions for obtaining specifications and additional documents or descriptive document
IV.3.4)Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate
3.2.2014 - 15:00
IV.3.5)Date of dispatch of invitations to tender or to participate to selected candidates
IV.3.6)Language(s) in which tenders or requests to participate may be drawn up
IV.3.7)Minimum time frame during which the tenderer must maintain the tender
Duration in months: 9 (from the date stated for receipt of tender)
IV.3.8)Conditions for opening of tenders
Persons authorised to be present at the opening of tenders: yes
Additional information about authorised persons and opening procedure: Authorised Supplies and Services personnel.

Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about recurrence
This is a recurrent procurement: no
VI.2)Information about European Union funds
The contract is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: yes
Reference to project(s) and/or programme(s): European Regional Development Fund
VI.3)Additional information

Suppliers Instructions How to Express Interest in this Tender~: 1. Register your company on the eSourcing portal (this is only required once): and click the link to register - Accept the terms and conditions and click ‘continue' - Enter your correct business and user details - Note the username you chose and click ‘Save' when complete - You will shortly receive an email with your unique password (please keep this secure) 2. Express an Interest in the tender - Login to the portal with the username/password - Click the ‘PQQs / ITTs Open To All Suppliers' link. (These are Pre-Qualification Questionnaires or Invitations to Tender open to any registered supplier) - Click on the relevant PQQ/ ITT to access the content. - Click the ‘Express Interest' button at the top of the page. - This will move the PQQ /ITT into your ‘My PQQs/ My ITTs' page. (This is a secure area reserved for your projects only) -You can now access any attachments by clicking ‘Buyer Attachments' in the ‘PQQ/ ITT Details' box 3. Responding to the tender - Click ‘My Response' under ‘PQQ/ ITT Details', you can choose to ‘Create Response' or to ‘Decline to Respond' (please give a reason if declining) - You can now use the ‘Messages' function to communicate with the buyer and seek any clarification - Note the deadline for completion, then follow the onscreen instructions to complete the PQQ/ ITT - There may be a mixture of online & offline actions for you to perform (there is detailed online help available) You must then submit your reply using the ‘Submit Response' button at the top of the page. If you require any further assistance please consult the online help, or contact the eTendering help desk.

The successful contractor's performance on the contract will be regularly monitored. Contractors not delivering on contract requirements is a serious matter. It means the public purse is not getting what it is paying for. If a contractor fails to reach satisfactory levels of contract performance they will be given a specified time to improve. If, after the specified time, they still fail to reach satisfactory levels of contract performance, the matter will be escalated to senior management in Central Procurement Directorate for further action. If this occurs and their performance still does not improve to satisfactory levels within the specified period, it may be regarded as an act of grave professional misconduct and they may be issued with a Certificate of Unsatisfactory Performance and the contract may be terminated. The issue of a Certificate of Unsatisfactory Performance will result in the contractor being excluded from all procurement competitions being undertaken by Centres of Procurement Expertise on behalf of bodies covered by the Northern Ireland Procurement Policy for a period of twelve months from the date of issue of the certificate.
Social Clauses:
The fund manager appointed will be required to demonstrate and to comply with social provision. The tender requests that there is at least one student placement of no less than 40 weeks for each of the first 5 years of the operation of NISPO II.
VI.4)Procedures for appeal
VI.4.1)Body responsible for appeal procedures

See section VI.4.2

VI.4.2)Lodging of appeals
Precise information on deadline(s) for lodging appeals: CPD will incorporate a standstill period at the point information on the award of the contract is communicated to tenderers. That notification will provide full information on the award decision. The standstill period, which will be for a minimum of 10 calendar days, provides time for unsuccessful tenderers to challenge the award decision before the contract is entered into.
The Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No 5) provide for aggrieved parties who have been harmed or are at risk of harm by a breach of the rules to take action in the High Court (England, Wales and Northern Ireland).
VI.4.3)Service from which information about the lodging of appeals may be obtained
VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice: