Why a call for innovation?

Some development challenges in coastal areas are so complex and have multiple options for solutions that it is hard to determine which intervention is best. And do we really know all possible solutions?

That is why we invite you to propose innovative solutions. 

Below you will find more on the context, eligibility criteria, deadlines. Applications are due July 1, 2020 (11:59pm US Eastern Standard Time). We look forward to your participation!

Context

The World Bank Group is launching a Call for Innovation under the West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program (WACA). More specifically, the call is part of the ongoing WACA Resilience Investment Project (WACA ResIP), a multi-country regional project that aims to support present assets and strengthen the resilience of coastal communities for Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, and Togo. These six countries, covering approximately 2,200 km of coastline, have particularly vulnerable coastal areas due to erosion, flooding, and pollution, but they also have a will to properly address the unwanted consequences. The WACA Program supported these countries to develop a multi-sectoral investment planning processes, culminating in WACA Multi Sector Investment Plans (MSIPs) available on the country-pages of this website.

This Call for Innovation focuses on the issue of coastal degradation in West Africa, and in particular, addresses the impact of large commercial ports on sediment movement and coastal erosion. This Call for Innovation concerns innovative solutions for the afore-mentioned six countries as a start and may extend it to all of the 17 coastal countries that will be part of the program at a later stage. The scale and the complexity of coastal issues require an inter-disciplinary and regional approach and a level of financing and support involving many stakeholders and partners. The aim of the call is to find innovative yet feasible solutions for coastal degradation. 

Understandably, innovative solutions are often associated with technical and financial feasibility challenges. While it is important for applicants to keep this in mind, it should not discourage them from presenting very ambitious or very simple ideas. Furthermore, while the call focuses on six countries, all proposals will have to keep an integrated approach in mind and take into account the potential impact of proposed solutions on neighboring countries. 

Below are some useful links providing relevant background information:

The Challenge

This Call for Innovation seeks to identify innovative and feasible solutions to fight coastal erosion and flooding issues associated with the ongoing development of large commercial ports and maritime operations in West Africa, mainly for Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, and Togo, but with also an outlook for the rest of the countries in West Africa. In most cases, existing ports were built with limited planning and considerations of potential exacerbation of coastal erosion. The significant threat is that this shortcoming is also occurring for designing and constructing new ports.

The scope is to identify innovations that allow to avoid, mitigate, and remediate the geomorphological and ecological impacts (i.e. coastal erosion and decline in marine ecology) associated with existing and planned commercial ports in West Africa. Proposed solutions will need to be innovative, feasible and sustainable, and may include: infrastructures to be implemented along the coast to control erosion from existing and planned new ports; infrastructures to be implemented at existing and planned new ports and lagoon systems to control water flows and sediment loads; operation and maintenance practices for existing and planned new ports; Public Private Partnerships (PPP) business models and contracting options for existing and planned new ports.

Who May Apply?

Participants could be a single entity,  a single individual, or a consortium made of more entities or individuals. To be eligible, an entity must be an university (public or private), a research organization (public or private), a private enterprise (i.e. an engineering firm, a construction firm, or a consulting group), or a non-profit organization (i.e. an NGO, a charity, or a social enterprise); an individual can be a university student, or single consultant).

An entity or individual can submit one application only. Therefore, an entity or individual that has already submitted a proposal, either alone or as part of a consortium, cannot submit another proposal (either alone or as part of another consortium). To apply, fill out all required sections on the application page that will become live on June 1. You may save your draft application if you need more time to complete the process and submit it when ready by July 1, 2020 (11:59pm US Eastern Standard Time).

    Technical Specification

    A demonstrated passion and interest in building resilience is a key ingredient to any successful application. All proposals need to address in an innovative and sustainable manner the issue of coastal erosion associated with existing and planned port infrastructures and operations in West Africa, in particular in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, and Togo. Proposed solutions may be focusing on an issue at regional level, tackle the challenges at national level, or even be applicable to all six countries. If a regional solution is chosen, it would be advantageous to explain how this could be scalable and potentially have some implications also at national level, or even for all interested countries, and show a clear path to ultimately be financed and operationalized on-the-ground.

    Proposed solutions and business models will have to demonstrate a good understanding of West Africa’s coastal situation, including climate resilience, port infrastructures and operations and environmental issues associated with coastal processes, and present a strategy that would allow to address the issues of coastal erosion in a more sustainable manner.

    This Call for Innovation aims to bridge the gap between innovators and port developers/owners to build sustainable and integrated costal management. Participants are requested to submit a proposal for one of the four thematic challenges listed below and for which WACA is looking for innovations. Participants need to clearly indicate in their application which of the four thematic challenges they have chosen to address. Applicants are encouraged to focus on one solution at the time. Proposal addressing two, three, or all four thematic challenges are allowed. However, proposed solutions will have to be clearly separated by thematic area.

    The Call for Innovation is open to proposals around the following four thematic challenges:

    • Thematic Challenge 1. Which type of infrastructure (green, grey, or a combination of both) could be put in place to manage the impact of port development and port management on sediment movements which lead to unwanted coastal erosion? 
    • Thematic Challenge 2. Which planning measures and port and lagoon operation management practices could be taken upstream to reduce environmental impacts, coastal erosion and lagoon/canal water quality and flow management in particular?
    • Thematic Challenge 3. What new features of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) (i.e. Government Funding, Corporate or On-Balance Sheet Finance, Project Finance), business models, and contracting options could be proposed to take sustainability into account in the design and management of maritime transport related infrastructures? 
    • Thematic Challenge 4. What are examples of good global practices in ports and lagoons management and successful case studies that could be proposed to West African countries to better manage the cumulative environmental impact of existing port operations and predict consequences of future infrastructures?

    How To Apply

    To apply, fill out all required sections on the application page that will become live on June 1. Once you create your own profile you will be able to access the form and fill out the required sections. You may save your draft application if you need more time to complete the process and submit it when ready by July 1, 2020 (11:59pm US Eastern Standard time).

    Instructions

    Part A: Description of the applicant

    Please provide the following information:

    • Name of lead organization;
    • Contact details of lead organization (telephone and email address);
    • If consortium, name of other partners.

    Please note that organization can only be part of ONE application.

    Part B:  Description of organization/s details

    Please summarize in a maximum of 300 words and attach file (maximum 30 page and file size 10 MB).
    Describe the organization/s details, including core business areas, personnel and key CVs and include:

    • information showing that they are qualified in the field of the assignment;
    • information on the technical and managerial capabilities of the innovator/s;
    • information on their core business/activity and years in business/activity; and
    • information on the qualifications of key team members/staff that worked on this proposal.

    Part C. Description of relevant past project/s

    Please summarize in a maximum of 300 words and attach file (maximum 10 page and file size 5 MB). The information should include:

    • information showing the relevance of the presented past projects to West Africa, if applicable;
    • information describing the implementation of the presented past projects, if applicable; and
    • information describing the impact of the presented past projects, if applicable.

    Part D: Description of proposed innovation/s for one or more of the four thematic challenges

    Please choose between one and four thematic challenges below, summarize in a maximum of 300 words and attach file (maximum file size 5 MB and maximum number of pages based on how many challenges you choose to address: maximum 3 pages for one challenge, maximum 6 pages for two challenges, maximum 9 pages for three challenges, and maximum 12 pages for all four thematic challenges).

    Describe the concept idea for the proposed innovation/s, clearly separated by chosen thematic challenge/s. Please note that no details and cost estimates are required for this step.

    • Thematic Challenge 1. Information on proposed infrastructures;
    • Thematic Challenge 2. Information on proposed planning measures and port and lagoon operation management practices;
    • Thematic Challenge 3. Information on proposed features of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), business models, and contracting options;
    • Thematic Challenge 4. Examples of good global practices in ports and lagoons management and successful case studies that could be proposed to West African countries.

    Part E. Presentation of the team and innovation/s by video
    Please upload video of 2 to maximum 3 minutes on YouTube, make sure it is private and include the link in your application email.

    When trying to sign in Waca Call for Innovation page and you see the message "We can't seem to find your account" . Please follow the instructions below:

    WACA Instructions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I apply?

    To apply, go to wacaprogram.org and click on the application page that will become live on June 1. Once you create your own profile you will be able to access the form and fill out the required sections. You may save your draft application if you need more time to complete the process and submit it when ready by July 1, 2020 (11:59pm US Eastern Standard time). 

     

    When can I apply?

    The call for proposal was launched on February 28, 2020 and will be closed on July 1, 2020. This is a three-stage competition where the best ten, five, and three proposals will be chosen and will run from February 28, 2020 and be completed with a Demo Day on November 11, 2020. 

     

    Who can apply?

    Participants could be a single entity,  a single individual, or a consortium made of more entities or individuals. To be eligible, an entity must be an university (public or private), a research organization (public or private), a private enterprise (i.e. an engineering firm, a construction firm, or a consulting group), or a non-profit organization (i.e. an NGO, a charity, or a social enterprise); an individual can be a university student, or single consultant).

     

    What is the purpose of this competition?

    This Call for Innovation is to identify innovative and feasible solutions to fight coastal erosion and flooding issues associated with the ongoing development of large commercial ports and maritime operations in West Africa.

     

    Can I apply more than once? 

    No. An applicant can only submit one application.

     

    What do I get if I win?

    The top-five shortlisted competitors will be invited to present their innovation to a live and virtual audience at a Demo Day which is planned on November 11, 2020. The top 3 Winners will be invited after the event to individual follow-up meetings with the World Bank and receive additional media coverage. 

    The top-3 winners will present their idea at a global event hosted by the World Bank and participate in follow-up meetings with World Bank experts in view of having their ideas pitched at the WACA Marketplace. Top-3 winners are also eligible to receive monetary prices, for a value up to US$50,000, the details of which will be announced on the WACA website prior to the submission deadline.

     

    How is the selection done?

    The selection will be done in three stages. The World Bank Group reviewers will assess compliance of received proposals and longlist the top ten. A panel of experts and a jury will then select the best five and three proposals respectively. The selection will be done based on these criteria: innovation;  feasibility; adaptability to national context; impact; co-benefits; and implementation readiness.

     

    We notice that the call has a heavy stance towards engineering and infrastructure solutions. However, within thematic challenges 3 and 4 we see innovations requests on the “softer” side, nevertheless, would any innovations that are proposed within these two thematic challenges need to have a link to current or future engineering / infrastructure solutions? Our current innovation idea is not linked to coastal engineering / infrastructure solutions per se and therefore we would like to know if our idea would be eligible within this current call.

    Proposals need to focus on at least one of the four thematic challenges. This means that you are most welcome to submit a proposal that addresses thematic challenge no. 3 or no. 4. You are also welcome to address both thematic challenges if you wish (no. 3 and no. 4), providing that these are clearly separated (i.e. up to three pages to describe how you would address challenge no. 3, and up to three pages to describe how would you address challenge 4).

     

    Will the top 3 winners be invited to submit a proposal to actually execute their application? And if so, what is the available budget and time-frame for the execution of (part of) their application? The time to develop a proposal is very short, even for organisations with quite a profound background and knowledge of and experience with the Western Africa coastal erosion-related problems. These days, the submission period is additionally burden by the international health issues and their organisational consequences for everybody. Therefore, can it be considered to postpone the submission date by e.g. 14 days?

    • The top 3 winners will be individually invited to follow-up meetings with senior WBG members to discuss opportunities to make their proposals more visible. This exposure may lead to some more opportunities; however, this is not guaranteed.
    • As above, at this stage there are no certain plans for executing the winning proposals.

    For this initial phase of the call, which ends on July 1, applicants are to submit only their Expression of Interest, as indicated in the WACA call for innovation webpage. If your project is longlisted, you will be notified and asked to provide a Detailed Proposal describing in more details your innovative solution/s for each of the thematic challenges you have chosen in your EOI. The deadline to submit your detailed proposal is August 3, as indicted in the timelines and deadlines section. We believe this is sufficient time for applicants to provide the additional information required for the second phase, considering we are not seeking detailed designs.

    The top-3 winners will present their idea at a global event hosted by the World Bank and participate in follow-up meetings with World Bank experts in view of having their ideas pitched at the WACA Marketplace. Top-3 winners are also eligible to receive monetary prices, for a value up to US$50,000, the details of which will be announced on the WACA website prior to the submission deadline.

     

    Is there any reimbursement offered for the time spend and/or traveling costs associated with the making of the Detailed Proposal, the Demo Day and the follow-up meetings?

    At this stage, the World Bank will not be paying participants for their submission of the EOI and following Detailed Proposal (for top 10 longlisted) and will not reimburse for any associated travelling costs. In terms of attending the Demo Day (for top 5 shortlisted) and follow-up meetings (for top 3 winners), the World Bank may be able to pay for the trip to the Demo Day for one representative per application in alignment with the World Bank's procedures.

    The top-3 winners will present their idea at a global event hosted by the World Bank and participate in follow-up meetings with World Bank experts in view of having their ideas pitched at the WACA Marketplace. Top-3 winners are also eligible to receive monetary prices, for a value up to US$50,000, the details of which will be announced on the WACA website prior to the submission deadline.

     

    What is the language used for applying?

    English is the only accepted language for applying for this call for innovation. 

     

     What is expected regarding the videos?

    The video must certainly be of good resolution and video editing quality, it must meet duration criteria, and should provide a good presentation of the product that is indented to be used. The video should provide explanation of how your product is expected to be utilized for this Call for Innovation and indicate which thematic challenge it was chosen by the applicant. Furthermore, the video should present your team that is applying for the call, which was requested in the application form.  

     

    On the English language site it is mentioned that the application page will be available from 01 June; however on the French language site (www.wacaprogram.org/fr/node/304), it is mentioned that to register we have to download and fill a form which is already on the French language site.

    The English language site is correct: the new page, which will be launched on June 1, has an application section where applicants can directly submit their EOI. The French language site has been updated.

     

    Is the web questionnaire, which I can download online, the document for the Expression of Interest (EoI) or the detailed proposal?

    The website is being updated. The new page, which was launched on June 1, has an application section where applicants can directly submit their EOI. As for the detailed proposal, this will be asked at a later stage to longlisted applicants only.  

     

    Should the EoI be on a granular level with regards to the situation analysis of the 6 countries that are currently in scope? Or should the granular analysis be included in the detailed proposal in a later stage?

     For the EOI, the proposed solution needs to match the selected thematic challenge/s and describe at high level the innovative idea. It is up to the applicant if they intend to provide some details of how the solution will be applied at country level. For the detailed proposal, should the applicant be shortlisted, information provided should certainly include this level of details.

     

    Part E in the web questionnaire asks for a presentation / video; what should be included in this video?

    The video should include a brief presentation of the applicant/s (if a consortium) and highlight of the innovation presented.

     

    Does ‘water quality’ referred to in Thematic Challenge 2 include impacts from sewerage discharge into streams, rivers and water bodies?

    In this context the term water quality refers to the condition of water, including chemical, physical and biological characteristics, as an essential requirement to healthy marine and freshwater ecosystems and which can be deteriorated by port operation and related activities. This may include port sewerage discharge and sediment dredging, and also cargo and ship-related factors such as discharges, spills, leakages, all leading to water quality deterioration and bottom contamination and impacts on aquatic fauna and flora.

     

    Thematic Challenge 2, are environmental impacts from eutrophication important?

     Yes, eutrophication-related factors, such as dissolved oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus, which are associated with port operation as well as port design, are all important elements for this challenge, as they can contribute to bottom contamination and mobilization of harmful substances.

     

    Is there a focus on a particular existing port type (e.g. commercial) or should all port types (e.g. minor, military, fishing) be considered?

    The focus for this call for innovation is on large commercial ports, however considerations on other port types are also welcome.

     

    In the Application form, is the 300-word limit Summary referred to in Part B applicable to each partner company, or is the Summary limit of 300 words to include ALL partner companies?

    The summaries are intended to provide a quick overview of each section, while the PDFs to be uploaded are to provide more detailed information. The 300-word limit summary in part B is to include a brief overview of the main applicant, as well as of all partner applicants (in case of a consortium).

     

    Can brochures and documents of partner companies based in W. Africa be in the French language?

    No, all information in the application is to be in English language.

     

    Can partner companies based in W. Africa speak in the French language in the Presentation video, or are they required to speak in English?  

    The video, which is to present a brief introduction about the applicant(s) and of the proposed innovation(s), is to be in English language.

     

    Is it necessary to submit a signed Grouping Arrangement (Teaming Agreement) for a Consortium with the application form due on July 1?

    No, for this first phase only a EOI is required. If an applicant is longlisted, more detailed information will be requested including a group agreement, in case of a consortium.

     

    Is it acceptable that the Lead Company in a Consortium present the Video, or is it expected that all or some partner companies contribute?

    Yes, this is absolutely acceptable.

    Additional Questions and Answers

    Applicants will have an opportunity to ask direct questions to the WACA team up to June 22, 2020 (11:59pm US Eastern Standard time), by sending an email to  waca@worldbank.org. Questions which may be applicable to all applicants will be posted, together with the answers, on the Call for Innovation page of WACA website. Applicants are therefore encouraged to look at this page on a regular basis.

      Benefits and Rewards

      This is a three-stage competition where the top 10, 5, and 3 proposals will receive different degrees of visibility and recognition, which will be tailored depending on the type and content of their proposals. In particular:

      • The top-10 Longlisted competitors will see a summary description of their proposals in a WACA Innovation Book at the end of the competition;
      • The top-5 Shortlisted competitors will be invited to present their proposal to a Demo Day, a live and virtual audience of World Bank Managers, Partners, and Investors which is planned on November 11, 2020.Their proposals will also be presented in the WACA Innovation Book.
      • The top-3 Winners will be invited after the Demo Day to individual follow-up meetings with the World Bank, in view of having their ideas pitched at an upcoming WACA Marketplace and receive additional media coverage.
      • The top-3 winners will present their idea at a global event hosted by the World Bank and participate in follow-up meetings with World Bank experts in view of having their ideas pitched at the WACA Marketplace. Top-3 winners are also eligible to receive monetary prices, for a value up to US$50,000, the details of which will be announced on the WACA website prior to the submission deadline.

      Ranking Criteria

      Submitted proposals will be screened in three different phases where they will be ranked according to the information requested and the following criteria:

      Longlisted selection

      The World Bank Group reviewers will assess the compliance (pass/no-pass) of received proposals against the requirements for Parts A-E and undertake a quantitative assessment (has met; partially met; exceeded and not met) of Part B (Description of applicants). The rating will be based on the following: 

      • Information showing that they are qualified in the field of the assignment;
      • Information on the technical and managerial capabilities of the applicants;
      • Information on their core activities/business and years in operation; and
      • Information on the qualifications of key people that worked on this proposal.

      The reviewer will also highlight strengths and weaknesses of each proposal, focusing on the following:

      • Situation analysis (i.e. higher points to proposals that better assess current situation);
      • Feasibility challenges (i.e. higher points to proposals that better optimize or effectively enhance the existing infrastructures instead of building new ones);
      • Financing mechanisms (i.e. higher points to proposals that better assess typical PPP financing mechanisms and suggest new ones).

      Based on the scoring received, the top-10 proposals will be longlisted and will be asked to submit additional details.

      Shortlisted selection

      A Panel of international experts will rate the longlisted proposals (in the range of 1 to 10). More details on the selection criteria for the shortlist will be disclosed at that stage of the competition. Based on the scoring received, the top-5 proposals will be shortlisted and will be asked to prepare a five-slides presentation.

      Winners selection

      During the Demo Day, a Jury, made up of international experts different from the Panel, will rate the presentations submitted by the five shortlisted applicants and their pitches. Criteria for the selection of the winners will be disclosed prior to the Demo- day. 

      Based on the scoring, the top-3 winners will be selected. 

      Next Steps

      If your project is longlisted, you will be notified and asked to provide a Detailed Proposal describing in more details your innovative solution/s for each of the thematic challenges you have chosen in your EOI. A maximum of 10 pages is allowed per thematic challenge. This means that you may have a Detailed Proposal of up to 10 pages if one challenge was chosen, and a maximum of 20, 30, and 40 pages if in your EOI you decided to address 2, 3, and 4 thematic challenges respectively. 

      Your detailed proposal may include one or more of the following information, depending on the thematic area/s you have chosen:

      • Suggested type of infrastructure that could be put in place;
      • Suggested infrastructure planning measures and port and lagoons operation management practices;
      • Suggested new features of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), business models, and contracting options;
      • Suggested examples of good global practices in ports and lagoons management and successful case studies that could be proposed to West African countries;
      • A very high-level estimate of what it would cost to implement the proposed solution;
      • A preliminary Social Impact Assessment;
      • A preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment.

      If your project is shortlisted, you will need to submit a 5-slides summary presentation (you will receive a WBG template), which will be provided to the Jury before the Demo Day, and which you will use to pitch your ideas in person at the Demo Day.  Once you submit your presentation the WBG team may request additional information and coach you. You will then need to present your presentation physically at the Demo Day which will be held in Washington DC on November 11, 2020, and which will also be broadcasted live via the WACA website. You will have a 10/15-minutes session for pitching your idea to the Jury, followed by 15-minutes open session for question and answers.

      Timelines and Deadlines

      Activity

      Timing

      Launch of the Innovation Call.

      February 28, 2020

      Opening of submission’s portal (22 business days before submission deadline).

      End of Q&A session

      June 1, 2020

      June 22, 2020

      Deadline for submitting EOIs and call closure.

      July 1, 2020

      Notification to longlisted candidates and request to submit Detailed Proposals.

      End of Q&A session

      August 3, 2020

      August 20, 2020

      Deadline for longlisted candidates to submit requested Detailed Proposals (20 business days after notification).

      August 31, 2020

      Notification to top 5 shortlisted candidates and announcement on the WACA website.

      October 2, 2020

      Deadline for each shortlisted idea to submit their draft 5-slides presentations and start of the coaching period (13 business days after notification).

      Deadline for completing presentation, and end of coaching period.

      October 21, 2020

       

      October 30, 2020

      Demo-Day in DC where shortlisted competitors will present their pitches, and Winner selection by the Jury of top-3 ideas.

      November 11, 2020

      Application

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