News article

Science and Innovation Fund (Costa Rica): Call for Bids 2015/2016

The call for bids for the Science and Innovation Fund is now open.

1. Introduction to Science and Innovation Network

Science and Innovation plays an important role in encouraging prosperity and growth through the United Kingdom’s Science and Innovation Network (SIN). The UK has the most productive research base amongst the G7 (Group of Seven) and other leading research nations. The UK accounts for 3.2% of global expenditure on research and development despite having less than 1% of the world’s population and produces:

  • 6.4% of global journal articles;
  • 11.6% citations; and
  • 15.8% of the world’s most highly cited articles.

Research and knowledge is increasingly developed and transferred through international co-operation. This co-operation provides opportunities to:

  • work with the best in the world;
  • exchange students and researchers; and
  • gain access to large scale international facilities.

It encourages new ideas and new opportunities for innovation in support of growth. International co-operation in science and innovation is also vital for meeting global policy challenges such as:

  • climate change;
  • energy security; and
  • pandemic disease.

The Science and Innovation Fund

The Science and Innovation Fund aims to promote Costa Rica’s economic development and welfare through science, research and innovation capacity building, fostering opportunities for wider research collaboration and trade with the UK and strengthen bilateral relations:

  • Analysis of existing S&I capacity (technical and policy) and formulation of strategies for its development;
  • Mobility grants;
  • Secondments to UK of public officials and staff from higher education or research institutions working on S&I policy, or vice versa;
  • Joint research projects;
  • Exchange visits: exchange of PhD students, post-doctoral researchers or visiting fellows;
  • Wider activities to strengthen links, for example holding symposia, workshops, seminars, meetings;
  • Broader scientific capacity building – supporting the ability to both support and make proper use of research and other outputs of science and engineering allowing them to make maximum impact i.e. building capacity for innovation and economic growth; and
  • Research capacity building – assisting to undertake and disseminate scientific research.

Under the Science and Innovation Network, the British Embassy in Costa Rica has been awarded £1,000,000 to spend during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Typical projects should range in value from £25,000 to £120,000 and the fund is aimed at working with organisations from the government (both national and sub-national), civil societies, international organisations and the private sector. For any potential bidders who are thinking about bidding for a project of over £120,000, please contact Denise Lewis in the British Embassy in San Jose.

All expenditures must qualify as ODA. Official Development Assistance (ODA) is a term created by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to measure aid. ODA should be undertaken by the official sector (official agencies, including state and local governments, or their executive agencies) and has promotion of economic development and welfare as the main objective.

For more information on how HMG supports Science & Innovation, you can access the Autumn Statement 2014.

2. How to bid: General Guidance on Project Proposals

General Guidance Notes

  • The Costa Rica Science and Innovation Fund looks for practical and high-impact interventions that will lead to a real and timely difference to decision making. Proposals must clearly be a catalyst to transformational changes in public policy and practice in Costa Rica and/or Costa Rica’s behaviour in global fora.
  • The fund aims for flexible, strategic approach for this fund which encourages the sharing of best practice and promoting the replication of projects where appropriate.
  • Impact of the projects will be measured through: a) Sustainability; b) ODA-eligibility; and c) Link to the UK.

All bids will be expected to try to establish some form of link to the UK, which will ideally (though not necessarily) lead to a science or innovation based project extending beyond the lifetime of the project. Preference will be given to bids which have thought about how to link to the UK - either a British organisation(s), individuals, companies or academic institutions/representatives in the UK, in Costa Rica or visiting Costa Rica from the UK. The British Embassy in San Jose may be able to offer limited support in helping to find a suitable academic partner in the UK, but we would like to see an initial project concept bid in the first instance.

Please note that all projects must be completed by 31 March 2016.

Bidding Process

The bidding process is in two stages: a concept bid and full bid stage.

Concept Bid

  • Concept bids should be submitted with a clear evidence of support from Host Government/Costa Rican institution, supporting letter, and evidence of cash, or in-kind support. Costa Rica institutions should show a clear link with a British institution.
  • Only bids approved through the concept stage will be considered for full bids. Implementers will be advised if a concept bid has been accepted and called to present a full bid.
  • The project proposal in the concept bid form should be submitted in English with the title “Costa Rica Science and Innovation Fund 2015: XXX name of the implementer”, to CostaRica.Prosperity@fco.gov.uk. Deadline to submit concept bids is 31 May 2015.

Full Bid

Those bids agreed by the Board at the Concept stage will be invited to submit a full bid. The project proposal in the bid form (including an Activity Based Budget) should be submitted in English with the title “Costa Rica Science and Innovation Fund 2015: XXX name of the implementer”, to CostaRica.Prosperity@fco.gov-uk. Deadline for submission is 14 June 2015.

More information and documents

The FCO will sign a standard grant contract with all successful bidders. The terms of the contract and standard grant agreement are not negotiable. The Grant Contract form and other documents can be found here: Grant Contract Short Form Grant Contract Short Form (MS Word Document, 165KB) and Services and Goods Contract Services and Goods Contract (MS Word Document, 277KB) .

Please read all guidance and ensure that project proposals are designed and submitted in accordance with it. Proposals that do not meet the criteria and guidance will be rejected. The following documents are:

a) Project Concept Bid Project Concept Bid (MS Word Document, 50KB)

b) Proposal Form Proposal Form (MS Word Document, 116KB)

c) How to complete concept bid How to complete Concept Bid (MS Word Document, 54.1KB)

d) Activity Based Budget Activity Based Budget (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 23.3KB)

Timeline 2015-2016  
Dates Activity
15 May 2015 Announce request for submission of Concept Bids
31 May 2015 Deadline for Implementers to submit Concept Bids
04 June 2015 Post Board Meeting
05 June 2015 Post notification to Implementers announcing results of Concept Bids
14 June 2015 Deadline for Implementers to submit Full Bids (including a final Activity Based Budget)
19 June 2015 Post notification to Implementers announcing results of bidding round
29 June 2015 Contracts and financial arrangements completed
06 July 2015 Planned Start of Projects
31 March 2016 All projects to be completed