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Call for Proposals: Improving Manufacturing Efficiency, Productivity and Quality Control

Application Deadline: 21st March 2021

Introduction

As a part of KFAS efforts to help and support the private sector in Kuwait to adapt to the change in social patterns and adjust to the new normal, the KFAS is launching a special call for practical solutions that address some of the challenges faced by the private sector in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Objective

Encourage the private sector in Kuwait to adopt technological solutions that could address some of the challenges they face.  These are solutions that exist elsewhere and are new to Kuwait, or new to a sector.

Expected outcome: Adoption of technological solution under consideration by the private sector and minimization of the challenge faced.

 

Approach 

KFAS takes most of the initial risk by funding a pilot project to demonstrate the practicality of such solution under Kuwait’s market/environmental/cultural conditions.

Funding scheme: up to 75% of capital cost of the pilot project with a ceiling of KD 50,000 maximum contribution from KFAS.

Implementation plan: KFAS identifies specific themes based on assessment of challenges faced by the private sector and issue a public call for Practical Solutions. All proposals received will be screen for eligibility and then evaluated by a committee against predefined criteria. Some of the key success factor for proposals include:

  • Solve a common problem/challenge faced by the private sector in Kuwait
  • Stimulate business development, growth, and sustainability
  • Have a direct and meaningful benefit to a group of companies and not a specific company

Who can participate

Solution provider must be a registered legal entity. It can be a single entity, a consortium of local entities, or local and international entities. The consortia projects must be carried out in Kuwait and KFAS contracts a single entity (the local entity).   

Theme of the Call

Improving Manufacturing Efficiency, Productivity, and Quality Control

Companies in Kuwait are facing a multitude of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the short term, solutions that address the continuity of mission-critical activities are paramount. It is expected, that in the long term, modes of operation will change, and solutions will be needed to ensure the manufacturing industry is robust to the socio-economic impacts that events such as COVID-19 poses. The goal is to implement and demonstrate the practicality of solutions that could improve the efficiency, productivity, quality control, and resilience of the manufacturing industry by focusing on improvements in one of the following key areas:

  1. Workforce optimisation/reduction (social distancing)
  2. Waste reduction (Circular economy)
  3. Time optimisation/reduction
  4. Efficient space utilisation
  5. Enhancing food production including farming

Application Process

Submit applications by clicking here

Applicant queries can be submitted via e-mail: enterprisesupport@kfas.org.kw

Application Deadline: 21st March 2021

Competition Format:

  1. Nine “Winners” to be selected for receiving a grant from KFAS
    1. First Three – funding up to KD50,000
    2. Second Three – funding up to KD35,000
    3. Third Three – funding up to KD15,000
  2. Payments will be based on deliverables and will not be dispersed in one lump sum, most likely 3 separate payments with clear milestones to ensure project completion and success

Final decision to be announced to applicants 1 month after application deadline

Eligibility:

  1. Those eligible to apply to the call for practical solutions are the legally established entities including private sector companies, academic/research institutions, and NGOs in Kuwait.
  2. The duration of the project should not exceed 6 months from start to the end of piloting the solution.
  3. To enable mass adoption of the solution, the cost of adopting the solution by others should be reasonable, hence, the naming “practical solution”.
  4. The budget should be justified and reasonable for the purpose of demonstrating the solution. KFAS contribution 75% total eligible budget with a ceiling of KD 50,000 whichever is less (35k for second three, 15k for third three).
  5. Applicant must have the capabilities to implement the proposed solution and access to a Kuwaiti entity that will act as the host for the pilot project.

Important Notes:

As this is a call for practical solutions, there are a few main aspects the review committee will focus on when reviewing your proposal:

  1. How practical the solution is? (Can it be implemented and have a positive impact in a short time?)
  2. Where the practical solution will be piloted? Is there a conflict of interest?
  3. Is the solution ready for mass adoption? (After the initial pilot, how easy could this technology be adopted by other Kuwaiti entities?)
  4. How will the solution help Kuwaiti entities control the negative impacts felt by COVID-19 or prevent future disasters from impacting business continuity/food security?

General Guidelines

  1. The proposal should provide clear details on how the applicant plans to implement the proposed practical solution.
  2. The proposal should have a clear pilot scheme (where the applicant proposes to implement the solution) and how the stakeholder will benefit from having adopted the practical solution.
  3. The proposal should provide sufficient details to convince KFAS that the applicant has the capabilities to implement what is being proposed in a timely manner.
  4. The proposal should have a detailed project timeline.
  5. The proposal should include a detailed budget with sufficient justification.
  6. The proposal would benefit from the inclusion of details of similar projects the applicant has worked on in the past.
  7. KFAS grant cannot be used to acquire fixed assets such as vehicles, real estate, computers, office furniture, and other fixtures.
  8. KFAS is not looking to procure the applicants' services/solutions.
  9. KFAS is not looking to fund research projects under this call for practical solutions (if the applicant is working on a research project, please contact the Research Directorate).

Scoring criteria

Applications received will first be reviewed internally for completeness, Program Team will assess the completeness and relevance of the following:

  1. Subject of proposal
  2. Relevance and Potential Impact
  3. Proposed Methodology
  4. Pilot Project
  5. Fulfilment of eligibility criteria

If the application is missing key elements, Program Team will communicate what is missing and provide some coaching (What can be changed/what is expected to meet the minimum criteria) to the applicant. The applicant has 10 business days/until the deadline to respond to be considered. If the application is deemed complete and ready by the Program Team, the application will be forwarded for external review. The external reviewer will score the application on the following criteria:

  1. Novelty (locally) – 5 pts
  2. Proposal Clarity – 10 pts
  3. Project Methodology – 20 pts
  4. Technical Solution Assessment – 20 pts
  5. Expected Outputs of the Proposed Work and Potential Impact (i.e. adoption by private sector) – 20 pts
  6. Assessment of Pilot Project – 20 pts
  7. Significance and Relevance to Kuwait and KFAS Mission – 5pts

Once all applications have been reviewed, each application will be ranked by total score, winners will be selected based on rank. In the case of tied scores, the Review Committee will make the final decision. 

Communication with applicants

Program Team will communicate with the applicants in the following ways:

  1. Responding to queries submitted via e-mail: enterprisesupport@kfas.org.kw
  2. If the submitted application is either ineligible or missing key information
  3. Once a decision on the application has been made by the review committee (Acceptance Letter/Regret Letter)

KFAS decisions regarding grants are final and not subject to appeal.