Our newest answers to your questions

10 February 2021

Our newest answers to your questions

Suppliers are increasingly asking Ai4Cities relevant questions about the Request for Tender, the PCP and the project in general. From now on we will provide weekly updates of the most recent questions and answers. Please see here the overview for the week of 08.02:

-If a company has not commited any of the offences, the answer to the question in Form B, Part B, Item A3, should be yes. Is that correct?
That is correct

-In Form D, Question D4 is "Does it involve tracking of participants?" To what kind of tracking does this question refer to?
The question refers to GDPR. The solution has to be GDPR compliant regardless of the purpose of the tracking.

-In Form E section 3, FR1.1, FR2.1, FR3.1, NFR1.1 are already included in the Executive summary request. Should we provide the same information twice within this form or are we expected to elaborate them in different levels of detail?
The Executive summary is an abstract of the whole solution and project. In the sub-sections of form E more in depth descriptions should be given.

-The Buyers Group has the right to license the software to a third party. How is a 'third party' defined?
Third parties can be cities’ subsidiaries or companies owned by the cities and are the potential end-users of the solutions. A third party can be for example a transportation company.

-Can answers to questions be emailed to participants?
In public procurement, questions and answers are to be published along with the general procurement documentation, and thus become part of the tender documentation openly avaiable.

-What does it mean that the Buyers Group can licence third parties to commercially (or non-connercially) exploit the results?
Commercially can mean for example when the solution is part of a service for which you have to pay a charge, like a bus or train ticket. The Buyers Group only has this right for a limited time period that will be agreed with each supplier that has passed Phase 3. 

-What is the exact period of time for which the Supplier will grant a license to the Buyers Buyers? When and how will this period of time be determined?
There is no exact period defined and it will be agreed with each supplier, one on one, when the project has ended. It alsp depends on if a member of the Buyers Group is interested in further testing the solution.

-Can you clarify the liability of the Lead tenderer and the liability of other members of a consortium?
All members of the consortium are jointly and separately bound to fulfil the terms of the contracts. The Lead Tenderer shall be mandated to act on behalf of the consortium for the purposes of the contracts and shall have the authority to bind the consortium. Therefore, a joint Tender must specify the role, qualification and experience of each member of the consortium. A single authorised representative of the association or consortium, with sufficient powers to exercise the rights and comply with the obligations that arise from the AI4Cities pre-commercial procurement procedure shall be appointed and be mandated as the Lead Tenderer.

-When is it expected to have the Framework Agreement signed?
The framework agreement will be signed when the selection of the awarded suppliers is confirmed before the start of Phase 1.

- Should a solution have a direct impact on CO2 reduction?
The solution's impact on CO2 reduction doesn't need to be direct. As long as you are able to show that your solution reduces CO2 emissions and explain how it reduces them, it is acceptable.

- The Framework Agreement stipulates: “17.8 The Supplier must compensate the Procurers if they are held liable by the EU for damage sustained as a result of the implementation of the Framework Agreement or a Specific Contract (or because it was not implemented properly).”Could you please specify to what kind of situation this refers to?
AI4Cities, as a project, cannot and should not try to define in what way a supplier of a solution (which we do not even know what it will be and how it will be implemented) may be liable. It is up to the supplier to foresee the potential impact, in terms of legal risks, that the prototyping of their solution and its deployment in the city pilots may bring them. The legal risks should be understood in the context of the normal rule of law and compliance with EU and National level laws and regulations.

- Do the subcontractors for all three phases have to be identified now?
It is essential to indicate which parts of the solution will be subcontracted (Form A) and how the budgets will be divided between the consortium and subcontractors (Form F). You can already name the subcontractors for future phases if you know them, but this is not mandatory. However, keep in mind that the offer should convincingly show how the full solution could be developed and it will be evaluated based on that. No essential part of the solution or project management can be subcontracted.

-The RFT document stats that documents must be either electronically signed or in “blue ink” and that no scanned PDFs should be attached. When signing them electronically, is it possiible to also out put a sign and stamp in black ink inside the document where required?
As long as the document is electronically signed with a service which conforms to EU legislation (is legally binding), it is acceptable. Please note that all separate documents have to be signed. After the digital signature has been added, the document may not be altered, combined or otherwise modified.

-For electronic signature, do you mean “digital signature”, that is in “.p7m” format?
Electronic signing means any legally binding electronic signature (for example: RightSignature, DocuSign, eSign etc). Digital signatures would relate to emails and/or other electronic certificates, not necessarily related to electronically signed documents.

-When uploading each form through the “AI4Cities” web page, is it necessary to upload them all one by one?
Yes, you need to upload each form separately, so that every form is a single document.

-Regarding Form A, section 5 subcontractor declaration: Is it necessary that a subcontractor, who provides a pre-defined and delimited specific task in a contract, receives unlimited access to the full proposal?
The subcontractor has made an agreement with you and they should be aware of the topics which concern their work and responsibilities.

-Regarding Form B Exclusion Criteria, is a separate form from each consortium member required? 
Yes, for clarity please submit a separate form from each consortium member

-Is there any value difference if the tenderer is a single company or a consortium? If we go for a consortium, do you need a formal aggregation or a declaration to aggregate or is it just a joint submission?
There is no value difference between a single company or a consortium and the consortium shares the maximum budget.
The members of the consortium are presented in the Form A and a Lead Tenderer is responsible on behalf of the consortium.

-Will price be given a lot of weight in the tender?
The weight of price is 10% of the total score (as mentioned in Tender Document 1).

-The selection criteria refer to products or services ‘suitable for production or supply in quantity and to quality standards defined by the procurers.’ Where are these quality standards of the procurers described?
These standards will be specified in Phase 3 call-off documents. In the Phase 1 the we are focused on the solution design and the idea.

-Is the PCP funding de minimis aid?
No, the funding comes directly from the Commission and therefore it is not de minimis aid.

-How is the financial compensation assessed and calculated?
The formula is presented in Tender Document 1 in section 3.3, and in Appendix 4.

-Are virtual prices to be mentioned per each line item, or is it allowed to only quote a total virtual price per phase in form F?
No, the prices have to be specified because they are binding in each phase. 

-What is the difference between Actual and Virtual prices?
The Actual price is the price for the Buyers Group and it does not include IPRs. The Virtual price is so called market price with IPRs included. We are evaluating only the Actual price.

-Could you explain more about Fair AI or My Data?
This refers to the Functional Requirement 2.5: The solution is following the guidelines of trustworthy AI and the AI can be audited by independent third parties. (For more about trustworthy AI, see e.g.: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/assessment-list-trustworthy-artificial-intelligence-altai-self-assessment)

-Solutions focusing on district heating have to be piloted during the heating season. Assuming that ends in March, these solutions could only be tested for two months. How flexible are the dates for Phase 3?
The starting and ending dates for Phase 3 are not flexible, but we will try to arrange the most suitable dates for piloting during that period. It's worth reminding that the length of the heating season can vary depending on the piloting location, for example in Helsinki the heating season lasts at least until the end of April.

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