Economic network

Tender: Australian Network UK Business Partnerships Fund

Building on the closer economic ties enabled by the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the UK Network in Australia is tendering planning and l running a project to increase supply chain resilience collaboration between the UK and Australia, and potentially third countries, and to businesses in critical sectors.

Background

Following the Covid-19 pandemic and persistent supply chain shortages, countries and companies are increasingly aware of the risks posed to critical supply chains by external events, whether natural disasters, geopolitical events or other disturbances.

The UK-Australia FTA was signed in December 2021 and will be key to strengthening the bilateral relationship between the UK and Australia. In the chapter on innovation, the two countries pledge to engage on “value chain issues, including supply chain resilience.” The UK and Australia both have teams dedicated to reviewing supply chain vulnerabilities and are engaged in a joint supply chain resilience capacity building initiative to engage third countries interested in developing and improving public sector approaches to managing critical supply chain risks.

Work’s extent

Based on this joint initiative, we are looking to fund a project that will demonstrate how the UK, working with industry and other governments and organizations in the Indo-Pacific, can improve the resilience of supply chains. sourcing in critical sectors (which could include but is not limited to semiconductors, telecoms, critical minerals under the recently released Critical Minerals Strategy, or medical goods).

Examples of potential projects

  • Work to identify alternative sources of supply for essential goods and create a common list of producers to improve business awareness of diversification options, taking advantage of FTA tariff reductions for goods from the UK when possible.
  • Proposals for potential alternative sources of supply for critical goods or their precursors in third countries, and workshops to engage key government and industry stakeholders on how we might encourage these sources of supply.
  • Survey of businesses in critical sectors on the main perceived risks to the supply chain, the mitigating actions they are currently taking, and the role they want to see for the government in mitigating these risks.
  • Organization of a stress test exercise on a critical supply chain. This could simulate a series of potential external supply chain shocks and bring together key stakeholders from government, industry and academia to map the likely impacts and responses. This should culminate in a series of policy proposals on how UK and Australian governments and industry can work to make this supply chain more resilient. The results could then be presented in an additional series of events.

Time limit

No. Deliverable Planned activities (not limited to) stage date
1 Responsible grant signed with successful bidder and start of implementation Proposed work plan for the whole program Last week of October 2022
2 Program design report Detailed list of activities finalized for the program 2nd week November 2022
3 Issuance of activity Finalize activity events, dates, locations From November 2022
4 Final report of delivery activity and results Final report of delivery activity and results April 2022

Selection criteria

Bids will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Project design: Feasibility of activities and results, including the ability of the implementing organization to deliver results.
  • Impact: Support identifiable and meaningful activities to enhance project impact.
  • Scalability: The ability of the project to act as a building block for subsequent FTA implementation activity.
  • Sustainability and risks: Clear commitment/buy-in from key stakeholders. A solid analysis of the main risks and an action plan to manage and mitigate these risks.
  • Value for money: comparable and reasonable costs in relation to the scale of achievable results.

We draw your attention to the following key points:

  • Proposals should be between £12,000 and £25,000 ($20,000 – $42,000 AUD).
  • All funding must be activity-based (i.e. not for overhead costs of support staff (administration, financial support), office rental, etc.).
  • We welcome joint offers from more than one implementing organization where these will result in a more interdisciplinary approach to the project.

Treat

  1. Project proposals must be received by 23:59 (GMT) on Friday, October 14, 2022. Late proposals will not be considered.
  2. Proposals should be submitted using the attached forms only.
  3. Proposals should be submitted to: [email protected]

Attachments

Activity-Based Budget Template (ODS, 9.84 KB)

Project proposal form up to £10,000 (ODT, 54 KB)

Project proposal form over £10,000 (ODT, 61.3 KB)