Request for Proposal: Innovation District Scoping Study

July 22, 2022
General Business Innovation New Economy
Platform Innovation Centre   Parkade Exterior Half photo credit Mark L. Johnson 3

Photo Credit: Mark L. Johnson

Calgary Economic Development (‘CED’) and the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (‘OCIF’), working with numerous collaborators, invite qualified firms to submit a proposal for the Innovation District Scoping Study Request for Proposal (RFP).

Since 2016, numerous organizations, including CED, OCIF, Platform Calgary, the City of Calgary, and other collaborators have been working together on the creation of an Innovation District for Calgary. Innovation Districts encourage collisions between private sector, post-secondary institutions, research institutes, laboratories, startups and scaleups, and investors by creating a compact cluster of key Innovation Assets.

Now is the right time to conduct a Scoping Study to bring the community together and rally behind the creation of a city underpinned by Innovation and creativity.

We look forward to working with a Vendor who has diverse experience in building Innovation Ecosystems and clusters, and presents a bold, unique concept for Calgary’s Innovation District.

Proposals must be submitted via email on or before 16:00 MST, August 17, 2022.
Questions must be submitted via email on or before August 5, 2022.

Submit both proposals and questions to Kate Koplovich, Senior Manager, Strategy

Download Request for Proposal

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Extensive outreach has already been conducted by another firm. What is the driver on engaging a new firm for this assignment instead of working with an existing team already in place?

Answer: No work with an external third party has been conducted previously related to building an Innovation District in Calgary. Previous work was conducted with RSM Canada in 2021 and 2022 to better understand Calgary’s innovation ecosystem, and engagement on a future Innovation District was conducted by a Working Group comprised of representatives from the City of Calgary, Platform Calgary, and Calgary Economic Development.

2. The target start date is September 12th and completion of final report is November 25th. To undertake this type of assignment, the ideal timeline for the proposed process is 12 to 16 weeks. Is there flexibility in the target completion date?

Answer: We want to ensure we can deliver the best outcome for maximum impact for the project. Given the previous work conducted – all relevant documentation will be shared with the successful vendor – we believe this Scoping Study can be completed in the 11-week timeline. Per section 13 of the Request for Proposal, we expect the final report to include recommendations and timelines to build, create, or attract required assets for Calgary’s Innovation District, and follow-on work will be needed.

3. Is CED intending to engage directly with the Brookings Institute as a contributor to this initiative?

Answer: If the Brookings Institute is open to engaging in building Calgary’s Innovation District, we are open to the opportunity to collaborate.

4. Given the previous research work conducted on the current state of Calgary’s innovation ecosystem, are all organizations allowed to participate in this RFP?

Answer: Previous work on the current state of Calgary’s innovation ecosystem is separate and distinct from this work on the Innovation District. All submissions will be evaluated based on the evaluation criteria included in the Request for Proposal.

5. Are there specific technical requirements expected for the visual mapping of innovation assets? (i.e. city development maps to certain engineering standards or visual display standards?)

Answer: There are no technical requirements for the visual mapping of Calgary’s innovation assets. That said, it is certainly a key component of the Scoping Study.

6. Is there research and data to support the existence, characteristics and needs of groups that may be underrepresented in the Calgary innovation ecosystem that will be provided? If so, for which groups or identified interests for inclusion?

Answer: Specific research to identify the needs of underrepresented and/or equity-deserving communities has not been conducted. We expect submitting vendors to integrate the voices of these communities and groups, including Indigenous Peoples, into the proposed approach.

7. Is there a need for additional engagement or consultation of stakeholder to establish the investment prioritization framework?

Answer: It is up to the submitting vendors to decide whether additional engagement or consultation is required to establish an investment prioritization framework.

8. Would you be supportive of brokering/matchmaking between different applicants if you saw alignment and are you open to proposals that address targeted portions of the deliverable scope?

Answer: Yes, we are open to brokering/matchmaking between different applicants. Yes, we are open to proposals that address targeted portions of the deliverable scope, if the applicant is explicit to this effect.

Given the breadth of deliverables outlined, and the scope of expertise required to achieve them, we anticipate that it will be necessary to bring an interdisciplinary team together to achieve it.  

9. Are the resulting desirables intended to launch a future phase of work with additional budget and parameters? For example, could that include more in-depth relationship building and cocreation with the community over time?

Answer: Yes, following the completion of the Scoping Study we expect there to be future phases of work with additional budget to launch Calgary's Innovation District.

10. Are you open/looking for the development of new/additional information? Or is this vendor work primarily reviewing and synthesizing the existing body of knowledge & “What we heard” content?

Answer: We are open and looking for the development of new/additional information. Per Section 13 of the Request for Proposal, we expect the final report to include recommendations and timelines to build, create, or attract required assets for Calgary’s Innovation District, and follow-on work will be needed.

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