INDIVIDUAL INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANT ON DEVELOPING A BLUEPRINT STUDY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF A BIO-HACKING LAB


Location : Home-based, Republic of North Macedonia
Application Deadline :29-Jun-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :Estimated 30 working days for the period from July - August 2021

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

By 2050, the UN foresees that 66% of the world's population will be living in metropolitan cities and, thereby, increasing pressure on municipal governments to provide reliable access to public services. With this expanding population, there is a global shift to cities as primary agents of innovation and intervention and a general consensus that, to accommodate these new patterns, they need to be resilient, economically vibrant, more livable, sustainable, accessible, well-governed, and well-planned.  NextGenUNDP recognizes that development is not static and fixed, but that the current times are especially dynamic, ever-changing, and evolving into a new pattern. Grappling with complexity and uncertainty means that systemic change cannot be achieved with our past practices and radically new development models are in high demand. To this end, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub (IRH) is pursuing a new approach to accelerate learning on strategic risks and development of systemic solutions to complex challenges, at the local level  of Cities. Under the framework of the City Experiment Fund, UNDP’s Innovation team is supporting 4 cities in the region in the articulation, design and dynamic management of portfolios. This work builds on the ongoing efforts at the regional level to develop a portfolio on urban transformation following the pandemic.

The current phase of the City Experiment Fund aims to complete work and deliver activated seed portfolios by 31st August 2021.

A “seed portfolio” is a demonstration portfolio with a limited set of initial interventions that are there to showcase the process of portfolio design, engage the local city-system and stakeholders in this new approach, initiate a first set of small-scale time-boxed experiments to generate new learnings. To that end, all the phases of the process are fast-track short sprints of work (2-3 months for design) and timeboxed implementation timeframe – 1-2 months for option execution (July – Aug 2021). UNDP CO North Macedonia is one of the participating country offices in the CEF, with a focus on exploring system transformation approaches around Circularity of Waste with an initial focus on Bio-waste[1] in Skopje.

The focus of CEF project for UNDP CO North Macedonia is to design a seed portfolio of interventions that engage the Skopje city-system in re-structuring itself towards waste circularity that not only reduces the overall amount of bio- waste in the system but also forms the basis of new businesses, employment opportunities and economic development. The project is composed of several distinct phases of work:

  • Understanding the current state of play of the waste system in Skopje and specifically of bio-waste; represent the city-system as related to bio-waste using a Problem space methodology specifically developed by IRH and Chora Foundation for representing cities as social systems (Agora City Stencil )
  • Uncovering key system dynamics and interaction clusters that are indicative of positions of leverage in the system
  • Formulating hypothesis around the way the identified positions can be leveraged for transformational change and learning; these provide the strategic argument of the portfolio
  • Designing options as vehicles of engaging with the system and creating experiences for the purpose of generating new intelligence around the system transformation objectives
  • Engaging relevant partners in the activation and implementation of the designed options

Currently the project is in the last phase of activating the seed portfolio and selecting relevant partners to implement the designed options, according to a given set of design principles, scope of work and deliverables/outcomes.

UNDP CO North Macedonia seeks to engage individuals in companies with relevant knowledge and expertise to assist in the activation of an option, as detailed in these Terms of Reference.

[1] * Bio-waste in this context means all types of waste of organic origin, in solid or liquid form such as (but not limited to) fresh plant and green waste, processed food waste, left overs from restauration and bars/cafes/juice making, used oils, manures and animal waste, left overs and by-products of food industry (brewing, cheese production, canned food,..), sludge and waste waters, fibers and cellulose products of organic origin (cardboard, textile,..), …


Duties and Responsibilities

As part of a bigger portfolio of interventions around circularity of bio-waste, we are looking to create interest and skills around biotechnologies in the ecosystem of Skopje, which today is nascent and has very limited local talent of applied biohacking knowledge.

Biohacking is a way to create a movement and interest in the local ecosystem that is driven bottom up rather than by top down educational design, by providing easy and open access to amateur equipment, knowledge and skills for learning and using biotechnologies. Our hypothesis is that creating informal learning environments where such equipment and knowledge is easily accessible in a self-directed but supported way through playful experimentation (not academic learning) would generate bigger/faster effects than investing in formal education. A visible measure of this increased interest in the system for biotechnology would be more students in bio/biotech/chemistry subjects, more businesses in those fields and more people working on projects in this area. This type of effect is a prerequisite for creating the conditions for positioning bio economy as a viable option of economic development in North Macedonia.

To this extent, we would like to test our hypothesis by observing and measuring the above-mentioned effects by installing a single biohacking lab and related activities in the city of Skopje.

For this purpose we need recommendations based on best practices from other environments with more mature bio-hacking ecosystems on how to set up a first lab and its activities to be able to see a shift in the maturity of the local ecosystem with effects of this kind:

  • More conversations about biohacking and biowaste
  • New talent/ knowledge present in the system
  • Emergence of more labs/programs (self-organized movement/ learning platforms)
  • Number of people engaged
  • Projects/businesses using biotechnology

Key characteristics, assumptions, and design principles for the lab

  • Bio waste thematic focus – as this initiative is part of a bio-waste circularity portfolio, the lab should allow for activities with thematic focus around bio-waste. These can be in the form of special programs run occasionally or a specialization built in upfront by making the experimentation around bio-waste one of the specific objectives of the lab
  • Fixed “home” – the local ecosystem responds particularly well to the concept of “hubs” – dedicated physical spaces for specific activities that become the place where something happens and a community of interested parties revolve around these physical hubs. Hence the biohacking lab needs to consider having a permanent home even if some activities of it are mobile and can be brought to different places/audiences.
  • Active learning space – the biohacking lab is not a library of static content, but a place of experimentation and learning through doing. Projects are the vehicle through which such learning happens, and each learner is an active agent in this process – learning at their own pace and through their own choice of projects. The lab needs to be setup to provide this kind of self-directed active learning experience.
  • Open and accessible – the lab should provide access to amateur and semi-professional equipment that could be used by people of different level of knowledge and skills (with guidance). It should also be there for small scale experimental projects and prototypes rather than for industrial applications. It needs to provide an environment that does not discourage anyone from accessing it. Access outside typical working hours would also allow working/studying members to access easier. Particular care should be taken not to discourage younger people, non-academics and women from using the lab; by for example preferring less sophisticated equipment
  • Modular – allowing gradual scaling, starting with a functional MVP, and adding component parts as needed or as funds become available
  • Replicable – an intention of this initiative is to create a bio-hacking movement and a network of labs where amateur biotechnology can be practiced. Therefore, we are particularly interested in using this work to setup a model that can easily be replicated and installed in other places
  • Community-run (eventually) The aspiration is to arrive at a point where the lab is community run; however recognizing that there is very scarce local knowledge in the Skopje ecosystem at the moment we acknowledge that there may be the need for a “seeding” stage that requires external resources to run the lab or programs within it
  • “Pop up”/ food truck version – having a concept for a mobile part of the lab that can be used to educate, demonstrate, recruit members or simply bring some capabilities to locations where it may be difficult to create an anchored permanent lab.

The intended “customer” of the lab

  • Amateur and aspiring professionals – who want to learn about molecular and micro-biology, biotechnology and related fields in an pragmatic hands on way, without having to attend a university and a specialist PhD program. People with interest in understanding related subjects (for example food science and molecular gastronomy, fermentation, ….) and exploring them at their own pace
  • Startups and entrepreneurs – looking for business ideas in this space or wanting to prototype a potential product
  • Students – thinking about studying biotechnology or currently involved in such studies, as a means of developing personal projects and extracurricular learning
  • Teens – showcasing biotech as a potential field of professional development

The blueprint should contain design and setup recommendations based on best practices from other labs for the setup and operations of a single bio-hacking space.

To implement this assignment UNDP is seeking to contract a qualifying individual to develop these following tasks and responsibilities.

TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1. Propose the design and set up of a biohacking lab space, including recommendations on how the lab should be initiated and developed over time (period of three years), how it should be equipped over the different stages of growth, and how recommendations for the space should be located.

For this task the contractor will need to take into account the different stages of the lab [seed/initiation stage, the establishment of the lab, its scaling and growth] and provide with input on the design and set up of the lab including:

  • Space requirements – size, characteristics, important specs (ventilation, safety etc.), but also kind of location/colocation with other spaces to allow for proximity to other resources or ability to attract/connect with key audiences;
  • 3-year setup plan with stages of growth
  • Recommended minimum initial setup equipment (for initiation stage only) – types of equipment, amounts and suggested brands
  • Other recommended resources – learning, connectivity, materials and ingredients other provisioning

2. Propose activities for the Biohacking Lab

Ideas of how the day to day activities of the lab could be structured and examples of the different services/ activities that it could pursue, as well as who they will engage/target given our overall objectives:

  • Regular activities – specialist lectures, knowledge exchange, showcasing techniques/projects/equipment for regular users
  • Ad hoc – self-serve use for personal learning, experimentation and projects
  • Special interest/ thematic activities aimed at non-regular users for example activities to  disseminating learning to youth& generating curiosity in the field, adapted programs for capability building for special target groups (minorities, entrepreneurs, unemployed), thematic programs (for example around bio-waste transformation); summer camps etc
  • Community engagement/ reach – evens, demonstrations and other activities aimed and reaching big audiences and creating noise/conversations around bio-hacking and bio-waste in particular
  • Other activities – ideas for commercial services that the lab could offer to for example companies would also be of interest here

Recommendations around which of the above services would constitute a base model (must have, minimum version that should be available at initiation stage) vs advanced model (once the lab has achieved some size and scale

3. Provide the setup for the ongoing operations of the Lab to support the different services and activities.

The contractor will need to provide guidelines on the setup for ongoing operations to support the different services and activities above including elements such as:

  • Create an organizational governing structure that can serve as an options for the organizational structure of the Lab. Options that include a base model that includes the students and professors from the local technical universities, but also an advanced model of operation of the Lab.
  • Maintenance plan for the Lab – what resources need to be available for the ongoing provisioning and maintenance of the Lab.

4. Recommendations for the financial setup of the lab

Recommendations around the financial setup of the lab based on the experience from other labs. What different financial models are possible, an analysis of the positive/negative aspects of each option, as well as the conditions for success. Recommendations for this lab based on consultant’s relevant expertise and experience.

Consider at a minimum the following models:

  • Self-sustaining/ community run
  • Sponsored
  • Other commercial and non-commercial model.

5. Potential partnerships for the Lab

The contractor will need to provide a holistic list of specific partnerships that could be beneficial to the setup or ongoing activities of the lab. The partnerships should include:

  • Key local stakeholders – critical actors in the local ecosystem that need to be engaged in some capacity to ensure acceptance or faster growth of the lab (members, board/advisors, …)
  • Engagement/ reach partners: parties that can help reach easily big communities of potential local members/ target groups
  • External communities of practice/ exchange opportunities/ leader communities: people who can speed up the learning process or help establish recognition for the local budding bio-hacking community
  • Guest Bio-hacker in residence: suggestions for people who can accelerate the setup, operations or scaling of the lab
  • Specialist knowledge/ experience: biohackers that focus on bio-waste projects who could accelerate the local learnings in the space of waste transformation
  • Bio-hacking labs in Europe to connect to and exchange with;
  • Funding: commercial and non-commercial entities that are focused on funding projects in this space. This may include funders with educational interests, specialist VCs that fund businesses that may be catalyzed as a result of the lab or commercial companies with special interest in bio-waste transformation innovation.

6. Based on the overall analysis provide clear set of recommendations related to ensuring the sustainability of the lab.

Based on all the insights from the previous tasks the contractor should provide a clear set of recommendations that the UNDP team should take into account to ensure the sustainability of the lab.

EXPECTED OUTPUTS AND DELIVERABLES  

The consultancy is expected to deliver the following outputs:

Deliverables

Due dates

 

1. Report (analysis) on the proposed design and set up of a biohacking lab space

 

 

Draft version of the report by July 26th, 2021

Final version of the report by August 23rd   2021

 

2. Report (curriculum) on the proposed activities for the biohacking lab space.

 

 

Draft version of the report by July 26th, 2021

Final version of the report by August 23rd, 2021

 

3. Analysis including the set up and maintenance plan for the Lab.

 

Draft version of the analysis by July 26th, 2021

Final version of the report by August 23rd, 2021

 

4. Analysis of options for the lab regarding: financial setup, and sustainability including a set of recommendations

 

 Draft version of the analysis by July 26th, 2021

Final version of the report by August 23rd, 2021

 

5. Analysis on the potential for specific partnerships for the Lab.

 

Draft version of the analysis by July 26th, 2021

Final version of the report by August 23rd, 2021

 

6. Analysis and clear set of recommendations that will ensure long-term sustainability of the lab.

 

Draft version of the analysis by July 26th, 2021

Final version of the report by August 23rd, 2021

 

Payment schedule:

The payment, 50% of the payment will be done after the completion of the draft version of the deliverables, and 50% of the payment will be done after the completion of all the deliverables.

DURATION OF THE WORK

The duration of the Consultant is expected to be 30 working days in the period of 5th of July 2021 until 23rd of August 2021.

DUTY STATION AND TRAVEL

The Consultant is expected to work from home office. In event of business travel, the Consultant is responsible to make his/her own travel arrangements. Reimbursement of travel costs (tickets, fuel, and tolls) need to be pre-approved and will be additionally reimbursed per UNDP standard fees. The Consultants are required to submit a list of locations visited and adjacent travel documentation. Potential overnight stay will be reimbursed upon previous approval from UNDP Project Manager at UNDP standard fee.


Competencies

  • Excellent communications skills;
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities;
  • Good time management, meeting deadlines;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, teamwork ability;


Required Skills and Experience

The selected candidates shall possess:

  • Advanced university degree in biology, biotech, molecular biology, social or technical sciences or a similar field
  • Hands on experience in setting up or working in a bio-hacking lab/ Participating in creation of biohacking lab
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills in English.
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in working within the biohacking ecosystem

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF THE BEST OFFER

The award of the contract shall be made to the offeror whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

a) Being responsive/compliant/acceptable, and

b) Having received the highest score based on the following weight of technical and financial criteria for solicitation as per the schedule below:

* Technical criteria weight: 70%

* Financial criteria weight: 30%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) in the technical evaluation shall be considered for the financial evaluation.

For the considered offers in the financial evaluation only, the lowest price offer will receive 30 points. The other offers will receive points in relation to the lowest offer, based on the following formula: (Pn / Pl) * 30 where Pn is the financial offer being evaluated and Pl is the lowest financial offer received.

Technical Criteria:

Criteria

Maximum points

70

Advanced university degree in biology, biotech, molecular biology, social or technical sciences or a similar field

 

BA = 10

MA = 20

PhD = 30

 

30

Hands on experience in setting up or working in a bio-hacking lab or participating in creation of a biohacking lab

 

Minimum 1 projects or similar assignment = 20

Above 2 projects or similar assignments= 30

 

30

Excellent writing and oral communication skills in English.

 

5

Minimum 2 years of experience in working within the biohacking ecosystem

 

5

DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED

Interested offerors are invited submit the following documents/information to be considered:

1. Offeror’s letter, as per the following form LINK

2. Most updated CV with focus on required qualification as well as the contact details of at least three (3) professional references;

3. Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment,

4. Financial Proposal The financial proposal must be expressed in the form of a lumpsum all-inclusive cost, supported by breakdown of costs as per template provided in US Dollars for this consultancy.

The financial proposal must take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; cost of travel from the home base to the duty station and vice versa, where required (the prevailing price for an economy class ticket on the most direct routes shall apply; living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract such as the cost of mission travels, as applicable.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Step 1

1. Click on the "Apply now" button

2. Input your information in the appropriate sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume, and motivation (cover letter). You can type in, or paste your short Resume into the last box.

3. Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page. On the next page, you will be asked to upload other required documents listed in the step 2.

Step 2

Interested individual consultants must submit the documents/information listed in the “Documents to submit section” above.

The system will allow only one attachment. Therefore, please upload all required documents as one file.

Failing to submit any of these documents may result in disqualification of the application.

Please note that shortlisted candidates might be interviewed.

If the deliverables are not produced and delivered by the consultant to the satisfaction of UNDP as approved by the responsible Portfolio Manager, no payment will be made even if the consultant has invested man/days to produce and deliver such deliverables.

 



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